Parker Named England Captain

SCOTT PARKER has been named as England captain for the match against Holland at Wembley tonight. The Tottenham midfielder, 31, was picked by caretaker boss Stuart Pearce to lead the Three Lions today. He was told at a team meeting this morning after Pearce decided to delay his announcement until after yesterday's Press conference. It caps an incredible rise for the former Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham midfielder. He made his international debut against Denmark in November 2003 but played just twice between then and last year. In 2011, he played seven matches and was a key player under Fabio Capello, who resigned earlier this month. His excellent form for the relegated Hammers last season earned him the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award and a big-money move to Tottenham. And on Monday, he was voted England Fans Player of the Year for 2011 ahead of Joe Hart and Ashley Young. Speaking after receiving the award, Parker said: "It's a great honour for me. Just looking at the past names that are on it, it's quite an achievement. "It's a proud moment for me and I'm really, really happy. Like anything, when the fans appreciate what you are doing, it's extra special. "It has been a good year for me at international level and I'm delighted the fans have picked me. It's really good." He added: "As a youngster, it was my dream to play for England. I'm very proud when I play for my country." Caretaker boss Pearce also sang the praises of Parker for winning the trophy. Psycho said: "The thing with Scotty, around any training camp, he's popular and bubbly. "All the players enjoy his company and that's the impression I get being around him and coaching him. "He's infectious in what he does on the football pitch and a real team player. "In this day and age in football, where people talk about selfish individuals, I class Scott as a real throw-back to yesteryear when the team comes before Scott Parker. "I think that's the biggest compliment I can pay to him. He thoroughly deserves every accolade he gets, that's for sure." Parker's England team-mates paid tribute to the midfielder on Twitter ahead of the match. Manchester United defender and former Three Lions skipper Rio Ferdinand said: "Congrats to Scott Parker on being named captain for tonight's game. "A great honour and one I'm sure he'll cherish. 2-1 win I'm thinking!" Striker Michael Owen tweeted: "Congrats to Scott Parker. Great honour."