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The 1979 British Home Championship was a British Home Nations competition, won by the English football side and notable for seeing marked increases in hooliganism and falling attendance which would result in its cancellation in 1984. The English started well, beating Northern Ireland to match the heavy Welsh victory over Scotland on the same day, which featured a hat trick by John Toshack. Scotland recovered by beating the Irish in their next match while England and Wales played out a goalless draw, leaving three sides theoretically capable of winning the Championship in the final round. Wales could only manage a draw with the Irish and so in the deciding match between England and Scotland, a 1–0 half time lead gave the Scots some hope but a strong second half performance from England was rewarded with a deserved 3–1 win. This result gave England the Championship, with Wales in second place. The tournament also saw the introduction of goal difference to separate teams, although it had no effect on the eventual outcome.


Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 England 5 3 2 1 0 5 1 +4
 Wales 4 3 1 2 0 4 1 +3
 Scotland 2 3 1 0 2 2 6 −4
 Northern Ireland 1 3 0 1 2 1 6 −5

The points system worked as follows:

  • 2 points for a win
  • 1 point for a draw

For the first time, goal difference was used to divide the teams, although it made no difference to the final outcome at this tournament.


19 May 1979
Wales  3 – 0  Scotland Ninian Park, Cardiff
John Toshack 3  

19 May 1979
Northern Ireland  0 – 2  England Windsor Park, Belfast
  David Watson, Steve Coppell

22 May 1979
Scotland  1 – 0  Northern Ireland Hampden Park, Glasgow
Arthur Graham  

23 May 1979
England  0 – 0  Wales Wembley Stadium, London

26 May 1979
Northern Ireland  1 – 1  Wales Windsor Park, Belfast
Derek Spence Robbie James

26 May 1979
England  3 – 1  Scotland Wembley Stadium, London
Peter Barnes, Ray Wilkins, Kevin Keegan John Wark


  • Guy Oliver (1992). The Guinness Record of World Soccer. Guinness. ISBN 0-851129-54-4.  


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