An England visit to Hillsborough is long overdue: Ricky Charlesworth’s Sheffield Wednesday column

Davor Suker scores in Croatia's 3-0 win over Denmark at Euro 96 at Hillsborough - the last international to take place at S6.
Davor Suker scores in Croatia's 3-0 win over Denmark at Euro 96 at Hillsborough - the last international to take place at S6.
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Last night saw the England national team play in Yorkshire for the first time in 16 years.

The clash with Costa Rica at the home of Leeds United was the first time the Three Lions had ventured out in the county since a clash with Italy - also at Elland Road - in 2002.

World Cup Quarter Final 1966 at Hillsborough - 23rd July 1966'West Germany v Uruguay'Germany's second goal... as Beckenbauer runs the ball past Uruguay keeper, Mazurkieviez, into the empty net.

World Cup Quarter Final 1966 at Hillsborough - 23rd July 1966'West Germany v Uruguay'Germany's second goal... as Beckenbauer runs the ball past Uruguay keeper, Mazurkieviez, into the empty net.

Infact, the last three England matches in the Broad Acres have all taken place at Elland Road.

England’s return to Yorkshire got me thinking as to when we are likely to next (if ever) see them visit South Yorkshire, and specifically Hillsborough.

The stadium has hosted ten senior internationals to date, including games at both the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96.

Arguably the most high-profile fixture ever to be staged at the grand old stadium was the World Cup quarter-final in ‘66 which saw West Germany thrash Uruguay 4-0 when a certain Franz Beckenbauer was on the scoresheet.

World Cup 1966'West Germany v Switzerland at Hillsborough - 12th July 1966

World Cup 1966'West Germany v Switzerland at Hillsborough - 12th July 1966

But the last time England played in S6 was way back in 1962 - 56 years ago - a 1-1 draw with France that acted as a first leg qualifier for the 1964 European Championships (England were thrashed 5-2 in Paris in the second leg and duly went out 6-3 on aggregate).

They have since hosted England’s under-21s on two occasions: First, in February 1984 when they humbled France 6-1 with a certain Mel Sterland even getting in on the act.

The second fixture saw England beat Poland 4-1 in October 2005 in front of over 23,000.

There was a ‘B’ international against Northern ireland in 1994, which featured Kevin Pressman and Chris Bart-Williams but it seems the ground, which has also hosted numerous FA Cup semi-finals, has been forgotten by the Football Association.

It seems the ground, which has also hosted numerous FA Cup semi-finals, has been forgotten by the FA.

Manager Gareth Southgate championed the county when the planning for their World Cup warm-up schedule.

Southgate, who has resided in North Yorkshire for the past 15 years, spoke of his admiration for this adopted homeland in the build-up to last night’s match.

“We don’t just represent the south of England – we represent everybody,” Southgate bellowed.

“I’ve lived in Yorkshire for 15 years, and I love the mindset and mentality.

“We wanted to be able to bring the team here so the fans don’t have have far to travel.”

Granted, some will have ventured from South to West Yorkshire for last night’s game.

But surely the county’s biggest ground should get a look-in when it comes to these friendly matches.

When you throw in the complicated situation regarding Wembley’s future ownership into the mix, the possibility of future England internationals being played on the road looks likely.

With Southgate in charge, you get the sense that England will strive to tour up and down the country as much as they can.

Let’s just hope that Hillsborough is on the list for a future visit - and that we don’t have to wait another 56 years for it to come round.