England Football Online
Contact Us Page Last Updated 7 December 2013

England Website Notes
The Website's Purpose


This website is the progression of our effort to present a comprehensive and accurate record of England's national football team. We start with a match list containing essential match details: the match number, the date, the opposition, the venue, including the stadium or ground, the match’s status or type, the final and half-time scores, the result and recently included, the summarised goalscorers.  It does not include the goal times, the lineups, the substitutions, the officials and other match details. Those we leave to a series of comprehensive match summaries and a database we are preparing.  Eventually we hope to post a complete set of match summaries which, unlike those available elsewhere, will contain as much detail on the opposition as on the England team.

We have drawn on a large number of sources.  Every match has been checked against several well-known England results lists--none of which are free of errors, omissions and inconsistencies--and a large variety of other materials, including records of the World Cup, the European Championship and the national teams that have played England. We have relied not only on printed materials, but also on the rapidly increasing and improving resources on the Internet.

The need for this website arises largely because the Football Association (F.A.) has failed to provide a record of the national side that is both accurate and adequately detailed. The match lists in the F.A.'s most recent history--Niall Edworthy, England: The Official F.A. History (Virgin Books, London, 1997)--and a recent annual--The Official FA and England Yearbook 1998-99 (Pan Books, London, 1998)--were sloppily prepared; they contain several inaccuracies and inconsistencies and are sparse in detail.  Regrettably, the same is true of the records appearing on the F.A.'s official website.  Still, because the F.A., as the game's governing body in England, keeps the England team’s official records, its published lists of England’s official matches must be given attention. [edit - The FA have since updated their excellent Archive section, albeit, sprinkled with errors, still]

England's Official International Matches

In compiling our list of official England matches, we have followed the F.A.'s determinations.  If the F.A. has recognised a match as official, so have we, although, because of sloppiness and conflicts in the F.A.'s published records, it is not always easy to resolve precisely what status the F.A. has given a particular match.   We discuss the England matches which raise status questions elsewhere.  England matches regarded as unofficial are listed separately.

Home, Away and Neutral Venue Matches

We have been slightly unconventional in at least one respect. We have distinguished between matches played in the country of the opponent--true away matches--and matches played at a neutral venue, where neither team has the advantage of playing at home. 

FIFA and UEFA regard matches at the finals of their respective tournaments--the World Cup and the European Championship--as played at neutral venues even when the team of the host nation is playing, and they formally designate home and away teams only for match summary and uniform purposes. Thus, for example, England were formally designated as the "away" team for some of the matches played at Wembley Stadium in the European Championship finals of 1996. We have not gone that far because we prefer substance and reality over formality and technicality. Thus we have listed the venue as neutral only where neither team enjoys the home advantage. When England have played against the nation hosting the tournament--as in several World Cup and European Championship finals as well as lesser tournaments--we have counted that as an away match. When England have hosted the tournament--as in the World Cup finals of 1966 and the European Championship finals of 1996--we have regarded England’s matches as played at home.

This approach is not without its difficulties because football matches are, of course, subject to the peculiarities of the surrounding world. Thus, when England played a friendly match against Mexico in 1986 in Los Angeles, it was in substance an away match for England because Mexico often play in Los Angeles, a city with a huge Mexican immigrant population, and because the crowd overwhelmingly supported Mexico. Nonetheless, our insistence on substance over form has its limits. We are not in the business of gauging crowd sentiment, and we have regarded Los Angeles as a neutral venue for this match because neither team played on native soil. 

On the other hand, we have counted as an England away match the World Cup qualifying match against San Marino in Bologna, Italy in 1993 because San Marino chose to play the home legs of its qualifying matches against England and Netherlands there.

Two matches will always come up as contentious. England against Wales in 1888, and England against Northern Ireland in 1973, both played on English soil, yet both were and are England away matches. The Welsh match was played at a minimal distance over the English border, as Wrexham's Racecourse Ground became unavailable at the last moment. The Welsh FA taking home the receipts and recording the match as a home defeat.  The Irish match also receives similar recognition by its own FA, another home loss. In fact, between 1972 and 1974, Northern Ireland played 'many' home matches in England, the 1973 Home Championship was another example. The Irish even produced a programme for the match.

We believe the principles underlying our decisions on these matches are consistent. Any match played in the country of one of the teams must be regarded as a home match for that team and as an away match for the visiting team. Any match played in a third-party country must be regarded as having a neutral venue unless one of the teams has chosen to play its home matches there. 

Match Types 

We have divided England's matches into five types.   Four of these are self-evident--British Championship (also known as the Home International Championship), World Cup, European Championship (formerly known as the European Nations' Cup) and friendly matches.  

The fifth category consists of minor tournament/cup matches--games which are not part of one of the major competitive tournaments in which England have taken part, but which nevertheless present a distinctly competitive element missing from friendly matches.  We have included in this category, first, all matches England played in minor tournaments, and, second, all stand-alone matches played for a cup that England contested on a regular basis.  Not included are stand-alone cup games which England played on a one-off basis.  Such games are more akin to friendly matches in which the winning team just happened to be awarded a trophy than they are to competitive tournament or cup matches.  Thus we have included all matches England played for the Rous Cup although it involved only a single match against Scotland the first two times it was contested because England competed for that cup regularly from 1985 to 1989.  But we have not included, for example, England's match against South Africa on 22 May 2003 although the International Launch Trophy commemorating the launch of South Africa's bid to host World Cup 2010 was awarded to England for their 2-1 victory; the match was a one-off affair and in substance merely a friendly.  

We will add a sixth category of matches if and when England qualify for the Confederations Cup tournament.

National Team Records

Nations come and go, split into different nations, unite or reunite, and these changes are accompanied by changes in their national football teams.  We have made a preliminary decision to keep separate records for each national team representing a new national entity.  We have thus decided to maintain separate records for:

1.  United Ireland (pre-partition), Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (formerly known as the Irish Free State and Eire).

2.  Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

3.  United Germany (pre-Second World War and post-1990), West Germany and German Democratic Republic.

4.  U.S.S.R., Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia, and all the other nations created or recreated when the Soviet Union broke up.

5.  United Yugoslavia and all the new nations created or recreated when it splintered.

We could well change our mind on this.  If we do, we will lump together the records of nations which are clearly predecessor and successor, but we will continue to maintain separate records for "splinter" nations created or recreated by the partitioning of a larger nation.  Thus we would combine the records of united Ireland/Northern Ireland, Bohemia/Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, united Germany/West Germany,  U.S.S.R./Commonwealth of Independent States/Russia, united Yugoslavia/new Yugoslavia (renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003, and have since separated since).  But we would continue to maintain separate records for "spin-off" nations like the Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, German Democratic Republic,  Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.