5 memorable meetings between Wales and England ahead of their World Cup clash
Their World Cup Group B contest on Tuesday will mark the 104th time Wales and England have met since their first encounter in 1879, when the hosts walked away 2-1 winners in an international friendly at London’s Kennington Oval.
Gareth Southgate’s men have history on their side with 68 wins, 14 losses and 21 draws, while Wales will hope to conjure the magic of some of their most historic victories to stay in the tournament.
Here, the PA news agency looks back at some of the most memorable meetings between the neighbouring nations.
October 15, 1949 : Wales 1 – 4 England, World Cup Qualifier (Ninian Park, Cardiff)
🖋⚽️ Some things never change
Neil Franklin signed autographs for some young fans ahead of @England's first ever #WCQ
The Three Lions defeated Wales 4-1 in Cardiff #OnThisDay in 1949#TBT pic.twitter.com/3UnmidhPhl
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) October 15, 2020
England’s 250th international match-up was also the first World Cup qualifier for either side. The Home Nations had re-joined FIFA three years before, ending an 18-year absence from the global governing body’s members’ list. The return revived the British Home Championship tournament that would see the first and second-placed sides off to Brazil for the first World Cup in 12 years following the tournament’s wartime suspension. Stan Mortensen opened the scoring from a well-worked corner before Jackie Milburn netted the first goal of his eventual hat-trick. Mal Griffiths denied the visitors a clean sheet with a late consolation, but England walked away with all three points and, eventually, a trip to the 1950 World Cup.
November 10, 1954: England 3 -2 Wales, Home International (Wembley)
Wales broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when Ivor Allchurch sent a cross into the six-yard box and John Charles tapped home. Wales were soon on the back foot after two successive injuries knocked them down to nine men for the remainder of the first half. They were back to full strength to start the second, but a quickfire Roy Bentley brace pulled England ahead. Charles squared things up with a low effort from 18 yards but Chelsea skipper Bentley completed his hat-trick when he pounced on Ronnie Allen’s backheel and stabbed in the 82nd-minute winner.
May 31, 1977: England 0 – 1 Wales, Home International (Wembley)
An all Admiral England vs Wales in 1977
It's a day Welsh fans will never forget as Wales picked up a 1-0 victory at Wembley stadium@admiralretro pic.twitter.com/9frNQQuFPh
— Admiral Sportswear (@admiral1914) February 26, 2021
Wales finally got their own back in 1977, securing their first victory against England on their opponents’ turf for 41 years. The Dragons, managed by Mike Smith and captained by Terry Yorath, had faced England at Wembley 11 times since their first encounter there in 1952, each game ending in disappointment for the visitors. Leighton James, who needed to pass a fitness test before the match, soon made history. The monumental moment came just before half-time when England keeper Peter Shilton brought James down at the goal-line. Wales were awarded the penalty and James made no mistake, firing into the bottom left corner. It proved enough to win the match – still Wales’ only victory over England at Wembley.
May 17, 1980: Wales 4 – 1 England, Home International (Racecourse Ground, Wrexham)
In 1980, Mickey Thomas fired Wales to a famous win over England with a star display in Wrexham. #utdinternationals pic.twitter.com/rpS46uocy7
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 8, 2013
Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground was the setting for the Dragons’ first home victory over England in over 25 years when the sides met in 1980. It was England who opened proceedings through Paul Mariner in the 16th minute but the lead lasted just three minutes until Manchester United’s Mickey Thomas struck his maiden goal for Wales. Ian Walsh handed Wales the lead before Leighton James extended their advantage after the break, and an own goal by Phil Thompson added insult to injury for England.
June 16, 2016: England 2 – 1 Wales, Euro 2016 group stage (Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens)
Daniel Sturridge’s dramatic stoppage-time winner ensured England walked away with all three points in their Euro 2016 Group B clash in Lens. A win would have secured Wales a berth in the last 16 and Gareth Bale got things started, breaking the deadlock in the 42nd minute when he lifted a free-kick from 30 yards past a diving Joe Hart. But Jamie Vardy levelled things up after the restart and Sturridge poked past Wayne Hennessey in the first minute of stoppage time to complete the comeback.