Ahead of London 2012 British fans were preparing for something they had not seen in 52 years, as a Team GB football squad geared up for a controversial appearance.
After much wrangling between the Home Nations, and assurances from FIFA, the 18-man squad was announced with no players from Scotland or Northern Ireland, as five Welshman and 13 Englishmen took up their places in Team GB.
It was an odd-looking squad, denied of arguably its two biggest names - Gareth Bale and David Beckham - by injury and non-selection. Four years on some are retired, others have flourished and some have fallen down the leagues.
With another GB football outing not looking likely in the near future Sportsmail takes a look back at the varied fortunes of those involved with the British experiment.
The Team GB football squad pose for a group picture ahead of the London 2012 tournament
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Jack Butland: then Birmingham (Championship), now Stoke (Premier League)
The only player in the squad who also went to Euro 2012 with England, Butland was only 19 but arrived as the established first choice for England Under 21s and impressed in the pre-tournament friendly against Brazil. He started every game of the tournament but could not prevent South Korea’s progress in the shootout.
Since the Olympics Butland has gone on to establish himself as a top-drawer keeper in the Premier League with Stoke and is now a very serious candidate to replace Joe Hart as England's No 1.
Jack Butland was just 19 when he was named in the 2012 squad and has become a top stopper
Jason Steele: then Middlesbrough (Championship), now Blackburn (Championship)
The elder of the two keepers but very much the understudy. After playing in the Brazil friendly Steele did not make an appearance at the tournament.
Prospects looked bright for Steele with club side Middlesbrough as he won plenty of individual accolades in the 2012-13 season. However under Aitor Karanka next term he lost his place following a combination of suspension and injury. After an initial loan to Blackburn he completed a permanent move to Ewood Park in December 2014 where he remains to this day.
Jason Steele has stalled in the Championship following his Olympic experience with Team GB
Neil Taylor: then Swansea (Premier League), now Swansea (Premier League)
One of the five Welshman in the squad, Taylor had just finished an impressive first season in the Premier League with Swansea and played in every game at London 2012, although bizarrely at centre half or right-back.
A month after the tournament ended Taylor would suffer a horror leg-break playing for Swansea which would derail his career for a couple of seasons. He lost his starting spot to Ben Davies and would only regain it once his countryman moved to Tottenham.
At international level with Wales he has been more of a regular and scored his first Wales goal at Euro 2016 in Chris Coleman’s team that reached the semi-finals.
Neil Taylor broke his leg a month after the Olympics but has now returned to top form
Ryan Bertrand: then Chelsea (Premier League), now Southampton (Premier League)
Bertrand famously made his European debut for Chelsea in the Champions League Final win over Bayern Munich just months before the Olympics.
After London 2012 the full back attempted to oust Ashley Cole from his starting position at Stamford Bridge before accepting defeat and a loan move to Aston Villa.
A successful season at Villa Park brought about a transfer to Southampton where Bertrand has continued to impress. He is now a serious contender for England on the left side of defence.
Ryan Bertrand was Team GB's first choice left-back and is now in the frame for England
Steven Caulker: then Swansea (Premier League), now QPR (Championship)
Like Taylor, Caluker was selected off the back of a fine season spent with Swansea (on loan from Tottenham). Big things were expected of the Spurs man, who looked like a very capable ball-playing centre half as he scored on his full England debut against Sweden.
However a string of moves to newly promoted clubs, some temporary, others permanent, saw his stock fall. He was last seen running around near the opposition’s goal for Liverpool and is yet to gain further international recognition.
Steven Caulker's stock has fallen after several moves to newly-promoted top-flight clubs
Craig Dawson: then West Brom (Premier League), now West Brom (Premier League)
An England Under 21 international at the time of his London 2012 call-up, Dawson played just over an hour of tournament football at the Olympics in two substitute appearances, but did score in the ill-fated shootout with South Korea.
A player who looks a lot older than his 26 years, it seems like Dawson has been around for ever. He has now established himself with West Brom in the Premier League after a loan spell in the Championship with Bolton.
West Brom centre half Craig Dawson has become an established regular at the Hawthorns
James Tomkins: then West Ham (Championship), now Crystal Palace (Premier League)
Another former England Under 21 international, Tompkins started just once for GB at the Olympics. He played the full game in the win over UAE but acted as back-up for the rest of the tournament.
At club level with West Ham, the defender with immaculate hair threatened to break into the Irons’ starting XI on several occasions, making 208 appearances, but never kicked on. Now aged 27 Tompkins has made the switch to south London with Crystal Palace in a £10million move designed to engineer more first team football.
James Tomkins has moved on from West Ham to Crystal Palace in search of first-team football
Micah Richards: then Manchester City (Premier League), now Aston Villa (Championship)
Oh Micah, what have you done? Called-up by GB as one of three over-age players, Richards had made his England debut six years previously aged 18 and was viewed as our answer to Cafu. At 24 he was Manchester City’s player of the year as they won their first title but since starting every game at London 2012 the wheels have come off.
He lost his City place to Pablo Zabaleta, moved to Italy but flopped in Florence and then was relegated after signing as a free agent with home-town club Aston Villa.
Last season he was awful and despite his role as captain lost his place in the starting XI at Villa Park. He looks to have a fight on his hands to get it back in Roberto Di Matteo’s side.
After London 2012 Micah Richards has fallen from rising star to Championship struggler
TEAM GB'S RESULTS AT LONDON 2012
1-1 vs Senegal, Old Trafford: Group A, July 26 (scorer Bellamy 20)
3-1 vs UAE, Wembley: Group A, July 29 (scorers Giggs 16, Sinclair 73, Sturridge 76)
1-0 vs Uruguay, Millennium Stadium: Group A, August 1 (scorer Sturridge 45+1)
1-1 (4-5 pens) vs South Korea, Millennium Stadium: Quarter-final, August 4 (Ramsey 36 pen)
Danny Rose: then Tottenham (Premier League), now Tottenham (Premier League)
Selected as a midfielder for London 2012, the Tottenham man was dropped after the first game and only made one more appearance from the bench.
The full back joined Sunderland on loan soon after the tournament and won young player of the year at the Stadium of Light.
Since returning to Spurs he has gone on to impress in his battle for a starting role with Davies and was England’s first choice left-back at Euro 2016.
After one appearance at London 2012 Danny Rose enjoyed a successful season at Sunderland
Tom Cleverly: then Manchester United (Premier League), now Everton (Premier League)
Viewed as a player who only got his breaks because he played for Manchester United, Cleverly was genuinely impressive at the Olympics. The midfielder finally stopped flattering to deceive at United in 2014 when he was loaned to Aston Villa.
When his Old Trafford contract expired in 2015 he signed for Everton. Now 26, he has not been seen in an England shirt since 2013.
Tom Cleverley was once the next big thing at Manchester United but was released in 2015
Joe Allen: then Swansea (Premier League), now Stoke (Premier League)
Another of the Welsh players in the squad, Allen started every game at London 2012 and six days after the tournament concluded he would seal a move to Liverpool following an impressive season with Swansea.
Often derided in his time at Anfield, especially after being described as the 'Welsh Xavi' by boss Brendan Rodgers, the midfielder almost earned a reprieve in 2016 as he impressed in the final months of the season before going on to be named in the Euro 2016 team of the tournament.
Now the Nou Camp comparisons will have to continue in Mark Hughes’ Barca-lite project at Stoke.
Joe Allen is enjoying a resurgence after starring at Euro 2016 with Wales and has joined Stoke
Ryan Giggs: then Manchester United (Premier League), now retired (unattached)
Giggs was handed the armband for Team GB, partly in reward for his late career renaissance at Manchester United and partly because everyone felt a bit sorry that such a fine player never got a chance at an international tournament. Oh to be cursed with playing for Wales.
The then 38-year-old failed to hold down a starting spot and only came off the bench for extra-time in the shootout loss to South Korea.
The original Welsh Wizard would play two more years for United before a short-spell as interim boss. He then served as assistant under Louis van Gaal. After 29 years at the club as player and coach, Giggs left Old Trafford to pursue a managerial position last month.
Ryan Giggs is now retired and last month ended a 29-year association with United
Jack Cork: then Southampton (Championship), now Swansea (Premier League)
Cork, like fellow GB team-mate Tomkins, had just helped his club side out of the Championship and had previously played for England Under 21s. He got the least minutes of any outfield player in the squad (18), only coming off the bench in the first game.
A regular with Saints as they re-established themselves in the top-flight, the former Chelsea youngster moved to Swansea in January 2015 and has quietly impressed at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea man Jack Cork played the least minutes of any outfield player at London 2012
Aaron Ramsey: then Arsenal (Premier League), now Arsenal (Premier League)
After his first full season with Arsenal following his horrific leg-break Ramsey was very keen to play for Team GB. Although he was named on the bench for the first game he impressed after coming on and earned a starting spot for the rest of the tournament.
Since then he has kicked on and when fit is one of Arsenal’s more consistent performers. For Wales he was the best player at Euro 2016 and many felt had he not been suspended against Portugal they would have progressed to the final.
Aaron Ramsey, who impressed at the Olympics, is now a key player for Arsenal and Wales
Scott Sinclair: then Swansea (Premier League), now Aston Villa (Championship)
A victim of the curse on English youngsters at Manchester City, Sinclair looked a decent Premier League player in his full first season in the top flight with Swansea. A move to the Etihad soon after London 2012 rather dashed that.
A loan to West Brom did not work out either and despite more playing time in an initially temporary move to Villa, Sinclair is now back in the Championship after signing permanently for the relegation-bound side last season.
After the Olympics Scott Sinclair moved to Manchester City where his career faltered
Daniel Sturridge: then Chelsea (Premier League), now Liverpool (Premier League)
Sturridge as dropped for Marvin Sordell against the UAE after being hooked at half-time against Senegal. His penalty miss saw GB crash out of the tournament.
Post-Olympics he returned to Chelsea but struggled to hold down a starting spot before injury saw his spell at the club end in November 2013 with a move to Liverpool following in January.
Since moving to Anfield Sturridge has continued to score goals at a prolific rate but injuries have hampered his progress. He came close to winning the Premier League alongside Luis Suarez in 2014 and went to the World Cup as England’s first choice striker that summer. Handed a squad role at Euro 2016, Sturridge scored a late-winner against Wales at Euro 2016 and should start at Jurgen Klopp’s first choice striker this season.
Daniel Sturridge has gone on to become one of the Premier League's leading strikers, when fit
Craig Bellamy: then Liverpool, now retired (coach at Cardiff)
The final over-age player Bellamy, like Giggs, got his only taste of international tournament football with Team GB. He scored against Senegal and started every game at the Olympics.
After an impressive season as a squad player at Liverpool, Bellamy re-joined Cardiff for a second spell after the conclusion of London 2012 and helped his home-town club reach the Premier League in his first season. After the Bluebirds were relegated following a single term in the top flight Bellamy retired. He has been coaching at Cardiff since December 2014.
Outside of football the former striker runs an MMA gym in the Welsh capital as well as his own foundation which helps youngsters in Sierra Leone gain education alongside football coaching. On occasion he has also popped up on TV for punditry work.
MMA gym ownership and African-based charity work have replaced football for Craig Bellamy
Marvin Sordell: then Bolton (Premier League), now Coventry (League One)
Perhaps the most left-field selection for London 2012, Sordell was named in the squad having just completed a goalless six months with Bolton after a January move from Watford. The striker replaced Sturridge for the second group game but was hauled off at half-time and did not play again.
Sordell stayed with the Trotters after relegation, but was accused by manager Dougie Freedman of being ‘addicted to Facebook’ as he struggled at the Macron.
Sordell was then loaned to Charlton in 2013 but earned a move back to the Premier League with Burnley in 2014. After scoring a single goal for the Clarets he was released from his contract two years early.
Unwanted in the Championship, Sordell could only find a one-year contract with League One Colchester United in 2015 but after scoring six goals in 25 games as the U’s were relegated he earned a move to Coventry for the new season.
Marvin Sordell now plays in League One and suffered social media 'addiction' post-2012
London 2012 did not go well for Pearce. He got the job off the back of his work with the England Under 21s and had even taken charge of the full side the previous February, famously handing Frazier Campbell his sole international cap.
Pearce altered his tactics for almost every Olympic fixture as Team GB flopped and some of his selections for the squad were derided.
A year later, after guiding the England Under 21 to defeat in every one of their European Championships group fixtures, the FA decided to part ways with ‘Psycho’.
July 2014 saw him back in club football when he was appointed boss at the club where he made his name as a player, Nottingham Forest. After a bright start things turned sour at the City Ground and he was sacked seven months into his tenure.
Stuart Pearce struggled at the Olympics and didn't last long as Nottingham Forest boss either
Gareth Bale: then Tottenham (Premier League), now Real Madrid (La Liga)
Bale opted out of the Olympics due to an injury concern after featuring heavily in the pre-tournament promotion. A year later joined Real Madrid for €100million after a final stellar season with Spurs. The Welshman has since won two Champions League medals and helped Wales reach the Euro 2016 semi-final.
Gareth Bale has become a world star after turning down the chance to play for Team GB
David Beckham: then LA Galaxy (MLS), now retired (part-owner of MLS Miami expansion team)
Beckham was overlooked by Pearce for the final 18 despite frequently stating an interest in playing at the Olympics. The England legend retired at the end of the 2013 season after spending his final few months with Paris Saint Germain.
Less than a year after London 2012 David Beckham had hung up his boots for good
Jack Rodwell: then Everton (Premier League), now Sunderland (Premier League)
Another face used in pre-tournament marketing, Rodwell was not selected for Team GB as he continued his recovery from hamstring injury. Joined Manchester City ahead of the 2012-13 season where he would suffer a similar fate to Sinclair before heading to Sunderland to rebuild his career in the summer of 2014.
Jack Rodwell was tipped for the top ahead of London 2012 but is now rebuilding his career
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3721939/Ryan-Giggs-Aaron-Ramsey-Marvin-Sordell-happened-Team-GB-s-Olympic-squad-London-2012.html