Theo Walcott joined an elite band of Arsenal players when he struck a stunning hat-trick for England against Croatia on Wednesday night.

The 19-year-old opened his international account in emphatic style at the Maksimir Stadium and, in the process, became only the third Arsenal player to score a hat-trick for the Three Lions.

The first Gunner to score an England treble was Ted Drake. The legendary centre forward netted three times in a 6-2 win against Hungary in December 1936. Ironically, Drake's feat was achieved in familiar surroundings - at Highbury.

Drake stood alone as Arsenal's solitary England hat-trick hero until November 1993 when Ian Wright ran riot against San Marino in a 7-1 victory in Bologna. Indeed, Wrighty trumped Drake by grabbing four goals in an easy England win.

However, Walcott's achievement arguably puts both Drake and Wright in the shade. England were up against top-class opposition in Zagreb and Walcott himself was an international novice.

Not any more.

ARSENAL'S ENGLAND HAT-TRICKS
Date Player Goals Opposition H/A/N W/D/L F A
10-09-2008 Theo Walcott 3 Croatia A W 4 1
17-11-1993 Ian Wright 4 San Marino N W 7 1
02-12-1936 Ted Drake 3 Hungary H W 6 2
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 11 Sep 2008