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KEVIN RATCLIFFE 

Home (1992 to 1994 style) Umbro v Belgium World Cup Qualifier 1993

Kevin's match worn shirt from his final international appearance, the 2-0 World Cup Qualifying campaign victory over Belgium at the Arms Park National Stadium, Cardiff on 31st March 1993. His last of 59 caps and surprisingly nearly 18 months since his 58th cap, the nightmare in Nuremburg and the defeat to Germany, seemingly finishing his international career.  More surprisingly, at the time of his call up, the 32 year old, was playing his club football in the lower reaches of the English Football League for Cardiff City, enjoying playing 25 times in a successful side that were eventually promoted as Champions of the then 3rd Division (nowheredays League 2). This call up in the twilight of his career added weight to his later comment that "you don't retire from international football, it retires you!!" 

The game will mostly be remembered as the full debut of a Ryan Giggs, less so remembered as the last Kevin Ratcliffe Welsh appearance. Post match it did prompt the quote "i'll always be able to tell my grandchildren i played in the same Wales team as Ryan Giggs". High praise indeed when you consider some of the Welsh greats Ratcliffe himself had captained for his country. We also know that the later deafeat to Romania and elimination at the qualifying stage of a World Cup was heavily felt by Ratcliffe. Due to his success at Cardiff that season, he had given himself an excellent chance of making any final 22 man squad that Terry Yorath could select for the tournament, even if only as a squad player, none the less a very fitting swansong for a very loyal and proud Welshman.