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England Postwar Lineups and Match Highlights
By Norman Giller, Football Author

Part 7:  1975-76 to 1979-80

Norman Giller, long-time football journalist and author of more than 60 football books, has generously sent us England lineups and match highlights from his recent Billy Wright biography, reviewed elsewhere on this website, and his book on England's managers, Don't Shoot the Manager (1994), with permission to reproduce them.

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No 268

Switzerland,  Basle, 3.9.75. England won 2-1

Clemence  Whitworth   Todd Watson  Beattie   Bell    

Currie   Francis G.*  Channon1 Johnson (Macdonald)  Keegan1

Highlights: Kevin Keegan scored from close range in the eighth minute and had a penalty saved three minutes later. David Johnson laid on a second goal for Mike Channon in the nineteenth minute and England looked on course for a comfortable victory. But they got caught in the clutches of complacency, and the Swiss were allowed back into the game after sloppy marking had allowed Muller he freedom of the penalty area for a headed goal in the thirtieth minute. England's defence was often at full stretch in the second-half, but the best scoring chances fell to the feet of substitute Malcolm Macdonald who missed the target twice in the closing stages. Alan Ball was surprised to find himself axed, and started a one-man vendetta against Revie's style of management. It was the first sign that all was not well beneath the surface in the Revie empire.

No 269

Czechoslovakia, Bratislava, 30.10.75. England lost 2-1

Clemence   Madeley  Gillard  Francis G.*  McFarland (Watson) Todd 

Keegan  Channon1 (Thomas)  Macdonald  Clarke  Bell

Highlights: This European championship qualifier had kicked off twenty-four hours earlier but was abandoned after nineteen minutes because of fog. When the game was replayed, the Czechs trailed 1-0 to a Mike Channon goal after twenty six minutes, but the clever Masny laid on an equaliser a minute before half-time and then a winner in the opening minute of the second-half. England were unsettled by the no-holds-barred physical approach of the Czechs, and started to retaliate with reckless tackles of their own in a game that was often brutal. The only player ordered off by a lenient referee was the Czech reserve goalkeeper, who was sent to the dressing-room for disputing a decision from the substitute's bench. It was the general view that at least two Czech players should have followed their team-mate for an early bath because of tackles that were out of the chamber of horrors.

No 270

Portugal, Lisbon 19.11.75. Drew 1-1

Clemence  Whitworth   Beattie  Francis G.* Watson  Todd      

Keegan  Channon1  Macdonald (Thomas)  Brooking  Madeley (Clarke)

Highlights: England went a goal down in their final European championship qualifier to a sixteenth minute free-kick by Rodrigues that swerved viciously on its way into the net from twenty five yards. The Portuguese missed two easy chances before Mike Channon equalised with a free-kick that deflected into the net off a defender three minutes before half-time. England needed a victory to boost their fading chances of reaching the European quarter-finals, but they kept running blindly into an off-side trap. The draw left the Czechs needing only a draw in Cyprus to qualify ahead of England. They beat the Cypriots in a canter and went on to win the championship. England were left kicking themselves.

No 271

Wales, Wrexham, 24.3.76. England won 2-1

Clemence   Cherry (Clement) Mills  Neal   Thompson   Doyle  

Keegan*  Channon (Taylor1)  Boyer  Brooking  Kennedy1

Highlights: Crystal Palace striker Peter Taylor became the first Third Division player capped since Johnny Byrne, then also with Palace, in 1961. Taylor came on as a substitute for Mike Channon and scored the second victory-clinching goal ten minutes from the end  of a match staged to mark the centenary of the Welsh FA. An experimental England side included seven other new caps: Trevor Cherry, Phil Neal, Phil Thompson, Mike Doyle, Phil Boyer, Ray Kennedy and Dave Clement. Kennedy, one of five Liverpool players in the team, gave England the lead in the seventieth minute after a Trevor Brooking centre had been headed out. Alan Curtis scored for Wales in the last minute. Don Revie had been notorious during his career as an outstanding club manager for finding excuses to withdraw players from international duty. Now he was on the receiving end of the club v country controversy, as managers continually pulled players out of his squad at the last minute.

No 272

Wales, Caerdydd, 8.5.76. England won 1-0

Clemence   Clement   Mills   Towers  Greenhoff  Thompson     

Keegan  Francis G.*  Pearson  Kennedy  Taylor1

Highlights: England were fortunate not to be three goals down before Peter Taylor scored the only goal of a scrappy match with a low shot from twenty yards in the fifty-ninth minute. Eight of England's players between them had just ten caps, with Tony Towers, Brian Greenhoff and Stuart Pearson making their debuts. Only some exceptional goalkeeping by Ray Clemence saved England from defeat, and the player turnover was so great that many people were beginning to question Don Revie's grasp of international management. 

No 273

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 11.5.76. England won 4-0

Clemence  Todd  Mills  Thompson  Greenhoff Kennedy           

Keegan (Royle)  Francis G.*1  Pearson1  Channon2 Taylor (Towers)

Highlights: Mike Channon, dropped against Wales, responded to his recall with two goals. His first came from the penalty spot just ninety seconds after skipper Gerry Francis had opened the scoring with a superbly taken goal in the thirty-fifth minute. Stuart Pearson made it 3-0 after the England defence had snuffed out an Irish revival early in the second-half, and Channon rounded off an impressive display when he drove the ball wide of goalkeeper Pat Jennings and into the roof of the net following a clever flick pass by Kevin Keegan.

No 274

Scotland, Hampden Park, 15.5.76. England lost 2-1

Clemence         Todd   Mills   Thompson   McFarland (Doyle) Kennedy           

Keegan  Francis G.* Pearson (Cherry)  Channon1  Taylor

Highlights: This game is a skeleton in goalkeeper Ray Clemence's cupboard. He allowed a half-hit shot from Kenny Daglish to roll through his legs for Scotland's winning goal in the forty-ninth minute. Mike Channon had given England an eleventh minute lead following enterprising play by Roy McFarland, and Bruce Rioch equalised six minutes later when he headed an Eddie Gray corner-kick powerfully wide of Clemence. A spectacular forty yard run by Dalglish ended with Clemence snatching the ball from him in the penalty area, a complete contrast to what was to happen in the second-half. 'It was the worst moment of my career,' Clemence said many years later. 'I thought I had the ball covered, but it bobbled and the next thing I knew it was through my legs and into the net. I wanted the Hampden pitch to open up and hide me.'

No 275

Brazil, Los Angeles, 23.5.76. England lost 1-0

Clemence   Todd  Doyle   Thompson   Mills  Francis G.*  

Cherry  Brooking   Keegan  Pearson     Channon

Highlights: A last minute goal by substitute Roberto gave Brazil a flattering victory in this opening match in the United States Bi-Centennial Tournament. England dominated the match for long periods, but their finishing lacked the accuracy of their  approach play. 'It was heart breaking to lost so late in the game.' Said Don Revie. 'I am sure that any neutral observer would say that England deserved at least a draw.'

No 276

Italy, New York, 28.5.76. England won 3-2

Rimmer (Corrigan) Clement      Neal (Mills)  Thompson1 Doyle  Towers        

Wilkins  Brooking  Royle  Channon*2  Hill

Highlights: England were two goals down inside the first twenty minutes, but they struck back to win with three goals in the opening seven minutes of the second-half. The game was played on an unsatisfactory pitch usually used for baseball, but both teams played open and enterprising football. Channon was in inspiring form as captain, and his two goals sandwiched a headed goal by Phil Thompson from a Gordon Hill corner. Ray Wilkins made an impressive debut. England beat Team America 3-1 three days later in Philadelphia, but it was not considered a full international. Keegan (2) and Gerry Francis scored the goals against a side including Bobby Moore, Tommy Smith and Pele.

No 277

Finland, Helsinki, 13.6.76. England won 4-1

Clemence  Todd  Mills  Thompson  Madeley    Cherry

Keegan2  Channon1  Pearson1  Brooking     Francis G*

Highlights: Kevin Keegan was outstanding as England got off to a flying start in their 1978 World Cup campaign. He laid on the first goal in the fourteenth minute for Stuart Pearson, who returned the compliment after the Finns had forced an equaliser against the run of play. Mike Channon made it 3-1 in the fifty-seventh minute and Keegan wrapped it up three minutes later with a superb solo goal. The only down side of the performance was that England missed a procession of simple chances against the team that were the whipping boys of their group.

No 278

Republic of Ireland, Wembley, 8.9.76. Drew 1-1

Clemence         Todd    Madeley  Cherry  McFarland  Greenhoff         

Keegan*  Wilkins  Pearson1  Brooking  George (Hill)

Highlights: England were flattered by their lead when Stuart Pearson steered a Kevin Keegan cross into the net from close range a minute before half-time. Gerry Daly equalised from the penalty spot following a foul on Steve Heighway. The Irish were always the more inventive side and England were lucky to escape with a draw. Kevin Keegan, skippering the side in place of Gerry Francis, ran himself into the ground in a vain effort to lift the input of his team-mates. Charlie George, ignored by Alf Ramsey in his peak years with Arsenal, was given a belated call by Don Revie, but produced a lack lustre display in his only appearance in an England shirt that lasted just over an hour before he was substituted by Gordon Hill.

No 279

Finland, Wembley, 13.10.76. England won 2-1

Clemence  Todd    Beattie  Thompson  Greenhoff  Wilkins       

Keegan*  Channon  Royle1  Brooking (Mills)  Tueart1 (Hill)

Highlights: England spurted into the lead with a third minute goal from Denis Tueart, but finished with chants of ‘Rubbish’ ringing in their ears after they had made a hash of a World Cup match in which they needed a resounding win against unrated opponents. The Finns played above themselves, and equalised early in the second-half before Joe Royle headed a fifty-second minute winner from Mike Channon's centre. Those close to the England camp knew that all was not well between Don Revie and a faction of Football Association officials, who quietly questioned his methods of management and his commercial interests.

No 280

Italy, Rome, 17.11.76. England lost 2-0

Clemence   Clement (Beattie) Mills  Greenhoff   McFarland       Hughes

Keegan*  Channon  Bowles  Cherry Brooking

Highlights: Italy, including six Juventus players, were a class above England in this crucial World Cup qualifying match. A goal in each half by Antognoni and Bettega was enough to settle it for Italy, who virtually booked their tickets for the finals in Argentina. Just when England needed continuity, quick-change artist Don Revie made six changes plus two positional alterations. He clearly went into this vital game nowhere near knowing what his best side was. The press were beginning to turn against him, and the first of the 'Revie Must Go' newspaper headlines started to appear.

No 281

Holland, Wembley, 9.2.77. England lost 2-0

Clemence   Clement  Beattie  Doyle  Watson  Madeley (Pearson)        

Keegan*  Greenhoff (Todd) Francis T. Bowles Brooking

Highlights: Holland produced what many considered the finest display at Wembley by a visiting team since Hungary beat England 6-3 in 1953. The two Johanns – Cruyff and Neeskens – dictated the pace and pattern of the match and it was Jan Peters, playing in only his second international, who nipped in for two goals in ten minutes in the first half. Trevor Francis made his debut for an England team that spent much of the game chasing shadows. The 90,000 crowd were torn between applauding the brilliance of Holland and slow handclapping the woeful England performance.

No 282

Luxembourg, Wembley, 30.3.77. England won 5-0

Clemence   Gidman  Cherry   Kennedy1           Watson  Hughes          

Keegan*1   Channon2   Royle (Mariner) Francis T.1 Hill

Highlights: Four goals in the last half hour just about kept alive England's faint hopes of qualifying for the 1978 World Cup finals. Kevin Keegan had given England a tenth minute lead, but then they became too anxious against the Luxembourg part-time professionals. Gilbert Dresch was sent off in the eighty-fifth minute for a foul on Mike Channon. He became only the second player sent off in a Wembley international, following Argentine's 1966 World Cup skipper into the black history book. Channon's second goal was from the penalty spot. John Gidman made his debut at right-back, and Paul Mariner got his first taste of international football as a substitute for Joe Royle.

No 283

Northern Ireland, Belfast, 28.5.77. England won 2-1

Shilton   Cherry  Mills  Greenhoff   Watson  Todd        

Wilkins  (Talbot)  Channon*1  Mariner Brooking  Tueart1

Highlights: Dennis Tueart ducked low to head in a Brian Talbot cross in the eighty-sixth minute to give England a victory they barely deserved. Northern Ireland had taken a fifth minute lead through Chris McGrath against an England team weakened by the absence of Liverpool players, who had helped the Merseyside club win the European Cup three days earlier. Mike Channon equalised in the twenty-seventh minute, and then missed two clear-cut chances with headers that were misdirected. Brian Talbot made his debut when replacing Ray Wilkins in the sixty-fifth minute and made an impressive impact with several power-charged runs through the Irish defence. Only a brilliant save by Pat Jennings prevented Talbot marking his first England appearance with a goal shortly before Tueart's winning header.

No 284

Wales, Wembley, 31.5.77. England lost 1-0

Shilton  Neal  Mills   Greenhoff   Watson  Hughes

Keegan* Channon Pearson Brooking (Tueart) Kennedy

Highlights: Wales scored their first victory in England for forty-two years and their first ever at Wembley. Leighton James netted the only goal of the game from the penalty spot a minute before half-time after Peter Shilton had pulled him down following a mistake by Emlyn Hughes. The calls for Don Revie to be replaced were now reaching a crescendo, and the England manager seemed to have lost all the confidence and enthusiasm that were such vital ingredients of his days as manager at Leeds. Unsubstantiated rumours were flying around Fleet Street that Revie was ready to throw in the towel, and it was many months later before it emerged that round about this time he had been making overtures to the Football Association hierarchy about settlement of his contract.

No 285

Scotland, Wembley, 4.6.77. England lost 2-1

Clemence         Neal  Mills  Greenhoff (Cherry) Watson Hughes*         

Francis T.   Channon1    Pearson  Talbot  Kennedy (Tueart)

Highlights: Goals in each half by Gordon McQueen and Kenny Dalglish pushed England to defeat and for the first time they lost consecutive matches at Wembley. Mike Channon's consolation goal came from the penalty spot three minutes from the end of a game in which Scotland were always the more productive and enterprising side. The Scottish fans decided that Wembley belonged to them and started to tear up the hallowed turf, taking huge chunks of it back to Scotland with them. They also wrecked the goals. It brought into question the need for fencing at Wembley and the future of the Home Championship was put in doubt. It all helped fuel Don Revie's increasing distaste for his job as England manager.

No 286

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, 8.6.77. Drew 0-0

Clemence   Neal  Cherry  Greenhoff  Watson  Hughes 

Keegan*  Francis T.     Pearson (Channon) Wilkins (Kennedy) Talbot

Highlights: England could and should have been three goals clear at half-time if they had taken their chances. Brazil were equally careless in front of goal in the second-half, during which acting manager Les Cocker sent on substitutes Ray Kennedy and Mike Channon to put new life into a tiring team. A sequence of saves by Ray Clemence and three off-the-line clearances by Trevor Cherry stopped the Brazilians from snatching victory. What nobody knew is that Don Revie was absent because, disguised in Arab dress, he had gone to the Middle East to be interviewed for the job of supreme of football in the United Arab Emirates.

No 287

Argentina, Buenos Aires, 12.6.77. Drew 1-1

Clemence   Neal  Cherry  Greenhoff (Kennedy) Watson           Hughes

Keegan*  Channon  Pearson1 Wilkins   Talbot

Highlights: Trevor Cherry, with two teeth knocked out by a punch, was unluckily sent off with the culprit Bertoni in the eighty second minute. It was Bertoni who had equalised a third minute goal by Stuart Pearson when he scored with a curling free-kick in the fifteenth minute. The game became bogged down in midfield, with England unable to penetrate Argentina's in-depth defence. Emlyn Hughes cleared off the goal-line in the closing moments. 

No 288

Uruguay, Montevideo, 15.6.77. Drew 0-0

Clemence   Neal   Cherry  Greenhoff    Watson  Hughes          

Keegan*  Channon  Pearson   Wilkins  Talbot

Highlights: Don Revie's last match was notable in that it marked the completion of England's first ever undefeated tour of South America, but the game itself was best forgotten. Uruguay showed interest only in defending their goal, and England's tired players could not work up the energy to find a way through. They finished the tour with only one goal to show for all their effort in three matches. Then came the bombshell news that Revie was deserting to the Arabs. He had been manager for twenty-nine matches, of which fourteen were won, eight drawn and seven lost. Enter Ron Greenwood. It was like a vicar taking over from a second-hand car salesman.

No 289

Switzerland, Wembley, 7.9.77. Drew 0-0

Clemence   Neal   Cherry    McDermott   Watson   Hughes*    

Keegan   Channon (Hill)  Francis T.   Kennedy  Callaghan (Wilkins)

Highlights: Ron Greenwood, appointed first of all in a caretaker capacity, called up seven of the players who had helped Liverpool win the European Cup. His first England selection included veteran Ian Callaghan, who was winning his first cap since the third match of the 1966 World Cup finals eleven years and forty-nine days earlier. But Greenwood's hopes for an instant team rapport were not realised, and England struggled to contain a lively Swiss team. Only a succession of fine saves by goalkeeper Ray Clemence prevented England from going down to an embarrassing defeat.

No 290

Luxembourg, Stad Lëtzebuerg, 12.10.77. England won 2-0

Clemence  Cherry  Watson (Beattie)  Hughes*  Kennedy 1 Callaghan          

McDermott (Whymark)   Wilkins   Francis T.  Mariner1  Hill

Highlights: England needed a goal avalanche to breath life into their hopes of qualifying for the 1978 World Cup finals, but they were too anxious and continually snatched at the chances they created. A thirtieth minute goal by Paul Mariner and  an injury-time goal by Ray Kennedy lifted England to their first victory in seven matches but it was too little too late.  Debutant Trevor Whymark was sent on as substitute for Terry McDermott in a bid to increase the pressure on the Luxembourg defence, but they were too tense and wasted at least six clear-cut opportunities. 'Anxiety got the better of us,' was the summing up of a disappointed Ron Greenwood. 

No 291

Italy, Wembley, 16.11.77. England won 2-0

Clemence   Neal   Cherry   Wilkins       Watson   Hughes*       

Keegan1  (Francis T.)  Coppell   Latchford (Pearson) Brooking1 Barnes

Highlights: Kevin Keegan inspired England's World Cup victory over Italy, a magnificent win that clinched the full-time manager's job for Greenwood. Keegan headed in a Trevor Brooking pass in the eleventh minute, and combined again with Brooking nine minutes from the end when his brilliant through ball was coolly steered wide of goalkeeper Dino Zoff. Greenwood's boldness in playing Steve Coppell and Peter Barnes as wide men was rewarded with some entertaining and incisive old-fashioned wing play. Now England counted the cost of their missed chances against Luxembourg. Italy were left needing just a one-nil victory at home against Luxembourg to clinch the place in the World Cup finals. They won 3-0. England were left kicking themselves … again.

No 292

West Germany, Munich, 22.2.78. England lost 2-1

Clemence   Neal   Mills   Wilkins   Watson        Hughes*          

Keegan   (Francis T.)    Coppell   Pearson1      Brooking   Barnes

Highlights: A disputed goal four minutes from the end robbed England of a deserved draw against the World Cup holders. England had led from late in the first-half when Stuart Pearson beat goalkeeper Sepp Maier with a looping header from a Steve Coppell cross. Hamburg-based Kevin Keegan ran himself to the edge of exhaustion in his attempts to make the game safe, and had to be replaced by Trevor Francis. It was Germany's substitute, Ronnie Worm, who equalised shortly after coming on in the seventy-fifth minute. The previous evening he had scored after being sent on as a substitute in the 'B' international against England. In the closing moments Dave Watson was adjudged to have fouled Burgsmuller, and while England were still forming their defensive wall Rainer Bonhof smacked a free-kick low into the net.  It was Ron Greenwood's first match as official manager, and with a little luck it would have been a winning start. 'We have the nucleus of an excellent team,' he said. 'If we had not lost our concentration when the free-kick was being taken we would have come away with a deserved draw. That's not bad considering we were playing on the home patch of the world champions.'

No 293

Brazil, Wembley, 19.4.78. Drew 1-1

Corrigan   Mills   Cherry   Greenhoff        Watson   Currie        

Keegan*1   Coppell   Latchford    Francis T.      Barnes

Highlights: Brazil, a goal up in ten minutes through Gil, abandoned their silky smooth samba football for uncompromising tactics that led to five of their players being booked. England missed a hatful of chances to equalise before Kevin Keegan earned a merited draw with a Brazilian-style free-kick that he bent round the defensive wall. Football purist Ron Greenwood said privately after the match: 'I would much rather thave been beaten by a Brazil team playing the sort of skilled football that is their tradition than holding to a draw a side that, let's be honest, was thuggish in their approach. It was very sad to see them resorting to such tactics.  That is not the Brazil way.'

No 294

Wales, Caerdydd, 13.5.78. England won 3-1

Shilton  Mills*  Cherry (Currie1)   Greenhoff   Watson  Wilkins

Coppell   Francis T.   Latchford1 (Mariner)      Brooking   Barnes1

Highlights: Two spectacular goals in the last eight minutes - a thirty-five yard rifle shot from Tony Currie followed by a rising drive from the edge of the penalty area by Peter Barnes - gave England a winning send-off to the Home Championship. Currie had come on as a substitute for Trevor Cherry, who was carried off with a fractured collarbone in the sixteenth minute. Bob Latchford gave England an eighth minute lead before limping off to be replaced by Paul Mariner. Wales equalised through Dwyer during a long spell of dominance in the second-half before Currie and Barnes stepped on to the scoring stage.

No 295

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 16.5.78. England won 1-0

Clemence   Neal1   Mills  Wilkins         Watson   Hughes*       

Currie      Coppell   Pearson   Woodcock   Greenhoff

Highlights: Phil Neal scored his first goal for England seconds before half-time to break the resistance of a brave Northern Ireland team for whom Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jim Platt was in outstanding form. The two best chances of the second-half both fell to Dave Watson, who was twice denied goals by the brilliance of Platt.  It was Watson who had created the opening for Neal's goal with a clever back heel, and the Liverpool right back drove through through a forest of legs past the unsighted Platt. Tony Woodcock made his debut and went close to scoring two goals in the final moments, each time being prevented from getting on the scoresheet by man-of-the-match Platt.

No 296

Scotland, Hampden Park, 20.5.78. England won 1-0

Clemence   Neal   Mills   Currie  Watson   Hughes* (Greenhoff)           

Wilkins   Coppell1   Mariner (Brooking)  Francis T.   Barnes

Highlights: Scotland were given a miserable send-off to the World Cup finals in Argentina when England beat them, although a draw would have been a fairer reflection of the play. The Scots had long periods of possession but could make little impact against an England defence in which Dave Watson was a tower of strength.  Scotland disputed the deciding goal in the eighty-third minute. They claimed that goalkeeper Alan Rough was fouled by Trevor Francis when he dropped a cross from Peter Barnes. Steve Coppell fired the loose ball into the net to clinch the Home Championship for England. Even in the wake of this defeat Scottish manager Ally Macleod persisted with his wildly optimistic forecast that Scotland could win the World Cup.

No 297

Hungary, Wembley, 24.5.78. England won 4-1

Shilton   Neal1  Mills    Wilkins  Watson (Greenhoff) Hughes* 

Keegan  Coppell (Currie1)   Francis T.1   Brooking  Barnes1

Highlights: England, with Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking pulling the Hungarian defence apart,  rushed into a 3-0 lead inside the first thirty-five minutes through Peter Barnes, a Phil Neal penalty and a Trevor Francis header. Hungary had their best moments immediately after half-time and pulled a goal back through Nagy before Tony Currie finished them off with a crashing shot from the edge of the area in the seventy-third minute. Ron Greenwood could not disguise his delight at the finest display by England for several months. 'Like anybody from my generation,' he said, 'I always associate Hungary with the Puskas team of the 1950s, and so a victory like this is particularly special. I have been saying that we have the players to match the best, and tonight it was proved that I am not talking nonsense.'

No 298

Denmark, Copenhagen, 20.9.78. England won 4-3

Clemence   Neal1   Mills   Wilkins   Watson   Hughes*

Keegan2   Coppell   Latchford1  Brooking       Barnes

Highlights: Kevin Keegan headed two goals from well-directed free-kicks only to see  the Danes allowed to pull level with two goals inside five minutes against a less than disciplined England defence. Bob Latchford directed a header against a post and Keegan also hit the woodwork as both teams played all-out attacking football in what coach Don Howe later described as 'the most exciting international match I've ever seen.' England regained the lead through a disputed goal by Bob Latchford after the break and Phil Neal made it 4-2 before the Danes forced a third goal in the dying moments  of a pulsating European championship qualifying match.

No 299

Republic of Ireland, Dublin, 25.10.78. Drew 1-1

Clemence   Neal   Mills   Wilkins  Watson (Thompson)   Hughes*        

Keegan    Coppell   Latchford1   Brooking   Barnes (Woodcock)

Highlights: Bob Latchford headed an early goal with the help of a deflection in this second European championship qualifier, but England became disjointed after centre-half Dave Watson went off with an injury in the twenty-first minute. Steve Coppell, continually running the Irish defence into disarray, smacked a shot against the bar and Kevin Keegan headed wide when well placed before Gerry Daly hooked in an equaliser. Mark Lawrenson and David O'Leary were rock solid at the heart of the Irish defence, and Liam Brady was their most creative player as Ireland battled to a deserved draw.

No 300

Czechoslovakia, Wembley, 29.11.78. England won 1-0

Shilton    Anderson   Cherry   Thompson   Watson   Wilkins     

Keegan*   Coppell1     Woodcock (Latchford)    Currie   Barnes

Highlights: Steve Coppell scored the only goal of the match on a frozen Wembley pitch that ruined the game as a spectacle. The Czechs coped with the conditions better and deserved at least a draw against an overworked England defence in which Peter Shilton was at his majestic best. Nottingham Forest right back Viv Anderson created history by becoming the first black player to be capped by England, and he played a prominent part in the only goal against the European champions in the sixty-eighth minute. He combined on the right with Tony Currie, whose low cross into the goalmouth was driven home by the alert Coppell as two Czech defenders ran into each other on the slippery surface.

No 301

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 7.2.79. England won 4-0

Clemence   Neal   Mills   Currie   Watson1       Hughes*         

Keegan1   Coppell   Latchford2   Brooking      Barnes

Highlights: Kevin Keegan was irrepressible after bravely heading England into an early lead in the face of a strong challenge from goalkeeper Pat Jennings. He then laid on the first of Bob Latchford's two goals with an accurate cross, and back headed a Trevor Brooking corner on to Dave Watson for the fourth goal in this European championship qualifier. The victory sent England leap frogging over the Irish in the group table to top place. Northern Ireland manager Danny Blanchflower fumed, 'I know that football is a game of physical contact, but England took this to extremes. There were times when I was surprised they wanted a ball to kick.'

No 302

Northern Ireland, Belfast, 19.5.79. England won 2-0

Clemence   Neal   Mills*    Thompson   Watson 1  Wilkins       

Coppell1   McDermott   Latchford       Currie   Barnes

Highlights: Dave Watson and Steve Coppell each scored in the first fifteen minutes to sink Northern Ireland in this Home Championship match. England missed the prolific partnership that had been developing between Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking, and they lacked the drive and direction that had put them so in command against the Irish at Wembley three months earlier. The victory gave England a huge psychological advantage with a crucial European championship match scheduled for the autumn.

No 303

Wales, Wembley, 23.5.79. Drew 0-0

Corrigan  Cherry  Sansom Wilkins Watson  Hughes*   

Keegan  Currie (Brooking)  Latchford (Coppell)  McDermott  Cunningham

Highlights: England created enough chances to have won comfortably, but their finishing was weak and wayward. Kenny Sansom played in the first of his 86 international matches, making him the most capped England full-back of all time. West Bromwich Albion winger Laurie Cunningham also made his debut. The inventive Trevor Brooking brought fresh lines of attack when he substituted for Tony Currie, but the forwards continued to hit and miss. 'Our finishing,' said Greenwood, 'left a lot to be desired, but I was pleased with our commitment.'

No 304

Scotland, Wembley, 26.5.79. England won 3-1

Clemence   Neal  Mills   Thompson       Watson  Wilkins          

Keegan*1   Coppell1  Latchford   Brooking    Barnes1

Highlights: Scotland took a twenty-sixth minute lead through John Wark as they put England on the rack in the first-half and it was against the run of play when Peter Barnes equalised. A couple of stunning saves by Ray Clemence lifted England's confidence and they bossed the second-half, with goals from Steve Coppell and Kevin Keegan giving them the Home Championship. One of the highlights was a save by Ray Clemence rated as good as any seen at Wembley. Joe Jordan hammered in a first-half shot from twenty yards which took a huge deflection off the head of Dave Watson. Clemence was committed to to diving to his left to save the original shot, and somehow managed to twist in mid-air and turn the ball off target with his right fist.  It helped wipe out the memory of his gifted goal to Kenny Dalglish in a previous game against the Scots. 

No 305

Bulgaria, Sofia, 6.6.79. England won 3-0

Clemence   Neal  Mills   Thompson       Watson1  Wilkins        

Keegan*1  Coppell  Latchford (Francis T.)  Brooking Barnes1 (Woodcock)

Highlights: England played with tremendous fervour despite suffocating heat-wave conditions. The Bulgarians threatened to take an early lead when Ray Clemence pushed a header by Borisov against a post, but then Kevin Keegan scored after combining with Trevor Brooking. England clinched victory early in the second-half of this European championship qualifier with two headed goals in a minute, first by Dave Watson and then Peter Barnes. Ron Greenwood said later, 'Our plan was for Kevin Keegan to play a deeper role than usual. This gave us extra drive in midfield, and confused the Bulgarians who had worked out a man to man marking policy to try to curb Kevin's freedom of movement.'

No 306

Sweden, Stockholm, 10.6.79. Drew 0-0

Shilton  Anderson   Cherry  McDermott (Wilkins) Watson Thompson)  Hughes*          

Keegan     Currie (Brooking)   Francis T.  Woodcock  Cunningham

Highlights: In a match dominated by defences Emlyn Hughes came closest to scoring in the first-half when he raced sixty yards before unleashing a shot that rattled the Swedish crossbar. Ron Greenwood made nine changes for a game staged to mark the 75th anniversary of the Swedish FA, and the England manager decided to use the occasion to try out fringe players. Two splendid saves by Peter Shilton stopped the Swedes from celebrating their milestone with a victory. Shilton's performance made Greenwood reconsider his view that Ray Clemence was his No 1 choice goalkeeper, and he started to play them in alternative matches. Many people considered he should have stopped dithering and given the top spot to Shilton without any hesitation.

No 307

Austria, Vienna, 13.6.79. England lost 4-3

Shilton (Clemence)  Neal  Mills   Thompson  Watson  Wilkins1           

Keegan*1  Coppell1  Latchford (Francis T.)  Brooking  Barnes (Cunningham)

Highlights: England had just a Kevin Keegan goal to show at half-time in reply to three first-half goals by the Austrians in a match littered with defensive errors. Goals by Steve Coppell and Ray Wilkins brought England battling back to 3-3, only for them to lose to a late goal headed past substitute goalkeeper Ray Clemence by Pezzey following a free-kick. It was England's  first set-back since the 2-1 defeat by West Germany back in February, 1978, and the first time they had conceded more than three goals since the 5-1 defeat by Brazil back in 1964.

No 308

Denmark, Wembley, 9.9.79. England won 1-0

Clemence   Neal  Mills  Thompson   Watson  Wilkins   

Coppell   McDermott   Keegan*1  Brooking   Barnes

Highlights: England took an important step towards qualifying for the final stages of the European championship finals with this narrow win over the Danes. Kevin Keegan, shaking off the handicap of a recurring leg injury, scored the only goal of the match with a left foot volley after a driving right wing run by Phil Neal in the eighteenth minute. Ron Greenwood settled for a 4-3-3 formation, with Terry McDermott joining Ray Wilkins and Trevor Brooking in midfield. They narrowly won the struggle for midfield supremacy, and Brooking found time to push forward to support Keegan in his bustling, trademark runs that made him a constant menace to the Danish defence. The Danes had an exceptional player in Barcelona forward Allan Simonsen, but luckily for England his team-mates were not in the same class and squandered several chances that he created. 

No 309

Northern Ireland, Belfast, 17.10.79. England won 5-1 (own goal1)

Shilton  Neal   Mills   Thompson  Watson Wilkins        

Keegan*   Coppell   Francis T.2   Brooking (McDermott)  Woodcock2

Highlights: England virtually clinched a place in the European championship finals with this resounding win on a soaking-wet Windsor Park pitch. Both Trevor Francis and Tony Woodcock scored in each half, and the rout was completed in the seventieth minute when Chris Nicholl turned a Phil Neal centre into his own net. Northern Ireland's goal came midway through the second-half from a Moreland penalty. The Irish defence had no answer to the probing runs of Trevor Francis and Tony Woodcock, both of whom gave peak-power performances.

No 310

Bulgaria, Wembley, 22.11.79. England won 2-0

Clemence   Anderson   Sansom   Thompson* Watson1  Wilkins         

Reeves    Hoddle1   Francis T.   Kennedy  Woodcock

Highlights: Fog caused the first ever postponement of a Wembley international and  the twenty-four hour delay meant that Kevin Keegan had to miss the game to return to Hamburg. Phil Thompson took over as skipper, and Kevin Reeves and Glenn Hoddle came in for their international debuts. Dave Watson scored the first goal when he headed in a Hoddle cross in the eighth minute, and it was Hoddle who made his debut one to remember with the second match-clinching goal when he side footed the ball powerfully into the net from twenty yards in the sixty-ninth minute. Hoddle said later: 'There is nothing to beat the satisfaction of scoring your first goal for your country.'

No 311

Republic of Ireland, Wembley, 6.2.80. England won 2-0

Clemence   Cherry   Sansom    Thompson   Watson  Robson   

Keegan*2   McDermott   Johnson (Coppell)  Woodcock   Cunningham

Highlights: A goal in each half by the buzzing Kevin Keegan sank the Irish in this final European championship qualifier. England played with pace and power for an hour but their rhythm was upset when David Johnson – recalled after five years in the international wilderness – had to go off following a sickening clash of heads that caused a long delay. It was Keegan's speed, energy and improvisation that gave England a decisive edge, and Laurie Cunningham also caused problems to the Irish defence with a procession of cleverly flighted corners. A feature of a generally uneventful match was the forceful debut of West Bromwich Albion midfield player Bryan Robson.

No 312

Spain, Barcelona, 26.3.80. England won 2-0

Shilton  Neal (Hughes)   Mills  Thompson  Watson  Wilkins      

Keegan*   Coppell  Francis T.1 (Cunningham)  Kennedy  Woodcock1

Highlights: England ran the Spanish defence to a nervous breakdown, and they might have had three goals before Tony Woodcock opened the scoring in the sixteenth minute. Trevor Francis put the seal on a magnificent team performance when he collected a pass from Steve Coppell, outpaced two defenders and beat oncoming goalkeeper Arconada with a perfectly placed cross shot. England would have won by at least five goals but for a succession of superb saves by man-of-the-match Arconada. Playing in his fiftieth international match, the ever-effervescent Keegan was again England's outstanding player.

No 313

Argentina, Wembley, 13.5.80. England won 3-1

Clemence   Neal (Cherry) Sansom   Thompson   Watson  Wilkins        

Keegan*1   Coppell  Johnson2 (Birtles) Woodcock  Kennedy (Brooking)

Highlights: World champions Argentina - including the great Maradona - were often chased off their feet by an England team playing above itself. David Johnson, recalled in place of injured Trevor Francis, scored either side of the half-time interval to give England a commanding 2-0 lead.  Maradona, who had decorated the match with a series of typically explosive runs, was brought down by Kenny Sansom in the fifty-fourth minute and Daniel Passarella scored from the penalty spot. Kevin Keegan then showed why he had been voted European Footballer of the Year for a second successive season when he crashed a low shot into the net after combining with Johnson and Coppell to restore England's two-goal lead. It was a magnificent team performance, and in no way disrupted by three substitutions that brought Trevor Brooking, Trevor Cherry and Garry Birtles into the action. 'This is the standard that we must try to maintain,' said a highly satisfied Ron Greenwood.

No 314

Wales, Wrexham, 17.5.80. England lost 4-1

Clemence   Neal (Sansom) Cherry   Thompson*  Lloyd (Wilkins) Kennedy

Coppell   Hoddle  Mariner1  Brooking  Barnes

Highlights: Just four days after their triumph over the world champions, England showed their worst side with a loose performance against a Welsh team out to impress their new manager Mike England. Larry Lloyd, recalled to the middle of the England defence after eight years, had a nightmare match. He was booked, injured and substituted after being given a chasing by a lively Welsh forward line in which Leighton James was outstanding. Paul Mariner gave England the lead in the sixteenth minute, but Wales quickly equalised through Mickey Thomas. Two goals from James and an own goal by Phil Thompson piled on the misery for an England team missing the drive and industry of injured Kevin Keegan. It was England's first defeat in Wales since 1955.

No 315

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 20.5.80. Drew 1-1

Corrigan  Cherry   Sansom   Hughes*  Watson   Wilkins          

Reeves (Mariner)  McDermott  Johnson1   Brooking  Devonshire

Highlights: Ron Greenwood made sweeping changes – nine in all - following the demoralising defeat by Wales, and Alan Devonshire came in for his debut. An undistinguished game seemed set for a goalless draw until David Johnson forced the ball into the Irish net in the eighty-first minute. Northern Ireland equalised just a minute later when substitute Cochrane rammed the ball past the previously redundant Joe Corrigan.  The team play that had been such a feature against Argentina just a week earlier was non-existent against the Irish, who fully deserved their draw in a game that rarely got out of a midfield rut.

No 316

Scotland, Hampden Park, 24.5.80. England won 2-0

Clemence   Cherry  Sansom  Thompson* Watson Wilkins        

Coppell1   McDermott   Johnson  Mariner (Hughes) Brooking1

Highlights: A goal in each half by Trevor Brooking and Steve Coppell lifted England to a victory that put them in good heart for the European championship finals three weeks away. Brooking scored his goal after just seven minutes, continuing where he had left off as West Ham's goal hero against Arsenal in the FA Cup Final. It was a Brooking back-heel that set up Coppell's goal in the seventy-fifth minute, the Manchester United winger steering the ball home after goalkeeper Alan Rough had parried his first shot. Ron Greenwood said: 'Our performances against Argentina and now Scotland prove what we are capable of when we get it right. We must find consistency at the highest level.'

No 317

Australia, Sydney, 31.5.80. England won 2-1

Corrigan   Cherry*   Lampard      Talbot   Osman   Butcher      

Robson (Greenhoff)  Sunderland (Ward)  Mariner1      Hoddle1 Armstrong (Devonshire)

Highlights: A virtual England ‘B’ team traveled ‘Down Under’ to play in a match  to celebrate one hundred years of football in Australia. Goals from Paul Mariner and Glenn Hoddle gave England a 2-0 half-time lead, and the Australians managed to pull one back through a second-half penalty. Ipswich partners Russell Osman and Terry Butcher made their debuts together at the heart of the England defence, and there was also a first cap for Alan Sunderland, who was substituted by another debutant in Peter Ward. Neither player was selected by England again. David Armstrong won the first of his three caps.

No 318

Belgium, Turin, 12.6.80. Drew 1-1

Clemence   Neal   Sansom   Thompson   Watson   Wilkins1

Keegan*   Coppell (McDermott)   Johnson (Kennedy)  Woodcock      Brooking

Highlights: England's opening match in the European championship finals was scarred by a sickening outbreak of hooliganism by a section of their so-called supporters. The violence erupted after the Belgians had struck back with an immediate equaliser to a classic goal in the twenty-second minute by Ray Wilkins, who collected a clearance, lobbed the ball over the defence and then ran forward to collect his own pass and to direct a hook shot into the roof of the net. Ceulemans scored following a corner just a minute later, and this triggered wide-spread fighting on the terraces. The police fired tear gas to try to restore order, and several of the England players were affected and the game had to be temporarily suspended. What had been a keenly competitive match lost its impetus, and England had to be satisfied with a draw. Tony Woodcock looked unlucky to have a goal ruled offside just before the Wilkins strike, but it was sadly a game that would be remembered for the ugly scenes on the terraces rather than the football on the pitch.

No 319

Italy, Turin, 15.6.80. England lost 1-0

Shilton    Neal   Sansom   Thompson     Watson   Wilkins         

Keegan*   Coppell   Birtles (Mariner)   Kennedy   Woodcock

Highlights: Tardelli settled a polished and peaceful game with one of the goals of the tournament twelve minutes from the end. Graziani powered past Phil Neal before delivering the ball into the path of Tardelli, who beat Shilton with an unstoppable volley at the near post. It had class written all over it and was a worthy winner of a game England often dominated with fast, skilful football that had the disciplined Italian defence stretched near to breaking point. Ray Kennedy came closest to scoring for England when he rifled a second-half shot against a post with Dino Zoff beaten.

No 320

Spain, Naples, 18.6.80. England won 2-1

Clemence   Anderson (Cherry)  Mills   Thompson  Watson  Wilkins     

McDermott   Hoddle (Mariner)   Keegan*    Woodcock1   Brooking1

Highlights: England needed a clear two-goal victory over Spain to qualify for the third and fourth play-off. Spain packed the midfield and made it difficult for a much-changed England team to get any rhythm. Trevor Brooking gave England the lead in the nineteenth minute when he steered the ball over the line from a Ray Wilkins header following a free-kick for one of several fouls on dangerman Kevin Keegan. Ray Clemence conceded a disputed penalty early in the second-half from which Cardenosa scored an equaliser. Six minutes later Spain were awarded a second penalty after a foul by Dave Watson. Dani beat Clemence but was ordered to retake the spot-kick, and this time the Liverpool goalkeeper made a dramatic save. England lifted their game and had the satisfaction of snatching a deserved victory when the industrious Tony Woodcock steered the ball home after a thumping shot from Terry McDermott had been pushed out. England went out of the tournament with their heads held high, but disgraced by a minority of moronic supporters.

____________________

CG