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Where England Have Played Home Matches

Location

Matches Date of Last
Empire Stadium, Wembley 223 7 October 2000
National Stadium, Wembley 44 15 November 2014
London (other than Wembley) 40 12 February 2003
Manchester 22 7 February 2007
Liverpool 20 1 March 2006
This tally does not inlude England's match with Northern Ireland at Goodison Park in May 1973, this was an Ireland home match.
Birmingham 10 9 February 2005
Newcastle-upon-Tyne 7 30 March 2005
Sheffield 3 October 1962
Sunderland 6 2 April 2003
Blackburn 5 3 March 1924
Wolverhampton 4 5 December 1956
Middlesbrough 11 June 2003
Stoke-on-Trent 3 18 November 1936
Derby 25 May 2001
Nottingham 2 15 March 1909
Bristol 17 March 1913
West Bromwich 8 December 1924
Leeds 27 March 2002
Southampton 16 October 2002
Portsmouth 1 2 March 1903
Bradford 13 February 1909
Burnley 28 November 1927
Blackpool 17 October 1932
Huddersfield 27 November 1946
Leicester 3 June 2003
Ipswich 20 August 2003
All 415 15 November 2014

Notes

For almost 80 years, England had no fixed home and played at grounds around the country.  Their first home match, the second international, was against Scotland at The Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval in Kennington, London on 8 March 1873.  The Oval remained the venue for their next four home matches, three against Scotland and one against Wales.  Their first home match outside London was against Wales at Alexandra Meadows in Blackburn on 26 February 1881.  

England began playing at the Empire Stadium in Wembley in 1924, the year after it opened.  Their first Wembley match, a 1-1 British Championship draw with their oldest rival, Scotland, on 12 April 1924, drew a disappointing crowd, and the next home match against Scotland in 1926 was played at Old Trafford in Manchester.  But the fixture returned to Wembley in 1928--along with a huge Scottish contingent which boosted the attendance well above the acceptable level--and it remained there until the annual England-Scotland rivalry ended in the late 1980's.  

Over almost three decades, England played only Scotland at Wembley while continuing to use grounds around the country for their other home matches.  Because home matches against Scotland came only every two years and because World War II led to a seven-year break in official international play, England played at Wembley only nine times from the first match in 1924 until the end of 1950.  Nevertheless--perhaps in recognition of England's role in founding the modern game, the status of the England-Scotland rivalry as the oldest in international football and the England team's pre-eminence during the 1920's and 1930's--Wembley had gained, long before mid-century, worldwide regard as the citadel of football and hence as hallowed ground.

In May, 1951, a month after Scotland had played their 10th British Championship match at Wembley, Argentina, the first national team from the Americas to visit England, became the first side other than Scotland to meet England at Wembley.  Later that same year, Austria, too, were granted Wembley status, although friendly matches against Portugal and France were played at Goodison Park in Liverpool and Arsenal Stadium in London, and the British Championship match against Northern Ireland was held at Villa Park in Birmingham.  The following year, 1952, the British Championship match against Wales was played at Wembley, but in 1953, although the Scotland match continued on the Wembley stage, the British Championship match against Northern Ireland was held at Goodison Park.  

Wales again played at Wembley in the British Championship match of 1954, and by then Wembley had become the regular venue for visitors from abroad.  Belgium played at Wembley in 1952, the Rest of Europe and Hungary in 1953, and West Germany and Spain in 1954.  Just before meeting Spain, in November, 1954, England at last played Northern Ireland at Wembley.  It was then that Wembley became firmly established as the national side's home venue.  For the rest of the century, England rarely played their home matches at venues other than Wembley, although it did not become their exclusive home until 1966.  

Indeed, of the 227 home matches England played in the second half of the 20th century--from the beginning of 1951 until the end of 2000--only 13 were staged elsewhere.  Three of those were in 1951 itself with another three coming later in the 1950's, three in the 1960's, one in the 1970's (and that only because in 1973 civil unrest forced Northern Ireland to play its home British Championship match in Liverpool, not an England home match however), none in the 1980's, and three in the 1990's.  From the friendly match against Poland at Goodison Park on 5 January 1966 until the Umbro Cup International Challenge Tournament match against Sweden at Elland Road in Leeds on 8 June 1995--a span just short of 30 years--England did not play a single true home match at a venue other than Wembley.  

England's Home Matches Played at Venues Other than Wembley from 1951 to 1999
No. Date - Match - Venue and History
264 19 May 1951 - England 5 Portugal 2, Goodison Park, Walton, Liverpool - 1st visit since 1949
265 3 October 1951 - England 2 France 2, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London - 1st visit since 1950
267 14 November 1951 - England 2 Northern Ireland 0, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Aston, Birmingham - 1st visit since 1948
283 11 November 1953 - England 3 Northern Ireland 1, Goodison Park, Walton, Liverpool - 1st visit since 1951
310 5 December 1956 - England 5 Denmark 2, Molineux, Waterloo Road North, St.Peter's, Wolverhampton - 1st visit since 1936
328 26 November 1958 - England 2 Wales 2, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Aston, Birmingham -  1st visit since 1951
351 28 September 1961 - England 4 Luxembourg 1, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London - 1st visit since 1951
363 3 October 1962 - England 1 France 1, Hillsborough, Sheffield - 1st visit since 1920
396 5 January 1966 - England 1 Poland 1, Goodison Park, Walton, Liverpool - 1st visit since 1953
712 8 June 1995 - England 3 Sweden 3, Elland Road, Leeds - 1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Leeds
733 24 May 1997 - England 2 South Africa 1, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 1st visit since 1938
762 10 October 1999 - England 2 Belgium 1, Stadium of Light, Sunderland - 1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Sunderland since 1950

All that has changed.  The grand old stadium has now been demolished to make way for an edifice meeting modern standards.  The stadium that served England for three-quarters of a century was given a horrid farewell.  England played their last match at old Wembley on a rainy Saturday afternoon, 7 October 2000, a dismal 1-0 World Cup 2002 qualifying loss to Germany.   The result dampened any enthusiasm for the planned post-match celebrations, the fireworks fizzled in the rain, and England manager Kevin Keegan walked away from the job immediately after the game finished. 

The new stadium is completed, England were playing their home matches at grounds around the country, as they did before Wembley became their home.  They had played 34 matches in  this "on the road at home" odyssey, which had taken them to 14 venues, to one of them 14 times--Old Trafford in Manchester, three of them three times--Villa Park in Birmingham, St. James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Anfield Road in Liverpool, and to one of them twice-- The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester .  Some of these grounds had not staged an England match in decades.  Other grounds had never hosted an England match, although their predecessors had.  Three communities, Leicester, London's Upton Park and Ipswich, had never staged an England match.

England's Home Matches from 2001 to 2007 - On the Road at Home
No. Date - Match - Venue and History
776 28 February 2001 - England 3 Spain 0, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Aston, Birmingham - 1st visit since 1958
777 24 March 2001 - England 2 Finland 1, Anfield Road, Liverpool - 1st visit since 1931
779 25 May 2001 - England 4 Mexico 0, Pride Park, Derby - 1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Derby since 1911
781 15 August 2001 - England 0 Netherlands 2, White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London - 1st visit since 1949
783 5 September 2001 - England 2 Albania 0, St. James' Park, Newcastle - 1st visit since 1938
784 6 October 2001 - England 2 Greece 2, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 1st visit since 1997
785 10 November 2001 - England 1 Sweden 1, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester -2nd visit since 1997
787 27 March 2002 - England 1 Italy 2, Elland Road, Leeds - 1st visit since 1995
788 17 April 2002 - England 4 Paraguay 0, Anfield Road, Liverpool - 2nd visit since 1931
796 7 September 2002 - England 1 Portugal 1, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Aston, Birmingham - 2nd visit since 1958
798 16 October 2002 - England 2 FYR Macedonia 2, Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium, Southampton - 1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Southampton since 1901
799 12 February 2003 - England 1 Australia 3, Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, London  -  1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Upton Park
801 2 April 2003 - England 2 Turkey 0, Stadium of  Light, Sunderland - 1st visit since 1999
803 3 June 2003 - England 2 Serbia & Montenegro 1, Walkers Stadium, Filbert Way, Leicester -1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Leicester
804 11 June 2003 - England 2 Slovakia 1, Riverside Stadium, Middlehaven, Middlesbrough - 1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Middlesbrough since 1937
805 20 August 2003 - England 3 Croatia 1, Portman Road, Ipswich - 1st visit to ground, 1st visit to Ipswich
807 10 September 2003 - England 2 Liechtenstein 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 3rd visit since 1997
809 16 November 2003 - England 2 Denmark 3, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 4th visit since 1997
812 1 June 2004 - England 1 Japan 1, City of Manchester Stadium, Eastlands, Manchester - 1st visit to ground
813 5 June 2004 - England 6 Iceland 1, City of Manchester Stadium, Eastlands, Manchester - 2nd visit to ground
818 18 August 2004 - England 3 Ukraine 0, St. James' Park, Gallowgate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne - 2nd visit since 1938
821 9 October 2004 - England 2 Wales 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 5th visit since 1997
824 9 February 2005 - England 0 Netherlands 0, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Aston, Birmingham - 3rd visit since 1958
825 26 March 2005 - England 4 Northern Ireland 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 6th visit since 1997
826 30 March 2005 - England 2 Azerbaijan 0, St. James' Park, Gallowgate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne - 3rd visit since 1938
832 8 October 2005 - England 1 Austria 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 7th visit since 1997
833 12 October 2005 - England 2 Poland 1, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 8th visit since 1997
835 1 March 2006 - England 2 Uruguay 1, Anfield Road, Liverpool - 3rd visit since 1931
836 30 May 2006 - England 3 Hungary 1, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 9th visit since 1997
837 3 June 2006 - England 6 Jamaica 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 10th visit since 1997
843 16 August 2006 - England 4 Greece 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 11th visit since 1997
844 2 September 2006 - England 5 Andorra 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 12th visit since 1997
846 7 October 2006 - England 0 FYR Macedonia 0, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 13th visit since 1997
849 7 February 2007 - England 0 Spain 1, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester - 14th visit since 1997

While the aura of Wembley was missed, England's tour through the provinces had proved popular and afforded many fans their first chance to attend one of their national side's matches.   This around-the-country itinerary ended abruptly in 2007.  After years of delay, during which the project became a public debacle, the Football Association finally announced on 26 September 2002 that it had reached an agreement for financing of the new national stadium, that destruction of old Wembley, which had stood unused for two years, would begin the following week, and that the first match at the new Wembley should have been the 2006 F.A. Cup Final.  The agreement requires England to play all home internationals at the new stadium for the next 30 years.  The new edifice will seat 90,000 spectators and cost an estimated £757 million ($1.17 billion).    

Old Wembley disappeared in February 2003, as its last standing elements, the famous Twin Towers, were torn down.   New Wembley's symbol is a huge arch, reaching 133 metres high above concourse level as it soars across the stadium.  Construction was behind schedule and was eventually opened in June 2007.

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