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250th international cap earned by Brentford players

Milestone passed on Saturday evening

16 November 2021

Brentford players have been racking up milestones in international football in the past few days and another one was achieved on Saturday. When striker Halil Dervişoğlu scored twice for Tukey as they beat Gibraltar in a qualification match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he set a new record for the number of international goals scored by a Brentford player. He also helped The Bees breach the 250-cap milestone.

When Marcus Forss started for Finland earlier on Saturday, he made the 249th international appearance by a Brentford player. There have been 50 Brentford players feature in international matches, with Frank Onyeka the latest when he played for Nigeria last month. Halil took us to the 250-mark, with 18 goals scored in those matches, during his record-breaking appearance

It has taken Brentford players more than a century to hit that landmark. Brentford’s first international was Joe Connor, who played twice for the Ireland national football team, which represented the island of Ireland from 1882 until 1950, in 1903. Tommy Shanks also represented Ireland in 1905 and it was then almost 30 years until Dai Hopkins became Brentford’s third international, representing Wales. Dai scored twice in 12 appearances for Wales between 1934 and 1939.

Brentford played in the upper echelons of the First Division in the late 1930s and nine players won international honours, including the Club’s only two England internationals to date – Billy Scott and Leslie Smith. Only Dai Hopkins made a real impact while on Brentford’s books, with his 12 caps remaining a Club Record for more than 50 years. That was broken by Malta international John Buttigieg

John signed for Brentford in November 1988. He spent just under three years with The Bees, leaving at the end of the 1990/91 season. In that period, John made 20 international appearances. His 97 games for his country leaves him eighth on Malta’s most capped player list.

Brentford players were selected for their countries throughout the 1990s and 2000s with Hermann Hreiðarsson earning 12 of his 89 Iceland caps while with The Bees. Paul Evans was Brentford’s 20th international player when he played for Wales in 2002 and Ólafur Ingi Skúlason was number 25 when he represented Iceland in 2006. Our 100th cap was earned in 2015 when Stuart Dallas played for Northern Ireland against Romania and Andreas Bjelland was our 30th international player and earned seven of his 29 Denmark caps to date while with The Bees.

Andreas took us to the 30-mark in 2016 and 20 more Brentford players have earned international caps in the past five years. Most notably, Henrik Dalsgaard has earned 22 of his 26 Denmark caps while with The Bees. That makes him the Club’s most capped player. He was the first Brentford player to appear in a World Cup, helping Denmark reach the last 16 in Russia in 2018.

It has taken Brentford players just eight months to move from 200 to 250 caps. When Christian Nørgaard and Mathias Jensen appeared started for Denmark in an 8-0 win over Moldova in March, that took us past the 200-cap mark. They, along with Kamohelo Mokotjo, are joint-third in our list of most-capped players and are closing in on the Club Record of 22.

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