England did not have a man sent off
until their 424th match in 1968. Three more were dismissed over the next 30
years, and what was truly a magnificent disciplinary record stood at four
dismissals in the 749 matches played through 26 June 1998.
But in England's next 12 matches over a little
more than a year, the total doubled as four more were sent off, one of them the first England player to
be dismissed on home soil. For the first time, England had two men sent off during the
same season--in European Championship qualifying matches against the same
opponent, Sweden. And for the first time England had players sent off in
consecutive seasons, indeed, in three consecutive seasons.
When Paul Scholes committed two yellow
card foul tackles against Sweden in 1999, he became the first England player to
be dismissed on home soil and thus the first at Wembley Stadium.
Scholes was the only England player
sent off in the 223 matches England played at the Empire Stadium. Steven
Gerrard, on 11 September 2012, was the first player to be sent off
at the new National Stadium.
followed, but it was short. In the second match of England's very next
European Championship qualification campaign, against FYR Macedonia on 16 October
2002, the young yet often-disciplined striker Alan Smith was dismissed for a
second foul tackle, this one coming in time added on at match's end and,
absurdly, after the ball already had crossed the touch line. Smith thus
became the second England player to be sent off on home soil, but this time
at Southampton's new St. Mary's Stadium. Captain David Beckham became
the third player to be sent-off on home soil in October 2005 at Old Trafford, Trafford, Manchester. Captain Steven Gerrard became the fourth
at Wembley, September 2012.
13 of the
14 dismissals occurred
in competitive play. Three came in final tournaments, all in the World
Cup. Nine came in qualifying competitions, four in the World Cup and five in
the European Championship. One came in a friendly match. Seven
occurred in matches played in June/July at the end of
the season and three in matches played in September at the beginning of the
season. Two in October. Ten
occurred in away matches, only four at home.
David Beckham and
Wayne Rooney hold the distinction of being dismissed from the field
twice in their England career. Beckham indeed, was the only
Captain of England to be sent off.
Of the dismissals, only
two were against South American opposition, both Argentina. Another
one against African opposition. The remaining eleven were all against
Of the fourteen
dismissals, only two were made in the first-half.
Following a dismissal,
only one match has ever gone onto to an England victory.
Following Beckham's dismissal at Old Trafford against Austria in
October 2005, England held on to their one-nil victory. A
further nine matches ended in a draw. Only four ended in defeat.