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BC Index England in The Home International (British) Championships 1884-85
1883-84 (1st)
British Championship 1883-84 Table - Final Placings
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Scotland (1) 3 3 0 0 10 1 +9 6
England 3 2 0 1 12 2 +10 4
Wales 3 1 0 2 7 8 -1 2
Ireland 3 0 0 3 1 19 -18 0

Home International Championship 1883-84 - Matches

1 26 January 1884 - Ireland 0 Scotland 5 [0-2]
Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast (2,000)
Harrower (2), Gossland (2), Goudie
2 9 February 1884 - Wales 6 Ireland 0 [1-0]
The Racecourse, Wrexham (2,000)
Shaw (2), W.Owen (2), Jones, Eyton-Jones
3 23 February 1884 - Ireland 1 England 8 [0-4]
Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast (3,000)
Johnson, C.Bambridge (3), H.Cursham (3), Holden
4 15 March 1884 - Scotland 1 England 0 [1-0]
Cathkin Park, Glasgow (10,000 to 20,000)
Smith AL
5 17 March 1884 - Wales 0 England 4 [0-1]
The Racecourse, Wrexham (3,000 to 6,000)
Bromley-Davenport (2), Bailey, Gunn AW
6 29 March 1884 - Scotland 4 Wales 1 [1-1]
Cathkin Park, Glasgow
Lindsay, Shaw, Kay (2)


The Home International Championship began as a natural progression from the series of annual friendly matches the home country teams played against each other in the 1870s and early 1880s.  England began playing Scotland in 1872, Wales in 1879 and and Ireland in 1882.  Wales began playing Scotland in 1876 and Ireland in 1882.  Scotland's first match with Ireland in 1884 completed the itinerary and was the first match played in the first Home International Championship tournament.

The birth of the Home International Championship was intertwined with the creation of the International Football Association Board, the first and oldest of international football's governing bodies.  The first friendly matches between England and Scotland were played according to the laws of the country which hosted the match, English rules prevailing one year and Scottish the next.  In 1882, the Football Association, firm in its resolve there should be uniformity in the laws, invited the associations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland to discuss the formation of a board to settle their differences and to organise an international championship.  Scotland at first declined the invitation, relenting only after the Football Association threatened to end the yearly international matches.  At a meeting in Manchester on 6 December 1882, the four associations adopted a uniform code and established the International Football Association Board to legislate changes in the Laws of the Game, to settle differences in their interpretation and administration and to govern international play.  

With a satisfactory mechanism in place to regulate international play, the groundwork had been laid for formalisation of the friendly matches between the home country teams into an annual championship.

But that 1882 Conference did not formally acknowledge a Championship, The newspaper reports were still more interested in the series of results between the countries, instead of a league system. The Football League was still six years off, and even they had to construct an idea to formalise the league results in the form of a League Table. Which suggests that no so league sytem was in place with the Home Championships!

Perhaps, it's historians that decided that the championship began when Ireland met Scotland for the first time in 1884, purely because that was the first season when all six fixtures were played. So, it could be over-reactive to say that this was the first Championship. It would appear that the players were unaware of it, anyway! To them, it was just bragging rights.