From 1966, to Gazza's tears, penalties and Southgate: England to play 1,000th international game

  • Article by ITV News Content Producer Mark Dorman

Some people on the pitch, Bobby Moore, don’t mention penalties, Beckham’s red card, Gazza's tears, Puskas leads a rout, heroism and humiliation - those who have worn and watched the Three Lions have seen it all over almost 150 years.

And it will fall to Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate to lead England out for the national football side’s 1000th full international game on November 14.

While Montenegro, the opponents at Wembley on the night, may not be the most glamorous they will play an integral role in the marking the momentous occasion that all began way back in 1872.

Here we take a look over the decades of history – together with a full-on stat attack that will provide material for many a pub quiz.

Gareth Southgate shows off a commemorative England shirt to mark the 1,000th game. Credit: FA
  • First game:

Scotland vs England on November 30, 1872, was the first full international game ever, anywhere.

It was played at West of Scotland Cricket Club's ground Partick, Scotland.

The match finished in a 0–0 draw and was watched by 4,000 spectators.

A ticket advertises the first international 'foot-ball' match. Credit: FA

According to the Scottish Football Museum the line-ups were:

Scotland: Bob Gardner, William Ker, Joseph Taylor, James Thompson, James Smith, Robert Smith, Robert Leckie, Alexander Rhind, William Muir MacKinnon, Jamie Weir, David Wotherspoon (all Queen’s Park FC).

England: Robert Barker (Hertfordshire Rangers), Ernest Greenhalgh (Notts County), Reginald Welch (Wanderers), Frederick Chappell (Oxford University), William John Maynard (1st Surrey Rifles), John Brockbank (Cambridge University), Charles Clegg (Sheffield Wednesday), Arnold Kirke Smith (Oxford University), Cuthbert Ottaway (Oxford University/Old Etonians), Charles John Chenery (Crystal Palace), Charles John Morice (Barnes).

There had been earlier games, in 1870, between players representing the two countries, but that was not classed as a full international.

  • What’s the story behind the Three Lions emblem?

"Three Lions on the shirt, Jules Rimet still gleaming…"

The history of the Three Lions emblem can be traced to the 1100s when Henry I - known as the lion of England - had a lion on his standard on taking power.

When he married Adeliza of Louvaine, her father also had a lion on his shield, and so, to commemorate the event, Henry added a second lion to his standard.

In 1154, two lions became three when his grandson Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine, who also had a lion her family crest.

Three Lions on a shirt, a blazer and an arm... Credit: PA

The three lions as a symbol of England appears to have been formally adopted by Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199), who used three golden lions on a scarlet background to represent the English throne.

They have appeared on the Royal Arms of every succeeding monarch.

When the FA was formed in 1863, it adopted the three lions as an emblem for the England national side.

  • The story of defeats…:

Hungary, lead by Ferenc Puskas, inflicted England's heaviest defeat in 1953. Credit: PA

!n 1878, Scotland thrashed England 7–2 at Hampden Park in Glasgow, a record defeat that would stand for 77 years between the two nations until England beat the Scots 7-2 in 1955.

The first defeat on home soil to a foreign team was 2-0 to the Republic of Ireland, on September 21, 1949, at Goodison Park.

A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary was their second defeat by a team (other than Scotland) at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1.

This stands as England's largest ever defeat.

In total, England have lost 61 home internationals.

England have never lost more than three games in a row

  • Sing when you’re winning:

Geoff Hurst, now Sir Geoff, bags a hat-trick against West Germany in 1966. Credit: PA

You have to go back to 1882 to see England's biggest win - a 13-0 thumping of Ireland.

There have been a couple of double-digit wins since then, both 10-0, against Portugal in Lisbon in May 1947 and against the USA in New York City on in May 1964.

The longest winning run was 10 games way back in 1908-09, although the longest post-WWII unbeaten run was 19 matches between November 1965 and November 1966.

And the recent defeat by the Czech Republic brought to an end a remarkable 43-match unbeaten run in the qualification process for either the World Cup or Euro Championships.

Since losing to Ukraine in October 2009, England went unbeaten in the World Cup 2010 qualification campaign, through into the Euro 2012 and World Cup 2014 qualification stages, then the Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 qualification process.

England’s record stands at:

P 999; W 568; D 240; L 189; For: 2188; Against: 984

Theo Walcott is England's youngest debutant, while Leslie Compton is the eldest outfield debutant. Credit: PA
  • The players - if you're good enough, you're old enough:

Youngest international - Theo Walcott, aged 17yrs 75 days, when he took the field vs Hungary in May 2006.

Oldest - Stanley Matthews was 42 when he faced Denmark in 1957.

Oldest debutant - Alec Morten, was about 41 (his birth date is disputed) when he captained England from goal, in only the second full international in 1873.

The oldest outfield debutant was Leslie Compton, who was 38 years and 64 days old when he played his first game for England in 1950 against Wales.

  • The beautiful game in numbers


players capped up to the latest squad named for the game against Montenegro


Tottenham Hotspur have provided the most England players, ahead of Liverpool and Aston Villa (74)

356 – so-called ‘one cap’ wonders, up to and including the latest squad (some of whom could, of course, go on to make many more appearances)

10 - Norman Bailey played his 10th match in an 8–1 away win against Ireland on 23 February 1884

100 caps - the first footballer to win 100 international caps was Billy Wright of Wolverhampton Wanderers and England in 1959; in all, he appeared 105 times for England, 90 of them as captain.

125 – Goalkeeper Peter Shilton is the most capped player with 125 caps, making his debut against East Germany in November 1970 and his final game the 1990 Third Place play-off defeat to Italy.

1978 – Viv Anderson, then of Nottingham Forest, becomes the first black player to be called up for a full international in November 1978 in a friendly against Czechoslovakia.

Laurie Cunningham had won an Under-21 cap in April 1977 and John Charles, a West Ham defender, represented England at U18 level in 1962, but Anderson was the first full international.

Sir Alf Ramsey, top left, current boss Gareth Southgate, Sir Walter Winterbottom and Sam Allardyce. Credit: PA/AP
  • ‘Do I not like that!’ – managing expectations:

14 – the number of permanent England football managers.

67 days – Sam Allardyce holds the dubious record of the shortest reign, a little over two months and just one game before he quit over a secret filming sting.

Still, a 1-0 -0 win over Slovakia in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in September 2016 means he does have a 100% record…

139 games – Sir Walter Winterbottom managed the national side for almost 17 years, from 1946-1962, the longest-serving manager.

1 – major tournament win… 1966, Sir Alf Ramsey, some people on the pitch, wing-less wonders, Geoff Hurst over the line (or not), Nobby dancing and all that…

  • Goals pay the rent:

Sir Bobby Charlton, top, held the goal-scoring record for decades until Wayne Rooney finally eclipsed it. Credit: FA/PA

53 - Wayne Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton's long-standing record of 49 international goals, eventually finishing with 53 goals.

52 – own goals scored for England.

24 – own goals scored by England, Kyle Walker putting into his own net most recently in June 2019.

84 – England hat-tricks, the latest of them bagged by Harry Kane against Bulgaria at Wembley in September, the most famous Sir Geoff Hurst's in 1966.

11 – the number of hat-tricks conceded by England, the most recent by Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden in November 2012.

San Marino's Davide Gualtieri (centre) celebrates scoring against England after 8.3 seconds.

8.3 seconds – Davide Gualtieri scored the quickest goal against England for minnows San Marino in a World Cup qualifier in Bologna in November 1993.

12 seconds – Tommy Lawton holds the record for the fastest England goal, in a 5-2 win against Belgium in 1947.

125 – penalties awarded with 91 scored and 34 either missed or saved

84 – penalties conceded, with 58 scored and 26 either saved or missed.

  • Between the sticks and who wears the armband:

66 – Peter Shilton holds the record for the most clean sheets for England goalkeepers with 66 – well ahead of Joe Hart with 43.

22 - There have been 22 permanent captains since WWII, although there have been 76 players to have captained the side for one game or more since the 1880s and numerous others have inherited the armband mid-match. The FA says 122 individuals in total have, in fact, captained the national side.

90 – Bobby Moore and Billy Wright captained England on 90 occasions each, a joint record.

  • Seeing red:

Alan Mullery was the first England player to see red, while David Beckham was dismissed twice. Credit: PA

15 – number of red cards received by England players. Alan Mullery got the first, in Euro 1968 against Yugoslavia.

2 – red cards dished out during Friendlies – Trevor Cherry in 1977 vs Argentina and Raheem Sterling in 2014 vs Ecuador.

2 – With two red cards apiece, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham have been given their marching orders most often in an England shirt.

21 – opposition players have been red-carded against England.

  • It’s the Wembley way:

The spiritual home of England first opened its doors in 1923 and for the first 27 years, only Scotland would play England at Wembley.

The first 'home' defeat for England was therefore by the Scots, a 5-1 drubbing in March 1928.

The first side other than Scotland to face England at Wembley was Argentina, in 1951, which saw the home side win 2-1.

The last games at the 'old' Wembley saw England beaten 1-0 by the Scots, with Germany inflicting a 1-0 defeat in the final game in October 2000 through Dietmar Hamann's free-kick - a loss that saw then England boss Kevin Keegan quit in the tunnel.

The old Twin Towers were replaced by the Arch. Credit: PA
  • Out with the old, in with the New Wembley:

The first game in the newly rebuilt stadium involving the full English national team was a friendly played on 1 June 2007, against Brazil.

Skipper John Terry scored England’s first full international goal at the new stadium in the 68th minute.

Diego became the first full international player to score for a visiting team when he scored a stoppage time equaliser.

The first competitive senior international was a European championship qualifier played on September 8 2007 between England and Israel. England ran out 3–0 winners.

The first player to score international goals at both the old and new stadia was Michael Owen when he scored for England against Israel.

On August 22 2007, somewhat inevitably, Germany beat England 2–1 to become the first team win at the new Wembley Stadium.

England's first competitive defeat at the new stadium was on November 21 2007 when Croatia won 3–2. Again, the result would see an England manager lose his job as Steve McClaren was fired.