A regular face in the England squad since the arrival of Fabio Capello, Matthew Upson is known for his calm and assured displays at the heart of defence and has become a hugely influential figure at Upton Park, where he now wears the captain's armband.
Upson began his career at Luton Town, where he caught the eye of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who liked what he saw enough to make him the defender his first ever signing for the club, in 1997. Despite winning a championship medal with the Gunners during their successful 2001/02 season, the central defender struggled to make an impact at Highbury and, following a series of loan moves, signed for Birmingham City in 2003.
He made his full England debut against South Africa in 2003 and narrowly missed out on a place in the squad for UEFA EURO 2004, but injuries intervened after that and a spell in the international wilderness followed.
His £6million pound move to West Ham in January 2007 was blighted by an injury which forced him to miss the majority of his first season there, but a return to London eventually brought about a change in fortune for the centre-half. After a string of impressive displays for the Upton Park club, Upson was recognised by Fabio Capello and handed his eighth England cap against Switzerland in February 2008, nearly four years after his last appearance. A good organiser, he offers an alternative to either of the first choice pairing of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.