LONDON - Arsenal winger Theo Walcott was the surprise omission from England's final 23-man squad for the World Cup finals announced yesterday by coach Fabio Capello.
The 21-year-old Walcott, who has won 11 caps, would have been the youngest member of the party. He started both England's warm-up matches against Mexico and Japan in the past week but had an injury-disrupted season with his club.
Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, 29, passed a fitness test after recovering sufficiently from a sprained ankle and was included but six other players were cut from Capello's original 30.
Defenders Michael Dawson and Leighton Baines, midfielders Tom Huddlestone, Adam Johnson and Scott Parker and striker Darren Bent were omitted from the final squad.