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Celebrating: Luther Blissett

22 October 2020

After Viv Anderson became the first black player to play for England in 1978, Luther Blissett would write his name into the history books as the first black player to score for the Three Lions, marking the start of what was a big impact on the international stage.

Blissett came off the bench to make his debut as England suffered a 2-1 defeat to West Germany in October 1982, but it wasn’t until later on in that year that the striker would make history for his country. 

A 9-0 demolition of Luxembourg in a European Championship fixture at Wembley saw Blissett bag a hat-trick on his full international bow - some way to introduce yourself to international football. 

With those goals, he in-turn became the first black player to score for England and the first black player to score a hat-trick in the famous Three Lions strip, a moment that would never be forgotten. He would go on to make 14 caps for the national side. 

Only four black players have managed to net a treble for England since Blissett’s heroics on that night 38 years ago, those being Jermain Defoe, Raheem Sterling, Ian Wright and Theo Walcott. 

A Watford legend in his own right for goals that helped the club go from the Fourth Division of English football to First Division runners-up and UEFA Cup participants, Blissett will undoubtedly always be celebrated for that hat-trick against Luxembourg.

But he, like others such as the aforementioned Anderson, Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis should be celebrated for changing the face of the English game on an international level.

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