Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell, AKA Sol Campbell’s first cap was at the young age of 18. Scoring in his debut against Chelsea, Sol’s introduction to the sport was exemplary and was immediately followed by an impressive football career. He has played for various teams including Tottenham Hotspurs, Arsenal and Newcastle United, and as a result of his fine footwork, went on to Captain the England Squad.
Under the Bosman Ruling in 2001, Sol made the controversial decision to join Tottenham’s North London rivals as part of a free transfer. Joining Arsenal, which would be the start of a five-year stint with the club, he went on to win two Premier League Winner’s medals and three FA Cup Winner’s medals. The team encompassed both the FA Cup Double and League in 2001-02, and went on to become known as 'The Invincibles' for their undefeated 2003-04 premier league campaign.
Sol’s determination to excel is an attribute he demonstrates within the game; as part of the Arsenal team that lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final, Sol managed to score the only goal for the side. Campbell then moved to Premier League side Portsmouth in 2006, as another free transfer, and once again provided impressive leadership skills, captaining the team in 2008 to beat championship side, Cardiff City in the FA Cup Final.
Success however was not reserved for the national teams he played for and at the age of 21, Campbell added his first England football team cap to his impressive record. At the age of 23 years, 248 days, at that time, Campbell became the second youngest England captain, second only to the great Bobby Moore. Sol’s first England goal was celebrated in the 2002 World Cup game against Sweden.
Campbell was the only player to represent England in six consecutive-major tournaments; taking part in the 1996, 2000 & 2004 European Championships, and the 1998, 2002 & 2006 World Cups, with a total of 73 England caps. Campbell is also part of an exclusive group having played over 500 Premier League games and being named in the official Teams of the Tournament for the 1998 & 2002 World Cups and 2004 European Championship.
After an illustrious career in the sport, and having been included in the Professional Footballer’s Association Team of the Year 3 times, in 1999, 2003, and 2004, Sol has been active in a number of political and humanitarian circles, campaigning on issues regarding sport, human rights and the links between them.