This website is the
progression of our
effort to present a comprehensive and accurate record of England's national football team. We start
with a match list containing essential match details: the match number, the date, the
opposition, the venue, including the stadium or ground, the matchs status or type,
the final and half-time scores, the result and recently included, the summarised
goalscorers. It does not include the
goal times, the lineups, the substitutions, the officials and other match details. Those
we leave to a series of comprehensive match summaries and a database we are
preparing. Eventually we hope to post a complete set of match summaries which,
unlike those available elsewhere, will contain as much detail on the opposition as on the
We have drawn on a large number of
sources. Every match has been checked against several
well-known England results lists--none of which are free of errors, omissions and
inconsistencies--and a large variety of other materials, including records of the World
Cup, the European Championship and the national teams that have played England. We have
relied not only on printed materials, but also on the rapidly increasing and improving
resources on the Internet.
The need for this website arises
largely because the Football Association (F.A.) has failed to provide a record of the
national side that is both accurate and adequately detailed. The match lists in
the F.A.'s most recent history--Niall Edworthy, England: The Official F.A. History
(Virgin Books, London, 1997)--and a recent annual--The Official FA and England Yearbook 1998-99
(Pan Books, London, 1998)--were
sloppily prepared; they contain several inaccuracies and inconsistencies and are sparse in
detail. Regrettably, the same is true of the records appearing on the F.A.'s official website. Still, because the
F.A., as the game's governing body in England, keeps the England teams official records, its
published lists of Englands official matches must be given attention.
[edit - The FA have since updated their excellent Archive section, albeit,
sprinkled with errors, still]
list of official England matches, we have followed the F.A.'s
determinations. If the F.A. has recognised a match as official, so have
we, although, because of sloppiness and conflicts in the F.A.'s published
records, it is not always easy to resolve precisely what status the F.A. has
given a particular match. We discuss the
England matches which raise status questions elsewhere.
matches regarded as unofficial are listed separately.
Home, Away and
Neutral Venue Matches
We have been slightly unconventional in
at least one respect. We have distinguished between matches played in the country of the
opponent--true away matches--and matches played at a neutral venue, where neither
team has the advantage of playing at home.
FIFA and UEFA regard matches at the finals of
their respective tournaments--the World Cup and the European Championship--as played at
neutral venues even when the team of the host nation is playing, and they formally
designate home and away teams only for match summary and uniform purposes. Thus, for
example, England were formally designated as the "away" team for some of the
matches played at Wembley Stadium in the European Championship finals of 1996. We have not
gone that far because we prefer substance and reality over formality and technicality.
Thus we have listed the venue as neutral only where neither team enjoys the home
advantage. When England have played against the nation hosting the tournament--as in
several World Cup and European Championship finals as well as lesser
tournaments--we have counted that as an away match.
When England have hosted the tournament--as in the World Cup finals of 1966 and the
European Championship finals of 1996--we have regarded Englands matches as played at
This approach is not without its
difficulties because football matches are, of course, subject to the peculiarities of the
surrounding world. Thus, when England played a friendly match against Mexico in 1986 in
Los Angeles, it was in substance an away match for England because Mexico often
Los Angeles, a city with a huge Mexican immigrant population, and because the crowd
overwhelmingly supported Mexico. Nonetheless, our insistence on substance over form has
its limits. We are not in the business of gauging crowd sentiment, and we have regarded
Los Angeles as a neutral venue for this match because neither team played on native soil.
On the other hand, we have counted as an England away match the World Cup qualifying match
against San Marino in Bologna, Italy in 1993 because San Marino chose to play the home
legs of its qualifying matches against England and Holland there. Yet we have counted as
an England home match Englands 1973 British Championship match against Northern
Ireland in Liverpool although it was technically Northern Irelands home match, civil
unrest having forced Northern Ireland to play all its home internationals elsewhere from
1972 to 1974.
We believe the principles underlying our decisions on these matches are
consistent. Any match played in the country of one of the teams must be regarded as a home
match for that team and as an away match for the visiting team. Any match played in a
third-party country must be regarded as having a neutral venue unless one of the teams has
chosen to play its home matches there.
We have divided England's
matches into five types. Four of these are self-evident--British
Championship (also known as the Home International Championship), World Cup,
European Championship (formerly known as the European Nations' Cup) and friendly
The fifth category
consists of minor tournament/cup matches--games which
are not part of one of the major competitive tournaments in which England have
taken part, but which nevertheless present a distinctly
competitive element missing from friendly matches. We have included in
this category, first, all matches England played in minor tournaments, and,
second, all stand-alone matches played for a cup that England contested on a
regular basis. Not included are stand-alone cup games which England played
on a one-off basis. Such games are more akin to friendly matches in which
the winning team just happened to be awarded a trophy than they are to
competitive tournament or cup matches. Thus we have included all matches England played for the Rous
Cup although it involved only a single match against Scotland the first two
times it was contested because England competed for that cup regularly from 1985
to 1989. But we have not included, for example, England's match against
South Africa on 22 May 2003 although the International Launch Trophy
commemorating the launch of South Africa's bid to host World Cup 2010 was
awarded to England for their 2-1 victory; the match was a one-off affair and in
substance merely a friendly.
We will add a sixth category of matches if and when England
qualify for the Confederations Cup tournament.
Nations come and go,
split into different nations, unite or reunite, and these changes are
accompanied by changes in their national football teams. We have made a
preliminary decision to keep separate records for each national
team representing a new national entity. We have thus decided to maintain
separate records for:
Ireland (pre-partition), Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (formerly
known as the Irish Free State and Eire).
Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Germany (pre-Second World War and post-1990), West Germany and East Germany.
Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia, and all the other nations created or
recreated when the Soviet Union broke up.
Yugoslavia and all the new nations created or recreated when it splintered.
We could well change
our mind on this. If we do, we will lump together the records of nations
are clearly predecessor and successor, but we will continue to maintain separate
records for "splinter" nations created or recreated by the partitioning of a larger
nation. Thus we would combine
the records of united
Ireland/Northern Ireland, Bohemia/Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, united Germany/West
Germany, U.S.S.R./Commonwealth of Independent States/Russia, united Yugoslavia/new Yugoslavia (renamed Serbia and
Montenegro in 2003, and have since seperated since). But we would
continue to maintain separate records for "spin-off" nations like the Republic of Ireland,
Slovakia, German Democratic Republic, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania,
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.