England and Scotland football rivalry: Wikis


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The England and Scotland football rivalry is a highly competitive sports rivalry that exists between the national football teams of the two countries.[1] It is also the oldest international fixture in the world, first played in 1872 at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow. The close proximity of the neighbouring countries has led to much rivalry between the nations in many forms, and the social and cultural effects of centuries of antagonism and conflict between the two has contributed to the intense nature of the sporting contests. Scottish nationalism has also been a factor in the Scots' desire to defeat England above all other rivals, with Scottish sports journalists traditionally referring to the English as the "Auld Enemy".[2]

The footballing rivalry has diminished somewhat since the late 1970s, particularly since the annual fixture stopped in 1989. England have developed rivalries with Germany and Argentina, which some England fans now consider to be more important than the historic rivalry with Scotland.[3] Nonetheless, when there have been matches between the two nations, these have attracted great media attention, public interest and comment in both countries.

The BBC website has commented that the games "have represented all that is good and all that is bad about football since the fixture began,"[4] while The Guardian newspaper once reported that "for millions across both sides of the border the encounter represents a chance for the ultimate victory over the enemy."[5] As of November 2008, the teams have played 110 matches; England have won 45, Scotland 41, and there have been 24 draws.[6]


Background and early years

An illustration of a Scotland vs England match. The background shows the distinctive gasometer of The Oval, suggesting this image is from England v Scotland (1872).

The rules of association football had been formalised and set down by the Football Association in England in 1863.[7] By 1870 C. W. Alcock, Secretary of the Football Association, issued public challenges in various Scottish newspapers,[8] including the Glasgow Herald, to Scottish players to play an international match against England. One of the few public responses that Alcock received from Scotland stated that "devotees of the 'association' rules will find no foemen worthy of their steel in Scotland".[9] Alcock ardently defended that the right to play in these matches "was open to every Scotchman whether his lines were cast North or South of the Tweed".[10] The first match was described in the Glasgow Herald as "the great international football match"[11] and there was acceptance by the same newspaper in 1871 that "both captains had been successful in the composition of elevens capable of efficiently representing their respective causes".[12]

Although the 1870 and 1871 matches are not currently recognised by FIFA as official, they were organised under the auspices of the FA and were described as "international" by The Scotsman newspaper. In 1870, Alcock had even suggested that the next international match should be held near the England-Scotland border as an easily accessible venue for both teams,[13] but this did not receive a response. Requests for Scotland-based players to partake were issued for each of these five matches, for example in November 1870:

any Scotch players who may be desirous of assisting their country ... may communicate with Messrs A F Kinnaird.[14]

The matches are notable not just for being the first international matches, but also for illustrating emerging team playing tactics. For example, in the November 1870 match onlookers were treated to a match with "many scientific points"[15] and in 1871 players (including Alcock) are noted to have been "acting in concert", leading to a goal"[16]

England v Scotland 1870 - 1872: scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Date Venue Result Competition Location Winner
5 March 1870 The Oval, London 1–1 Friendly England Draw
19 November 1870 The Oval, London 0–1 Friendly England England
25 February 1871 The Oval, London 1–1 Friendly England Draw
17 November 1871 The Oval, London 1–2 Friendly England England
24 February 1872 The Oval, London 0–1 Friendly England England

In 1872 a challenge match was agreed with the Glasgow team Queen's Park, who would represent Scotland. The FA's minutes of 3 October 1872 note that:

In order to further the interests of the Association in Scotland, it was decided that during the current season, a team should be sent to Glasgow to play a match v Scotland.

According to The Scotsman newspaper of 2 December 1872, there were only about ten football clubs in Scotland. These early international matches helped to increase the popularity of association football in Scotland.[17] The first official match was held on 30 November 1872, on Scotland's national saint's day, St. Andrew's Day, and it took place at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, home of the West of Scotland Cricket Club.[18] The Scotland team was made up entirely of players from Queen's Park, the most successful Scottish club of the period.[18] The game ended a 0–0 draw, watched by a crowd of 4000 who had paid a shilling each for admission.[18]

The first goal between the two sides was scored by England's Alexander Bonsor in the next game at The Oval, the first official match between the two in England, which the English won 4–2 on 8 March 1873.[17] Following this, the game became an annual event, being held in England or Scotland in alternate years.[17] Scotland took their first win in the fixture in the 1874 game, again played at Hamilton Crescent, where they defeated England 2–1.[19] Later in the 1870s Scotland won the fixture three times in a row, including a 7–2 victory in the 1878 game.[17]

Famous matches in the annual series

From the first match in late 1872, England and Scotland played each other in the spring of every year (except during the two world wars) until 1989. From 1884 until 1984, the match was the highlight of the annual British Home Championship played between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland[20]. After the British Home Championship ended in 1984, the annual England v Scotland fixture continued in the form of the Rous Cup until 1989.

The only exception to this pattern of annual fixtures in the spring was in 1973, when there were two games. The first game that year was a friendly match that marked the centenary of the Scottish Football Association. There were also two fixtures staged in 1902, but this was because the first game had to be abandoned due to the first Ibrox disaster. The British Home Championship also acted as qualifiers for three major tournaments - the 1950 World Cup, the 1954 World Cup and the 1968 European Championship.



Wembley Wizards is the name given to the 1928 Scotland team which defeated England 5–1 at Wembley in a match that has become mythologised by Scots ever since. The match had an unusual background; England and Scotland were the two traditionally dominant countries in the British Home Championship, yet neither side had managed to beat either Ireland or Wales in their first two games of that year's Championship.

Match summary

31 March 1928
England  1–5  Scotland Wembley Stadium , London
Attendance: 80,868
Referee: William Bell (Scotland)
Bob Kelly Goal 89' Alex Jackson Goal 3' Goal 65' Goal 85'
Alex James Goal 44' Goal 74'


The game played in 1961 is infamous from the Scottish perspective, as they suffered their heaviest defeat in the fixture. Frank Haffey, the hapless Scottish goalkeeper, later decided to emigrate to Australia partly due to this game. Haffey's performance largely contributed towards the English stereotype of bad Scottish goalkeepers.[21][22]

Match summary

15 April 1961
England  9–3  Scotland Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 97,350
Referee: Marcel Lequesne (France)
Bobby Robson Goal 9'
Jimmy Greaves Goal 21' Goal 30' Goal 83'
Bryan Douglas Goal 55'
Bobby Smith Goal 73' Goal 85'
Johnny Haynes Goal 78' Goal 82'
Dave Mackay Goal 48'
Davie Wilson Goal 53'
Pat Quinn Goal 75'


The match played in 1967 is Scotland's most famous victory against England. England were World Champions and undefeated in 19 games[23] before the match, played at the ground where they had won their world title less than a year beforehand. Memorably, Jim Baxter played "keepie uppie" as Scotland toyed with their opponents.[23][24] Scotland were aided somewhat by the fact that Jack Charlton was hampered by an injury sustained early in the game.[23] England manager Alf Ramsey was unable to substitute Charlton and therefore decided to use him in the unfamiliar role of centre forward.[23] Ironically, Charlton scored England's first goal.

Naturally, the Scots claimed after the game that the victory made them unofficial world champions. Ultimately, however, it was England who qualified for the 1968 European Championship because of results in the other matches.[23]

Match summary

15 April 1967
England  2–3  Scotland Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 99,063
Referee: Gerhard Schulenburg
(West Germany)
Jack Charlton Goal 84'
Geoff Hurst Goal 88'
Denis Law Goal 27'
Bobby Lennox Goal 78'
Jim McCalliog Goal 87'


The 1977 match is memorable less for what happened during the game itself as for what happened on the park after the game. The Scottish fans invaded the pitch, ripping up large sections of it and tearing down the goalposts.[25] This incident contributed towards the growing awareness of football hooliganism in the United Kingdom.

The match itself was a triumph for the new Scotland manager Ally MacLeod and contributed to the sense of optimism that built towards Scotland's participation in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Gordon McQueen opened the scoring late in the first half with a powerful header from a crossed free-kick from the left-hand side. Kenny Dalglish doubled Scotland's advantage with a scrambled effort, before England scored a late consolation goal from a penalty kick taken by Mick Channon. The defeat hastened the end of Don Revie's tenure as England manager.

Match summary

4 June 1977
England  1–2  Scotland Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 98,103
Referee: Károly Palotai (Hungary)
Mick Channon (pen) Goal 87' Gordon McQueen Goal 42'
Kenny Dalglish Goal 60'

Matches since the end of the annual series

1996 European Championship

In December 1995, despite media rumours that UEFA would deliberately keep the two apart in the draw,[26] England and Scotland were both drawn in the same group for the forthcoming European Championship, to be hosted by England in the summer of 1996. This draw excited much comment and anticipation in the build-up to the championship, especially as it would be the first meeting between the two sides for seven years, and tickets for the game sold out within two days of the draw being made.[27] The match assumed even greater significance for both teams when both England and Scotland drew their opening fixtures, against Switzerland and the Netherlands respectively, meaning both were even more in need of a win to further their chances of progressing in the tournament.

The match was played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 15 June 1996. Before the game, Scotland's national anthem was completely drowned out by booing from English spectactors.[28] The first half was closely-fought, ending 0–0, although Scotland had the better of the chances.[29] The introduction of Jamie Redknapp into the England team as a substitute for the second half helped to turn the match in England's favour,[30][31] and they took the lead through a headed goal by Alan Shearer.[30] Scotland were awarded a penalty kick in the 76th minute after a foul by Tony Adams on Gordon Durie, but Gary McAllister's kick was saved by the England goalkeeper David Seaman.[31] Shortly afterwards, Paul Gascoigne, who played in Scotland for the Glasgow club Rangers, scored a second goal for England, after chipping the ball over Scottish defender Colin Hendry.[32] In 2006, the year before he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Scotsman Gordon Brown drew criticism in Scotland when he was reported as saying that Gascoigne's goal was one of his favourite moments in football,[33] although Brown subsequently denied saying this.[34]

Scotland eventually went out of the championship on goal difference, but would have proceeded beyond the first round of a tournament for the first time in their history had England not conceded a late goal in their 4–1 defeat of the Netherlands in their next game.[35] The Guardian newspaper reported; "England fans' joy was complete when Patrick Kluivert stole a late goal for the Dutch - and thereby deprived Scotland of a place in the quarter-finals".[36]

Scotland  0–2  England Wembley Stadium, London[37]
Attendance: 76,684
Referee: Pierluigi Pairetto (Italy)
(Report) Shearer Goal 53'
Gascoigne Goal 79'

2000 European Championship

The Euro 96 game had encouraged some to call for the resumption of regular matches between the two, but this did not happen.[38] The teams did not meet again until three years later, in 1999, when they were again drawn together in the European Championship; this time in a qualifying play-off for the 2000 tournament, after both teams had finished as runners-up in their respective qualifying groups.[39]

The tie took place over two legs, the first in Scotland at Hampden Park on Saturday 13 November 1999, with the return leg at Wembley four days later. The first leg was the first match contested by the two sides in Scotland for ten years. England won that match 2–0, with both goals scored by Paul Scholes.[40] There was crowd trouble following the game, and 51 people were arrested in the city centre of Glasgow after battles between fans.[41] Scotland had the better of the second match, winning 1–0 with a goal from Don Hutchison and coming close to a second goal, but England progressed to the finals of the tournament, winning 2–1 on aggregate.[42]

Scotland  0–2  England Hampden Park, Glasgow
Attendance: 50,132
Referee: Manuel Diaz Vega (Spain)
(Report) Scholes Goal 21' Goal 41'
England  0–1  Scotland Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 76,848
Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy)
(Report) Hutchison Goal 39'


The UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying playoff in November 1999 is the most recent occasion upon which the two full national teams have played each other. There have been many calls for the British Home Championship to be restored to the schedule, or at least for the England v Scotland fixture to be played more regularly.[43] In December 2006, Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez suggested that a tournament featuring Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland be organised instead.[44] This 4 Associations' Tournament is proposed to begin in 2011.[45] There was some speculation that Scotland would be invited to be England's first opponents when Wembley Stadium was re-opened in 2007,[46] but this did not eventually happen, and further suggestions that the fixture might be made regular again have similarly passed without action.[47]

There was further talk of organising a one-off England v Scotland match at the end of the 2007–08 season,[48] but the new Scotland manager George Burley was opposed to this timing and the match was not arranged.[49] SFA chief executive Gordon Smith has also raised the concern that the riots by Rangers fans in Manchester on the day of the 2008 UEFA Cup Final may lead the FA to believe that there could be incidents of hooliganism connected to an England v Scotland fixture.[50]


England and Scotland have played each other more than any other nation, playing 110 official matches.[51][52] England have marginally the better record overall in the fixture, with 45 wins to Scotland's 41.[53] There have been 24 draws, only three of them goalless, with 98 years separating the first and second of those matches.[53] England have scored 192 goals to 169 by Scotland.[53] The record margin of victory in the fixture was England's 9–3 win in 1961,[53] while Scotland's biggest victory was 7–2 in 1878.[53] The record attendance of 149,547,[53] which is also a European record attendance,[54] was set at Hampden Park in 1937.

Scotland long held an advantage in terms of wins, as they recorded ten wins in the first 16 matches. Scotland, the smaller country in terms of population, were superior during this period because passing football developed earlier there, as shown by the Scotch Professors who moved to play in the nascent English professional league during the late 1880s.[55] England closed this gap and eventually took a lead in wins during the period after the Second World War, as Scotland have only won 12 matches since then. England pulled ahead for the first time in the history of the fixture with their win in 1983.

All official matches between England and Scotland

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Date Venue Result Competition
30 November 1872 Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow 0–0 Friendly
8 March 1873 The Oval, London 2–4 Friendly
7 March 1874 Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow 2–1 Friendly
6 March 1875 The Oval, London 2–2 Friendly
4 March 1876 Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow 3–0 Friendly
3 March 1877 The Oval, London 3–1 Friendly
2 March 1878 Hampden Park, Glasgow 7–2 Friendly
5 April 1879 The Oval, London 4–5 Friendly
13 March 1880 Hampden Park, Glasgow 5–4 Friendly
12 March 1881 The Oval, London 6–1 Friendly
11 March 1882 Hampden Park, Glasgow 5–1 Friendly
10 March 1883 Bramall Lane, Sheffield 3–2 Friendly
15 March 1884 Cathkin Park, Glasgow 1–0 1884 British Home Championship
21 March 1885 The Oval, London 1–1 1885 British Home Championship
27 March 1886 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1886 British Home Championship
19 March 1887 Leamington Road, Blackburn 3–2 1887 British Home Championship
17 March 1888 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–5 1888 British Home Championship
13 April 1889 The Oval, London 3–2 1889 British Home Championship
5 April 1890 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1890 British Home Championship
4 April 1891 Ewood Park, Blackburn 1–2 1891 British Home Championship
2 April 1892 Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow 1–4 1892 British Home Championship
1 April 1893 Athletic Ground, Richmond 2–5 1893 British Home Championship
7 April 1894 Celtic Park, Glasgow 2–2 1894 British Home Championship
6 April 1895 Goodison Park, Liverpool 0–3 1895 British Home Championship
4 April 1896 Celtic Park, Glasgow 2–1 1896 British Home Championship
3 April 1897 Crystal Palace, London 2–1 1897 British Home Championship
2 April 1898 Celtic Park, Glasgow 1–3 1898 British Home Championship
8 April 1899 Villa Park, Birmingham 1–2 1899 British Home Championship
7 April 1900 Celtic Park, Glasgow 4–1 1900 British Home Championship
30 March 1901 Crystal Palace, London 2–2 1901 British Home Championship
3 May 1902 Villa Park, Birmingham[56] 2–2 1902 British Home Championship
4 April 1903 Bramall Lane, Sheffield 2–1 1903 British Home Championship
9 April 1904 Celtic Park, Glasgow 0–1 1904 British Home Championship
1 April 1905 Crystal Palace, London 0–1 1905 British Home Championship
7 April 1906 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–1 1906 British Home Championship
6 April 1907 St James' Park, Newcastle 1–1 1907 British Home Championship
4 April 1908 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1908 British Home Championship
3 April 1909 Crystal Palace, London 0–2 1909 British Home Championship
2 April 1910 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–0 1910 British Home Championship
1 April 1911 Goodison Park, Liverpool 1–1 1911 British Home Championship
23 March 1912 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1912 British Home Championship
5 April 1913 Stamford Bridge, London 0–1 1913 British Home Championship
4 April 1914 Hampden Park, Glasgow 3–1 1914 British Home Championship
10 April 1920[57] Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield 4–5 1920 British Home Championship
9 April 1921 Hampden Park, Glasgow 3–0 1921 British Home Championship
8 April 1922 Villa Park, Birmingham 1–0 1920 British Home Championship
14 April 1923 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–2 1923 British Home Championship
12 April 1924 Wembley Stadium, London 1–1 1924 British Home Championship
4 April 1925 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–0 1925 British Home Championship
17 April 1926 Old Trafford, Manchester 1–0 1926 British Home Championship
2 April 1927 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–2 1927 British Home Championship
31 March 1928 Wembley Stadium, London 5–1 1928 British Home Championship
13 April 1929 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–0 1929 British Home Championship
5 April 1930 Wembley Stadium, London 2–5 1930 British Home Championship
28 March 1931 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–0 1931 British Home Championship
9 April 1932 Wembley Stadium, London 0–3 1932 British Home Championship
1 April 1933 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–1 1933 British Home Championship
14 April 1934 Wembley Stadium, London 0–3 1934 British Home Championship
6 April 1935 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–0 1935 British Home Championship
4 April 1936 Wembley Stadium, London 1–1 1936 British Home Championship
17 April 1937 Hampden Park, Glasgow 3–1 1937 British Home Championship
9 April 1938 Wembley Stadium, London 1–0 1938 British Home Championship
15 April 1939 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–2 1939 British Home Championship
12 April 1947[58] Wembley Stadium, London 1–1 1947 British Home Championship
10 April 1948 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–2 1948 British Home Championship
9 April 1949 Wembley Stadium, London 3–1 1949 British Home Championship
15 April 1950 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–1 1950 British Home Championship[59]
14 April 1951 Wembley Stadium, London 3–2 1951 British Home Championship
5 April 1952 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–2 1952 British Home Championship
18 April 1953 Wembley Stadium, London 2–2 1953 British Home Championship
3 April 1954 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–4 1954 British Home Championship[60]
2 April 1955 Wembley Stadium, London 2–7 1955 British Home Championship
14 April 1956 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1956 British Home Championship
6 April 1957 Wembley Stadium, London 1–2 1957 British Home Championship
19 April 1958 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–4 1958 British Home Championship
11 April 1959 Wembley Stadium, London 0–1 1959 British Home Championship
9 April 1960 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1960 British Home Championship
15 April 1961 Wembley Stadium, London 3–9 1961 British Home Championship
14 April 1962 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–0 1962 British Home Championship
6 April 1963 Wembley Stadium, London 2–1 1963 British Home Championship
11 April 1964 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–0 1964 British Home Championship
10 April 1965 Wembley Stadium, London 2–2 1965 British Home Championship
2 April 1966 Hampden Park, Glasgow 3–4 1966 British Home Championship
15 April 1967 Wembley Stadium, London 3–2 1967 British Home Championship[61]
24 February 1968 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1968 British Home Championship[61]
10 May 1969 Wembley Stadium, London 1–4 1969 British Home Championship
25 April 1970 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–0[62] 1970 British Home Championship
22 May 1971 Wembley Stadium, London 1–3 1971 British Home Championship
27 May 1972 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–1 1972 British Home Championship
14 February 1973 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–5 Friendly[63]
19 May 1973 Wembley Stadium, London 0–1 1973 British Home Championship
18 May 1974 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–0 1974 British Home Championship
24 May 1975 Wembley Stadium, London 1–5 1975 British Home Championship
15 May 1976 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2–1 1976 British Home Championship
4 June 1977 Wembley Stadium, London 2–1 1977 British Home Championship
20 May 1978 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–1 1978 British Home Championship
26 May 1979 Wembley Stadium, London 1–3 1979 British Home Championship
24 May 1980 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–2 1980 British Home Championship
23 May 1981 Wembley Stadium, London 1–0 1981 British Home Championship
29 May 1982 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–1 1982 British Home Championship
1 June 1983 Wembley Stadium, London 0–2 1983 British Home Championship
26 May 1984 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–1 1984 British Home Championship
25 May 1985 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1–0 Rous Cup
23 April 1986 Wembley Stadium, London 1–2 Rous Cup
23 May 1987 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–0 Rous Cup
21 May 1988 Wembley Stadium, London 0–1 Rous Cup
27 May 1989 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–2 Rous Cup
15 June 1996 Wembley Stadium, London 0–2 UEFA Euro 1996
13 November 1999 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0–2[64] UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying Playoff
17 November 1999 Wembley Stadium, London 1–0[64] UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying Playoff

Club level

As well as the rivalry between the national sides, English and Scottish club teams have also met on numerous occasions in the various European club competitions. These matches are frequently described by the media as being a "Battle of Britain", irrespective of the clubs involved.[65][66][67][68] The most important club meeting was when Celtic and Leeds United met in the semi-final of the 1970 European Cup, which was the first contest to be popularly described as a Battle of Britain.[69] Celtic won the first leg at Elland Road 1–0, and the second leg was played at Hampden Park to allow a bigger crowd to attend than could be held at Celtic Park. Billy Bremner opened the scoring early on to level the aggregate score, but Celtic came back to win the match 2–1 and the tie 3–1.[70]

In 1992, Rangers emulated Celtic's feat of defeating Leeds United home and away in a European Cup tie. Celtic lost on the away goals rule to Liverpool in the 1997–98 UEFA Cup, but they beat Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool on their run to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final.[69] Celtic and Manchester United were drawn together in the 2006–07 Champions League group phase, with each team winning their home match. Those two teams were again drawn to play each other in the 2008–09 Champions League. Manchester United won the first match 3–0 at Old Trafford and the return at Celtic Park was drawn 1–1.

There have also been a number of other competitions between English and Scottish clubs. Before European competition started in 1955, the Coronation Cup was staged in 1953, to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Four prominent clubs from each country participated in a knockout tournament, with Celtic and Hibernian defeating two English clubs each to reach the final, which Celtic won 2–0 at Hampden.[71] A similar competition called the Empire Exhibition Trophy was staged in 1938, with Celtic defeating Everton 1–0 in the final at Ibrox.[72] In the 1970s, American oil giant Texaco sponsored the Texaco Cup, which was a knockout competition for clubs that had failed to qualify for the main European competitions.[73] Interest in the competition soon waned, however, and Texaco withdrew their sponsorship after the 1974–75 season.[73] The competition continued for a few years in the form of the Anglo-Scottish Cup, but it was discontinued in 1981.[73]

Players and managers

The rivalry between the two nations have not prevented their respective nationals from playing in each other's domestic leagues, in certain cases to high renown. Historically, the trend has been for Scottish players to play in the richer English league, although many English players have also played in Scotland.

Many great English sides have been built around Scottish players. The double winning Spurs team of 1961 included Bill Brown, Dave Mackay and John White. Denis Law is the second greatest goalscorer in the history of Manchester United. The great Liverpool teams of the 1970s and 1980s were built around Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen. Manchester United and Liverpool became the most successful clubs in English football, largely due to the efforts of Scottish managers Matt Busby and Bill Shankly, respectively.

In recent times, the flow of Scottish players to major English clubs has dried up, as the Scotland team has been less competitive at international level and the English Premier League has attracted stars from all over the world, rather than just from the British Isles.[74] Darren Fletcher is currently the only Scottish player who is in the first-team squad of one of the "big four" Premier League clubs. Scottish managers, however, such as Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, continue to hold top positions with major Premier League clubs, while few English managers hold similar positions.[75]

There have been fewer notable English players who have played in Scotland. Joe Baker was the first player to play for England without having played in the Football League, but his was an isolated example because he played at a time when a player was only allowed to play for the country of his birth[76]. Those rules have subsequently been relaxed and the sons or even grandsons of Scots are now allowed to play for Scotland. This means that some English-born players have played in and for Scotland, including Andy Goram and Stuart McCall.

There was an influx of English players to the Scottish league during the late 1980s after English clubs were banned from European competition due to the Heysel disaster. Prominent England players including Terry Butcher, Trevor Steven, Gary Stevens, Chris Woods and Mark Hateley all moved to Rangers. During this time, Rangers had a higher turnover than Manchester United[77] and could therefore offer wages that could compare with even the biggest English clubs.

Since the inception of the Premier League, however, the English clubs have become wealthier than Rangers and Celtic, despite the fact that the Old Firm dominate Scottish football and have significant income from European competition[78]. Therefore no prominent England player has played in Scotland in recent years, although Chris Sutton and Alan Thompson played a significant part in Celtic's run to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. Two Englishmen have also managed Celtic since 2000, John Barnes and current manager Tony Mowbray.


The rivalry also manifests itself in the fact that many Scottish people support England's opponents[79][80] and vice versa,[81][82] despite the fact that England and Scotland are both countries of the United Kingdom. Whether Scots should support England against other national teams is routinely a matter of heated debate.[83][84] Some Scotland fans sing, “Stand up if you hate England”[85] and, “If you hate the f----ing English, clap your hands”[86], while some English fans reciprocate these sentiments with, “Stand up if you hate Scotland”[87] and, “I’d rather be a Paki than a Jock”.[88] However, the phenomenon of Scots wishing England well in international tournaments is not unknown, with a survey on the eve of the 2002 World Cup finding that one Scot in three intended to support England, while only one in six intended to support England’s opponents.[89]


  1. ^ A history of fierce football rivalry, BBC News, 13 October 1999
  2. ^ "Scots relish Auld Enemy showdown". BBC News Online. 1999-11-12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/517293.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  3. ^ "Who Are England’s Biggest Rivals Now? Still Germany? Portugal? Argentina?". caughtoffside. http://www.caughtoffside.com/2007/08/21/who-are-englands-biggest-rivals-now-still-germany-portugal-argentina/2684.html. Retrieved 15 November 2007. 
  4. ^ "A history of fierce football rivalry". bbc.co.uk. 1999-10-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/11/99/battle_of_britain/473756.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  5. ^ Chaudhary, Vivek (1999-11-13). "Passions hit fever pitch". The Guardian. http://football.guardian.co.uk/Euro2000/Story/0,,103270,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  6. ^ "England-Scotland matches, 1872-1999". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engscores.html. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  7. ^ Barrett, p. 8.
  8. ^ Charles W Alcock, The Scotsman, 28 November 1870, page 7
  9. ^ H.M., The Scotsman, 1 December 1870, page 12.
  10. ^ Charles W Alcock, The Scotsman, 28 November 1870, page 7.
  11. ^ Glasgow Herald, Monday, 7 March 1870; Issue 9415.
  12. ^ Glasgow Herald, Monday, 27 February 1871; Issue 9721
  13. ^ Charles W Alcock, The Scotsman, 28 November 1870, page 7.
  14. ^ The Scotsman, 21 November 1870, page 7
  15. ^ Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, Saturday 26 November 1870, issue 446
  16. ^ The Scotsman, Monday 27th February 1871, page 7
  17. ^ a b c d Barrett, p. 9.
  18. ^ a b c Mitchell, Paul. "The first international football match". BBC Scotland. http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/sportscotland/asportingnation/article/0012/. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  19. ^ "Scotland v England". Scottish Football Association. http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/match_details.cfm?matchid=58025. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  20. ^ Northern Ireland were only in the British Home Championship after 1950. Before then, a team representing the whole of Ireland selected by the Irish Football Association was in the Championship. This change was due to the secession of the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  21. ^ WE'D ONLY HAVE LOST EIGHT IF I'D BEEN WEARING GLASSES, Daily Record, 22 December 2005
  22. ^ Scots goalkeepers no longer a laughing stock, Daily Telegraph, 10 August 2007
  23. ^ a b c d e Wembley Wizards 1967, BBC
  24. ^ Tributes to Jim Baxter, BBC Sport, 14 April 2001
  25. ^ Wait till the Tartan Army sees the new Wembley!, Daily Mail, 13 November 2007
  26. ^ Hughes, Rob (1995-12-18). "Draw eases England's path". The Times: p. 21. 
  27. ^ "Old enemies unite to prevent trouble at Wembley". The Times: p. 40. 1995-12-19. 
  28. ^ Bose, Mihir, The Sporting Alien: English Sport's Lost Camelot (1996). Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh and London. ISBN 1-851-58-745-4; p. 239
  29. ^ "Gazza's moment gives England momentum". The Independent. 1996-06-17. 
  30. ^ a b Wilson, Paul (1996-06-16). "Pride spurs Lionhearts". The Observer: p. 12. 
  31. ^ a b Hey, Stan (1996-06-16). "A sublime moment from the ridiculous". The Independent on Sunday: p. 30. 
  32. ^ Lovejoy, Joe (1996-06-16). "Pure Gazza, pure genius". The Sunday Times: p. 28. 
  33. ^ Crawford, Ewan (2006-05-27). "Terror of the Scottish Raj". The Guardian. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/otherparties/comment/0,,1784319,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  34. ^ Gordon Brown answers your questions, The Independent, 27 June 2007
  35. ^ Lacey, David (1996-06-19). "Scots so near and yet so far". Daily Mail: p. 68. 
  36. ^ "The Joy of Six: England's best performances since '66". Guardian Unlimited. 2007-05-30. http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/05/30/the_joy_of_six_england_perform.html. Retrieved 2007-09-15. "England fans' joy was complete when Patrick Kluivert stole a late goal for the Dutch - and thereby deprived Scotland of a place in the quarter-finals." 
  37. ^ Although the match was played at Wembley Stadium and was effectively a home game for England, Scotland had been drawn as the "home" team in the tie.
  38. ^ Kelly, Graham (1996-07-01). "My Euro 96 Diary". The Times: p. 33. "Euphoria after the fantastic crowd behaviour at England v Scotland. The match could indeed be reinstated on a regular basis, but the fixture schedule is much heavier nowadays and you must consider the very heavy security arrangements that were in place. Would this need to be repeated?" 
  39. ^ "Scotland to meet England in play-offs". Guardian Unlimited. 1999-10-13. http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,91657,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  40. ^ "Scholes silences Scots". BBC News Online. 1999-11-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/11/99/battle_of_britain/518724.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  41. ^ "Running battles as fans clash". BBC News Online. 1999-11-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/11/99/battle_of_britain/518451.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  42. ^ Lacey, David (1999-11-18). "Hutchison restores Scots' pride". The Guardian. http://football.guardian.co.uk/Euro2000/Story/0,,104789,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  43. ^ 5 Good Reasons To Bring Back Home Internationals.., Daily Record, 23 November 2007
  44. ^ Sanchez wants Celtic tournament, BBC Sport, 12 December 2006
  45. ^ 'Four Nations' plan faces delay, BBC Sport, 11 April 2008
  46. ^ Grant, Michael (2004-02-22). "Auld Enemies could open Wembley". The Sunday Herald. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20040222/ai_n12586965. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  47. ^ "Auld Enemy clash may return". BBC News Online. 2002-01-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/low/football/1750547.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  48. ^ Scots eye summer England fixture, BBC Sport, 12 November 2007
  49. ^ England game impractical, admits Burley, The Observer, 3 February 2008
  50. ^ Gordon Smith: Manchester thugs risk to Wembley revival, Sunday Mail, 25 May 2008
  51. ^ Scotland Scores by Team, www.londonhearts.com
  52. ^ England v Scotland, The Football Association official website.
  53. ^ a b c d e f ENGLAND, www.londonhearts.com
  54. ^ "even today it holds every major record within European football", www.hampdenroar.org.uk
  55. ^ Scots passing pioneers shaped football, The Scotsman, 22 March 2008.
  56. ^ This match was a replay of the match originally staged on 5 April 1902 at Ibrox Stadium, which was abandoned after part of the stadium collapsed, killing 25 people. Funds raised by the replayed game contributed towards a disaster fund.
  57. ^ The annual match was suspended between 1915 and 1919 because of the Great War.
  58. ^ The annual match was suspended between 1940 and 1946 because of the Second World War.
  59. ^ The match also acted as a qualifier for the 1950 World Cup.
  60. ^ The match also acted as a qualifier for the 1954 World Cup.
  61. ^ a b This match also acted as a qualifier for Euro 68.
  62. ^ The first goalless draw since the first ever fixture, 98 years earlier.
  63. ^ A friendly match arranged to mark the centenary of the Scottish Football Association.
  64. ^ a b England won 2–1 on aggregate and qualified for Euro 2000.
  65. ^ Owen sets up battle of Britain, Daily Telegraph, 27 February 2003
  66. ^ Battles of Britain, BBC Sport, 20 October 2003
  67. ^ Roy Keane On Battle Of Britain, Eurosport, 9 September 2006
  68. ^ Taylor, Daniel. Forward prowess gives United edge in Battle of Britain, The Guardian, 21 October 2008.
  69. ^ a b Celtic's Battles of Britain, BBC Sport, 7 August 2009.
  70. ^ Leeds United versus Glasgow Celtic, www.leedsfans.org.uk
  71. ^ The green shoots of recovery with Hibs, The Scotsman, 11 September 2005.
  72. ^ Celtic trust in beginners’ pluck, The Scotsman, 11 September 2001.
  73. ^ a b c Texaco Cup & Anglo-Scottish Cup 1971-81, RSSSF.
  74. ^ Can Keegan's Newcastle help Scotland produce players worthy of the Premier League?, www.sportingo.com, 9 May 2008
  75. ^ Big debate: does it matter if the next England manager is English?, The Guardian, 28 November 2007
  76. ^ Reluctant Sassenach Baker who pioneered the Beckham trail, The Guardian, 13 June 2007
  77. ^ Premier League could make a short leap north, Daily Telegraph, 15 February 2008
  78. ^ Celtic Push Rangers Out Of Football Rich List, Daily Record, 14 February 2008
  79. ^ See you, Murray, Mail on Sunday, 6 June 2006
  80. ^ McConnell explains England stance, BBC News, 25 May 2006
  81. ^ Liddle, Rod (07 October, 2007). "Nelson Dida’s Comedy Act is No Laughing Matter". The Sunday Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/rod_liddle/article2604814.ece. Retrieved 2010-01-27. , in which English journalist Rod Liddle announces, “I already have my Ukraine flag ready for Scotland’s next fixture”.
  82. ^ Do I or Don’t I Sing Flower of Scotland? What’s Important is Helping George Win, The Sunday Times, March 23, 2008. Douglas Alexander interview with Terry Butcher on the subject of the latter's appointment as assistant to Scotland manager George Burley, in which Butcher is quoted, “I never hide away from the fact that when Scotland got knocked out of World Cups in the past, like in 1982 and 1986 and 1990, we cheered the roof off, the England team did that, but George has asked me to do a job for him and that’s something I want to do”.
  83. ^ The 'any-side-but-England' strategy is corrosive, The Guardian, 25 June 2006
  84. ^ We Scots just canna cheer for the Sassenachs, Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2006
  85. ^ Cosgrove, Stuart (29 March, 2007). "I Would Walk 500 Miles to Savour Hampden Roar". Daily Record. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/comment/columnists/sport-columnists/stuart-cosgrove/2007/03/29/i-would-walk-500-miles-to-savour-hampden-roar-86908-18824838/. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  86. ^ Clark, David (03 June, 2002). "Should I Fly my Kilt for England?". New Statesman. http://www.newstatesman.com/200206030009. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  87. ^ Powell, Jeff (26 January, 2001). "Eriksson an Einstein? Don't be surprised if Forrest Gump comes into the big equation". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-230873/Eriksson-Einstein-Dont-surprised-Forrest-Gump-comes-big-equation.html. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  88. ^ Oliver, Brian (03 June, 2001). "Why aren't England fans like the Tartan Army?". The Observer. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2001/jun/03/newsstory.sport8. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  89. ^ O’Donnell, Frank (30 May, 2002). "More Scots back England than their World Cup opponents". The Scotsman. http://news.scotsman.com/worldcupallegiance/More-Scots-back-England-than.2331194.jp. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 

See also

External links


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