TeamGB Football Online
Page Last Updated 15 September 2013
 
 

TeamGB Index


Professionals History

Great Britain's Amateur History
1908-
71

 

British players and officials listed are all English, except where stated.

 

1896 - Games of the I Olympiad (Athens, Greece)

 

Football was played at the first modern Olympics, but records do not state who won.

1900 - Games of the II Olympiad (Paris, France)

 

Football was played as a demonstration sport, with no medals being awarded. An English club side, Upton Park, played one game (on September 20) and defeated their hosts, Club Français, 4-0, at Velodrome Municipal de Vincennes. They were declared winners of the tournament.

1904 - Games of the III Olympiad (St. Louis, USA)

 

The football tournament was won by a Canadian club team. No British team took part.

1908 - Games of the IV Olympiad (London)

 

The Great Britain squad was represented by the England amateur team that had won all ten of their previous fixtures.

xSquad Members: 18
18

FA Member in Charge: Alfred Davis
(teams selected by FA committee)
Captain: Viv Woodward (Tottenham Hotspur)

Quarter-Final
1 20 October 1908 - Great Britain 12 Sweden 1 [7-0]
White City Stadium, Shepherd's Bush (2,000)
= (11)
Stapley (2), Woodward (2), Berry, Chapman, Purnell (4), Hawkes (2)
Bergström
HW
Semi-Final  
2 22 October 1908 - Great Britain 4 Netherlands 0 [1-0]
White City Stadium, Shepherd's Bush (6,000)
= (11)
Stapley (4) HW
Final  
3 24 October 1908 - Great Britain 2 Denmark 0 [1-0]
White City Stadium, Shepherd's Bush
(8,000)
= (11)
Chapman, Woodward HW
 

Great Britain won the gold medals.

1912 - Games of the V Olympiad (Stockholm, Sweden)

 

The Great Britain squad was, once again, represented by the England amateur team, defending their Olympic title, after a run of ten wins in their last eleven fixtures.

xSquad Members: 19
19

FA Member in Charge:
George Wagstaffe Simmons
(teams selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Adrian Birch
Captain: Viv Woodward (Chelsea)

Quarter-Final
4 30 June 1912 - Great Britain 7 Hungary 0 [3-0]
Olympiastadion
(8,000)
= (11)
Walden (6), Woodward NW
 

England goalkeeper, Ron Brebner, saved an early penalty from Hungary's Bodnár, with the score goalless. Centre-half, Ted Hanney went off injured at half-time and left Britain with ten men for the second half.

Semi-Final  
5 2 July 1912 - Great Britain 4 Finland 0 [2-0]
Olympiastadion
(4,000)
= (11)
Sharpe, Walden (2), Woodward NW
 

Full-back, Arthur Knight missed a penalty after 15 minutes, with Britain already leading 2-0.

Final  
6 4 July 1912 - Denmark 2 Great Britain 4 [1-4]
Olympiastadion
(25,000)
= (11)
Olsen (2)
Walden, Hoare (2), Berry
NW
 

With Britain leading 2-1, the Danish defender, Buchwald, was taken off with an arm injury in the thirtieth minute, leaving Denmark to play the final hour with ten men. Great Britain won the gold medals.

1916 - Games of the VI Olympiad

 

The Olympic Games were cancelled due to the first world war.

1920 - Games of the VII Olympiad (Antwerp, Belgium)

 

In an attempt to emulate the pre-war Olympic successes, Great Britain was, once more, represented by the England amateur team (with a Welsh trainer).

xSquad Members: 19
19

FA Member in Charge:
Charlie Wreford-Brown
(teams selected by FA committee)
Trainer: George Latham
Captain:
Arthur Knight (Portsmouth)

First Round
7 28 August 1920 - Great Britain 1 Norway 3 [1-1]
Olympisch Stadion
(5,000)
= (11)
Nicholas
Gundersen (2), Wilhelms
NL

1924 - Games of the VIII Olympiad (Paris, France)

 

Great Britain did not enter a team in the Olympic Games. Uruguay won the gold medals.

1928 - Games of the IX Olympiad (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

 

Great Britain did not enter a team in the Olympic Games. Uruguay won the gold medals.

1932 - Games of the X Olympiad (Los Angeles, USA)

 

No football tournament was held at the Los Angeles Olympics.

1936 - Games of the XI Olympiad (Berlin, Germany)

 

Football and Great Britain returned to the Olympics and, for the first time, the British squad included players from all four of the home nations, though neither of the two Welshmen played in the tournament.

xSquad Members: 22
13 5 2 2

FA Members in Charge:
Charlie Wreford-Brown and Stanley Rous
(teams selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Bill Voisey
Captain: Bernard Joy (Casuals)

First Round
8 6 August 1936 - Great Britain 2 China 0 [0-0]
Mommsenstadion
(8,000)
= (6)(4)(1)
Dodds, Finch NW
 

Queen's Park and Scotland striker, Mac Dodds, became the first non-Englishman to score for Great Britain, when he netted the opening goal. Belfast Celtic full-back, Bertie Fulton, became the first Irishman to play for Britain.

Quarter-Final  
9 8 August 1936 - Poland 5 Great Britain 4 [2-1]
Poststadion
(6,000)
= (8)(2)(1)
Gad, Wodarz (3), Piec
Clements, Shearer, Joy (2)
NL
 

Poland led 5-1 with twenty minutes remaining. World Champions, Italy won the gold medals.

Friendly  
10 12 August 1936 - Germany 4 Great Britain 1 [2-0]
Sportplatz am Rothenbaum, Hamburg

= (6)(2)(2)(1)
NK AL
 

This was a hastily-arranged game between two teams that had been eliminated in the quarter-finals. Seven players made their debuts for the British side and it was the first to include representatives from all four nations of the United Kingdom.

1940 - Games of the XII Olympiad

 

The Olympic Games were cancelled due to the second world war.

1944 - Games of the XIII Olympiad

 

The Olympic Games were cancelled due to the second world war.

1948 - Games of the XIV Olympiad (London)

 

The Football Association turned to a Scottish manager (who was about to lead Manchester United to the FA Cup) and gave him the honour of selecting the teams to represent Great Britain on home soil. The committee still selected the squad, though, and, for the first and only time, the English contingent made up less than half of it. Players from all four home nations were to appear and score in the Games, also for the first and only time.

Olympic Trial
- 28 February 1948 - Great Britain 4 Queen's Park 0 [2-0]
Fratton Park, Portsmouth

= (10)(1)
Amor (3), NK HW
 

This was almost an England v. Scotland amateur international. Eight members of the British team (actually England, plus Welsh striker, Frank Donovan) and five members of the Queen's Park team made it to the Olympic squad, although Queen's Park finished bottom of Scottish Division A and were relegated.

Friendlies  
11 20 June 1948 - Netherlands 2 Great Britain 1 [1-1]
Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam
(65,000)
= (7)(2)(1)(1)
van der Tuyn, Roosenburg
Joseph
AL
- 10 July 1948 - FC Basel 3 Great Britain 2 [NK]
Landhof Stadion, Basel, Switzerland

= (5)(4)(1)(1)
NK AL
12 25 July 1948 - France 2 Great Britain 3 [0-3]
Stade Malakoff, Nantes

= (7)(2)(1)(1)
Strappe, Courbin
Hopper, Kelleher, McIlvenny
AW

xSquad Members: 22
10 7 3 2

Manager: Matt Busby
(squad selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Tom Curry
Captain: Bob Hardisty (Bishop Auckland)

First Round  
13 31 July 1948 - Great Britain 4 Netherlands 3 [1-1] AET [3-3]
Arsenal
Stadium,
Highbury (21,000)
= (7)(2)(1)(1)
Hardisty, McBain, Kelleher, McIlvenny
Appel (2), Wilkes
HW
 

Full-back, Gwyn Manning, of Troedyrhiw, became the first Welshman to play for Britain in the Olympics, whilst Barnet's Denis Kelleher became the first player from Northern Ireland to score for Britain at the Games.

Quarter-Final  
14 5 August 1948 - Great Britain 1 France 0 [1-0]
Craven Cottage, Fulham
(25,000)
= (7)(2)(1)(1)
Hardisty HW
Semi-Final  
15 11 August 1948 - Great Britain 1 Yugoslavia 3 [1-2]
Empire Stadium, Wembley
(40,000)
= (6)(2)(2)(1)
Donovan
Bobek,
Wölfl, Mitić
HL
 

Pembroke Borough striker, Frank Donovan, equalised for Britain, with the first Olympic goal scored by a Welshman, but his appearance was the last ever by a Welsh amateur at the Games.

Third and Fourth Place  
16 13 August 1948 - Denmark 5 Great Britain 3 [3-2]
Empire Stadium, Wembley
(5,000)
= (7)(4)
Præst (2), Hansen (2), Sørensen
Aitken, Hardisty, Amor
HL
 

Britain reverted to an Anglo-Scottish eleven for the bronze medals play-off, but they were unable to secure the consolation prizes. The game was followed in the stadium by the final, watched by 60,000 people. Sweden won the gold medals.

1952 - Games of the XV Olympiad (Helsinki, Finland)

 

The England manager was given responsibility for selecting the entire Great Britain squad, as well as the team for each game.

Olympic Trial
- 30 April 1952 - England B 3 Great Britain 0 [NK]
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London

= (7)(2)(2)
Stubbs, Harmer (pen), French AL
 

This was a trial match for both of Walter Winterbottom's teams. The professional England B team included future England manager, Ron Greenwood, and a 19-year-old, Bobby Smith, later of Tottenham Hotspur and England. All of the English players in the British team made it to the Olympics, plus one of the Scots and one of the Irishmen.

Friendlies  
 

Squad = (12)(3)

17 14 May 1952 - Germany 2 Great Britain 1 [1-0]
Fortunaplatz am Flinger Broich, Düsseldorf
Zeitler (2)
Slater
AL
 

This was the first game played by the new West German amateur team, following the second world war. In the Olympics, however, they represented the whole of Germany. The scorer of Britain's consolation goal, twelve minutes from time, Bill Slater, went on to represent the full England team and won the Footballer of the Year award in 1960.

18 18 May 1952 - Germany 2 Great Britain 0 [NK]
Nürnbergerstadion, Nürnberg
NK AL
 

Held on the same day as England's 1-1 draw with Italy in Firenze. Walter Winterbottom was responsible for two teams playing in different countries.

xSquad Members: 20
15 3 1 1

Manager: Walter Winterbottom
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Charlie Fuller (Bromley)

Preliminary Round  
19 16 July 1952 - Luxembourg 5 Great Britain 3 [0-1] AET [1-1]
Lahden kisapuisto, Lahti
(3,656)
= (10)(1)
Roller (3), Letsch, Gales
Robb, Slater, Lewis
NL
 

The only non-Englishman in the team, Tommy Stewart, had captained Scotland to victory against England, at Wembley, in March, alongside six of his Queen's Park team-mates. The club finished next to bottom of the Scottish League. Seven of the England side at Wembley played against Luxembourg. Hungary won the gold medals.

Friendlies  
20 25 July 1952 - Great Britain 2 Greece 4 [1-2]
Kaurialan
kenttä, Hämeenlinna (4,000)
= (7)(3)(1)
Grierson, Yenson
Papageorgiou (3), Emmanouilidis
NL
 

Great Britain had been eliminated from the Olympic tournament, before the opening ceremony. To reclaim some of the financial losses incurred by the Football Association, most of the team stayed in Finland and played a series of friendlies. They defeated local Finnish teams, Kuopion and Vaasan, and with Greece having been eliminated the day before Great Britain, an international match was organised.

21 29 July 1952 - Norway 2 Great Britain 2 [NK]
Ullevål Stadion, Oslo
NK
Grierson, Noble
AD
 

The British team finally ended a run of six consecutive defeats against other countries, when they pulled back a two-goal deficit, with six minutes remaining, against Norway, who had also taken an early exit from the Olympic tournament.

1956 - Games of the XVI Olympiad (Melbourne, Australia)

 

With the Scottish, Welsh and Irish associations showing little interest in helping to fund the squad's trip to Australia, the FA was left to use the England amateur team to represent Great Britain. The selection committee reclaimed the right to choose the squads and teams, with the manager allowed to pick the team when they were abroad. For the first time, Britain had to qualify for the tournament and, in preparation, embarked on a series of friendly fixtures against two First Division teams (Arsenal and Luton), a Second Division side (West Ham) and a club from the Third Division South (QPR).

Olympic Trials
- 13 September 1955 - Arsenal 2 Great Britain 1 [1-0]
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London

= (11)
Flanagan, Roper
Neil
AL
 

Four days later, the England team travelled to Cliftonville, and defeated Northern Ireland, 4-1, in the British Championship.

- 26 September 1955 - West Ham United 6 Great Britain 1 [2-1]
Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, London
= (11+1 sub)
Tucker (3), Lawrence, Hooper, Dick
O'Connell
AL
- 10 October 1955 - Queen's Park Rangers 2 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
Loftus Road Stadium, Shepherd's Bush, London
= (11+4 subs)
Clark, Shepherd
Littlejohn
AL
- 17 October 1955 - Luton Town 2 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
Kenilworth
Road Stadium, Luton
= (11)
MacEwan, Adam
Lewis
AL

xSquad Members: 15
1
5

Manager: Norman Creek
(team selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Bob Hardisty (Bishop Auckland)

Qualifying First Leg  
22 23 October 1955 - Bulgaria 2 Great Britain 0 [1-0]
Stadion Vasil Levski, Sofia
(45,000)
= (11)
Stefanov, Yanev AL

xSquad Members: 13
13

Manager: Norman Creek
(team selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Tommy Farrer (Walthamstow Avenue)

Qualifying Second Leg  
23 12 May 1956 - Great Britain 3 Bulgaria 3 [1-2]
Bulgaria win 5-3 on aggregate
Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
(28,000)
= (11)
Hardisty (2), Lewis (pen)
Milanov Stoyanov, Prince OG, Dimitrov Nikolov
HD
 

The selection committee made five changes from the first-leg line-up, seven months earlier. Despite Britain's elimination, they were invited to the final tournament after a spate of withdrawals, due to the cost of sending players to Melbourne. On June 4, the FA announced that they would accept and began to arrange another set of friendly fixtures for the England team (including three against First Division sides) in preparation for the long trip.

Olympic Trials  
- 2 September 1956 - Copenhagen 5 Great Britain 1 [4-0]
Københavns Idrætspark,
København, Denmark (11,500)
= (11)
Jacobsen (3), Nielsen, Lundberg
Lewin
AL
 

The home team was selected from all of the players at Copenhagen clubs. A similar side had represented the city in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in the previous season.

- 26 September 1956 - Great Britain 1 Uganda 2 [1-0]
Cricklefield Stadium, Ilford
= (11)
Lewis
Parma,
Seruwagi
HL
 

The barefooted African tourists caused a huge shock by defeating the England amateur team on their own patch. England took the lead in the first minute, but they were afraid to tackle their opponents on a dry pitch, ideally suited to the Ugandans, who would be affiliated to FIFA, three years later.

- 8 October 1956 - Luton Town 2 Great Britain 3 [0-0]
Kenilworth
Road Stadium, Luton
= (11)
Gregory (2)
Laybourne (3)
AW
 

A much better performance from the England team, who recovered from two goals down, away to a strong First Division side, to score a late winner. Five days later, they defeated a representative side from the Isthmian and Athenian Leagues, 3-1, at Plough Lane, Wimbledon; Coates and Bromilow (2) got the goals.

- 22 October 1956 - Newcastle United 5 Great Britain 0 [3-0]
St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne (8,860)
= (11+2 subs)
Curry (5) AL
 

The England defence was ripped apart by the accuracy of Bill Curry, who later played for the England Under-23 side. Five days later, the Olympic team beat a Combined Universities eleven, 4-1, at the Richmond Road Ground, Kingston upon Thames; Lewis (2), Hardisty and Dodkins all scored before the interval.

- 5 November 1956 - Arsenal 3 Great Britain 2 [2-2]
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London

= (11+1 sub)
Tapscott (2), Holton
Lewis, Wills OG
AL
 

An encouraging display from the Olympic side, who took a two-goal lead in their last game before departing for Melbourne.

xSquad Members: 16
1
6

Manager: Norman Creek
(squad selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Bob Hardisty (Bishop Auckland)

Friendly  
24 19 November 1956 - Australia 1 Great Britain 3 [0-2]
Campbell Reserve, City of Coburg

= (11+3 subs)
Beattie
Hardisty, Lewis, Lewin
AW
First Round  
25 26 November 1956 - Great Britain 9 Thailand 0 [4-0]
Olympic Park Stadium

= (11)
Twissell (2), Lewis (pen), Laybourne (3),
Bromilow (2), Topp
NW
 

Bob Hardisty picked up a groin strain and was replaced as captain for the quarter-final by Laurie Topp of Hendon.

Quarter-Final  
26 30 November 1956 - Bulgaria 6 Great Britain 1 [3-1]
Olympic Park Stadium
= (11)
Dimitrov Nikolov, Kolev (2), Milanov Stoyanov (3)
Lewis
NL
 

Bulgaria knocked the England team out of the competition for the second time. USSR won the gold medals. The British Olympic squad took in a brief tour of south-east Asia on the way home.

Friendlies  
27 10 December 1956 - Singapore 0 Great Britain 4 [0-2]
Jalan Besar Stadium, Kallang
(6,500)
= (11)
Hardisty, Lewis (2), Lewin AW
28 13 December 1956 - Malaya 2 Great Britain 6 [2-5]
Selangor Club Padang, K
uala Lumpur (9,000)
= (11)
NK
Coates (3), Hardisty (2), Bromilow
AW
29 16 December 1956 - Burma 0 Great Britain 2 [NK]
Bogyoke Aung San Stadium, Yangon

= (11)
Coates, Bromilow AW

1960 - Games of the XVII Olympiad (Rome, Italy)

 

The other home nations rejoined England in qualification, to create a United Kingdom side once more, though no Welsh players made it to Italy. This was to be the last amateur Great Britain team to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Olympic Trials
- 10 October 1959 - Great Britain 7 Caribbean Territories 2 [3-1]
Portman Road Stadium, Ipswich

= (5)(3)(2)(1)

2 reserves (1 English, 1 Welsh)
R.Brown (3), Kane (3), NK
Parker (2)
HW
 

The visiting tourists were selected from the British territories of Barbados, British Guiana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Peter Kane, who scored a hat-trick in the second half, turned professional at the end of the month, by joining Northampton Town of the Fourth Division, thus ruling himself out of selection for the Olympic fixtures.

- 19 October 1959 - Burnley 5 Great Britain 0 [1-0]
Turf Moor, Burnley
(5,935)
= (6)(3)(1)(1)

3 reserves (2 Scottish, 1 Welsh)
McIlroy (2,1 pen), Connelly (2), White AL
 

A harsh lesson for the Olympic hopefuls, although Burnley finished the season as Football League Champions. Britain's reserve goalkeeper was Bob Wilson, then still a schoolboy, who went on to win the League and FA Cup double with Arsenal, in 1971.

- 16 November 1959 - Chelsea 4 Great Britain 1 [3-0]
Stamford Bridge, Fulham, London
(5,000)
= (7)(2)(2)

5 reserves (4 English, 1 Welsh)
Bridges, Gibbs (2), Greaves
Neil
AL
 

The 19-year-old Chelsea goalscorer, Jimmy Greaves, was already a full England international, whilst their 18-year-old goalkeeper making his debut was Peter Bonetti, who played for England in the 1970 World Cup.

xSquad Members: 16
10 2
2 2

Manager: Norman Creek
(team selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain:
Alf D'Arcy (Barnet)

European Qualifying Group Five  
30 21 November 1959 - Great Britain 3 Republic of Ireland 2 [2-0]
Goldstone Ground, Hove
(7,800)
= (8)(1)(1)(1)
Hasty (3)
Aherne, Rice
HW
 

Irishman, Paddy Hasty gave Britain the lead with the first of his hat-trick, before their opponents had even touched the ball, but they had to rely on a late winner, after the Republic had pulled back from a two-goal deficit. Every country in the British Isles was represented on the field of play, a rare occurrence.

Olympic Trials  
- 25 January 1960 - Arsenal 4 Great Britain 0 [2-0]
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London

= (8+2 subs)(2+1 sub)(1)
4 reserves (3 English, 1 Welsh)
Julians, Barnwell (2), Nutt AL
- 8 February 1960 - West Ham United 5 Great Britain 2 [1-1]
Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, London (4,800)
= (8+1 sub)(2)(1)
6
English reserves
Bond (3), Scott, Musgrove
R.
Brown (2)
AL
 

An 18-year-old future England captain, called Bobby Moore, was in the West Ham defence.

- 22 February 1960 - Northampton Town 2 Great Britain 2 [0-2]
British Timken Sports Ground, Northampton
= (10)(1)
4 reserves (3 English, 1 Irish)
Tebbutt, Kane
Ward, Harding
AD
 

The British team, (or, more accurately, England, plus Irish striker, Hubert Barr) including the 17-year-old, future England coach, Terry Venables, raced into a two-goal lead in the first fifteen minutes. The Fourth Division side equalised through Peter Kane, who had begun the season as a British Olympic triallist, before turning professional.

xSquad Members: 14 (Republic of Ireland)
11 2
1
Squad Members: 16 (Netherlands)
11 3 2

Manager: Norman Creek
(teams selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain:
Mike Greenwood (Bishop Auckland)

European Qualifying Group Five  
31 13 March 1960 - Republic of Ireland 1 Great Britain 3 [0-0]
Dalymount Park, Dublin
(19,000)
= (10)(1)
McGrath
Coates, R.
Brown, Harding
AW
 

Five changes from the meeting, three months earlier, produced an all-English team, but for Scottish full-back, Davie Holt, that ended the challenge of their near-neighbours.

32 2 April 1960 - Netherlands 1 Great Britain 5 [0-1]
Oosterenkstadion, Zwolle
(9,000)
= (9)(1)(1)
Hainje
Lewis (3,1 pen), Lindsay, R.
Brown
AW
 

A convincing display from the British side took them through to the Olympic tournament, with a game to spare.

xSquad Members: 13
11 1
1

Manager: Norman Creek
(team selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain:
Alf D'Arcy (Barnet)

33 13 April 1960 - Great Britain 2 Netherlands 2 [1-0]
White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London
(3,950)
= (9)(1)(1)
R.Brown, Lewis
de Kleermaeker, Bouwman
HD
 

For the third time that season, the British side let slip a two-goal lead. Great Britain won Group Five with seven points. The Republic of Ireland were runners-up with three points.

Friendly  
34 14 May 1960 - Italy (Under-23) 5 Great Britain 1 [3-1]
Stadio Mario Rigamonti, Brescia (3,000)
= (8)(2)(1+1 sub)
2 reserves (1 Irish, 1 Scottish)
Bettini (2), Ferrario (2), Bulgarelli
Howard
AL
 

The British squad contained three Irishmen for the first time, but they were well beaten by the heat and their younger opponents.

Olympic Trial  
- 13 August 1960 - Great Britain 2 Watford 1 [0-1]
RAF Uxbridge, Hillingdon, London

= (7+4 subs)(3+1 sub)(1+2 subs)
Devine, L.Brown (pen)
Holton
HW
 

The entire Olympic squad got a run-out (apart from Jim Lewis, who was on holiday) and their extra training at the Royal Air Force base came into its own as they came from behind on their new home ground, to beat the newly-promoted Third Division side with a last-minute winner. It was the ideal send-off for the difficult tasks that they would face in Italy.

xSquad Members: 19
12 4
3

Manager: Norman Creek
(squad selected by FA committee)
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain:
Laurie Brown (Bishop Auckland)

Group Two  
35 26 August 1960 - Brazil 4 Great Britain 3 [1-1]
Stadio di Ardenza, Livorno
(25,000)
= (7)(3)(1)
Gérson, China (2), Wanderley
R.Brown
(2), Lewis
NL
 

With Britain leading 2-1, after 56 minutes, England full-back, Tommy Thompson was stretchered off with a broken right leg. The under-23 Brazilian side capitalised on their numerical advantage and took the points.

36 29 August 1960 - Italy 2 Great Britain 2 [1-1]
Stadio Flaminio
(45,000)
= (6)(4)(1)
Rossano (2)
R.Brown
, Hasty
AD
 

A brave performance from the Brits in front of a vociferous Roman crowd, against another under-23 side, but the draw extinguished their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

37 1 September 1960 - Great Britain 3 Formosa 2 [1-1]
Stadio Olimpico Comunale, Grosseto
(779)
= (7)(2)(2)
R.Brown, Howard, Hasty
Mok (2)
NW
 

Britain made hard work of beating their Taiwanese opponents on, what was to be, the last ever appearance by a British amateur side at the Olympic Games. Great Britain finished 3rd with three points in Group Two. Italy qualified for the semi-finals with five points. Yugoslavia won the gold medals.

1964 - Games of the XVIII Olympiad (Tokyo, Japan)

 

Britain had a new manager after the first round of qualification fixtures, but they failed to make it to Japan.

Olympic Trial
- 17 August 1963 - Queen's Park Rangers 1 Great Britain 1 [NK]
Loftus Road Stadium, Shepherd's Bush, London
= (11)
NK AD
 

Flushed with the comparative success achieved by the previous Olympic squad after regular training sessions together, Norman Creek found it easier to get his southern-based English players to London. He was heavily biased towards them in his last games before retirement, strongly influencing the selection of the British squad, and it was the England amateur team that took part in the pre-season trial match against the Third Division side.

xSquad Members: 14
12 1 1

Manager: Norman Creek
(teams selected by FA committee)

Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: John Martin (Wimbledon)

Preliminary Qualifying Round First Leg  
38 7 September 1963 - Iceland 0 Great Britain 6 [0-4]
Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavik (7,500)
= (10)(1)
Harvey, B.Martin (2), Lindsay (2), Candey AW
 

Scottish full-back, Billy Neil was the only non-Englishman in both legs of the preliminary round.

Preliminary Qualifying Round Second Leg  
39 14 September 1963 - Great Britain 4 Iceland 0 [2-0]
Great Britain win 10-0 on aggregate

Plough Lane, Wimbledon, London (3,500)
= (10)(1)
Lawrence (3,1 pen), Harvey HW
 

Wimbledon striker, Brian Martin, playing on his home ground, was carried off with a broken right leg after ten minutes. Ten minutes later, the home side were reduced to nine men, when John Ashworth suffered a head wound, although he returned for the first twenty minutes of the second half, before retiring. Britain were still comfortable winners in Norman Creek's last match as manager.

Olympic Trials  
- 16 December 1963 - Chelsea 3 Great Britain 3 [1-0]
Stamford Bridge, Fulham, London

= (5+1 sub)(4+3 subs)(2)
Mulholland (3)
Harvey (pen), Reynolds, O'Neill
AD
 

The English players were, for the first time, outnumbered by the rest. It was a fine performance, as well, with Britain coming back from two goals down and then coming back again to equalise, with two minutes left. There were no Scottish players present, as Scotland had been playing in Kenya.

- 20 January 1964 - Chelsea 1 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
Stamford Bridge, Fulham, London
(1,151)

= (3+1 sub)(3)(3)(2)
Howarth
Buchanan
AD
 

In the absence of John Martin, Billy Neil, of Scotland, captained a uniquely United Kingdom side, as they again resisted the high-flying First Division team on their own ground.

- 27 January 1964 - Aston Villa 2 Great Britain 2 [1-0]
Villa Park, Birmingham

= (8+2 subs)(3)(1 sub)
Trevis (2)
Lawrence (2)
AD
 

Britain were, again, deprived of their Scottish players, due to a Queen's Park Scottish Cup replay, but they still stretched their unbeaten run in the British Isles to nine games, thanks to another dramatic recovery. Both of their goals were scored in the closing stages of the game, when, at two goals down, all seemed lost.

- 3 February 1964 - Manchester United 4 Great Britain 0 [2-0]
Old Trafford, Manchester
(6,000)

= (8)(3+2 subs)(1 sub)(1 sub)
Mitten (2), Kinsey, Sadler AL
 

The run, predictably, came to an end against United's young reserve side.

xSquad Members: 15
8 3
3 1

Manager: Charlie Hughes
(team selected by FA committee)

Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: John Martin (Wimbledon)

First Qualifying Round First Leg  
40 12 February 1964 - Great Britain 2 Greece 1 [2-0]
Stamford Bridge, Fulham, London (4,175)
= (6)(3)(2)
Lawrence, Buchanan
Papaioannou
HW
 

Greek centre half, Zanderoglou broke his collarbone, with fifteen minutes left, leaving the under-23 side to hang on with ten men.

Olympic Trials  
- 24 February 1964 - Tottenham Hotspur 1 Great Britain 0 [1-0]
White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London
(3,000)

= (9)(1)(1)
Saul (pen) AL
- 2 March 1964 - Coventry City 0 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
Highfield Road Stadium, Coventry (5,000)

= (8+1 sub)
(2)(1)(1 sub)
5
reserves (2 English, 1 Irish, 1 Scottish, 1 Welsh)
Quail AW
 

In the process of laying on the only goal against a team that was about to win the Third Division Championship, Tommy Lawrence sustained a fractured skull and was carried off. Great Britain had already used their outfield substitute, so, with twenty minutes left, the substitute goalkeeper, Griffin, had to go on in his place. Billy Neil was captain again, but he was to miss the return leg in Greece, due to injury.

xSquad Members: 15
9 4 1
1

Manager: Charlie Hughes
(team selected by FA committee)

Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: John Martin (Wimbledon)

First Qualifying Round Second Leg  
41 8 April 1964 - Greece 4 Great Britain 1 [1-0]
Greece win 5-3 on aggregate

Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Athens
(16,000)
= (7+1 sub)(3)(1)
Mavridis, Papaioannou (2), Papazoglou (pen)
Buchanan
AL
 

Skevofilax missed a first-half penalty for Greece, but they did not clinch victory until the last eight minutes, when they scored twice. Four days later, the Greek Olympic Committee withdrew their team from the competition, after it transpired that the side that had eliminated Great Britain (with five changes from the first leg) had included professional players. Great Britain declined to take the Greeks' place in the next round. Hungary won the gold medals.

1968 - Games of the XIX Olympiad (Mexico City)

 

Irish and Welsh players were discarded, whilst at one stage, the Scots were also excluded, but ultimately, it was another unsuccessful qualifying campaign.

Friendlies  
42 8 August 1967 - Sweden (Under-23) 0 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
Ullevi, Göteborg (15,000)
Pritchard AW
43 11 August 1967 - Republic of Ireland 0 Great Britain 2 [NK]
Dalymount Park, Dublin
NK AW
44 15 August 1967 - Iceland 0 Great Britain 3 [NK]
Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavik
Jonsson OG, Haider, Stefnasson OG AW
 

What was, originally, intended to be an England amateur tour, became a British Olympic tour, due to the addition of six Scotsmen, alongside the ten English players.

Olympic Trials  
- 4 September 1967 - Chelsea 0 Great Britain 1 [0-1]
Stamford Bridge, Fulham, London

= (10)(1)
Gray AW
 

The British team's fourth successive visit to Chelsea without defeat brought them a prestigious victory against a top-six side in the First Division.

- 11 September 1967 - Charlton Athletic 1 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
The Valley, Charlton, London
Stenson
Gray
AD
 

A creditable draw on the ground of the Second Division team.

- 9 October 1967 - Celtic 4 Great Britain 0 (2-0]
Lesser Hampden, Mount Florida, Glasgow

= (8+2 subs)(3+1 sub)
Quinn (2), McMahon, Connolly (pen) AL
 

The Anglo-Scottish side was no match for the European Champions' reserve team.

- 16 October 1967 - Watford 3 Great Britain 2 [0-0]
Vicarage Road, Watford
= (9+2 subs)(2+3 subs)
Lawton (2), Garbett
Andrews, Hopper
AL
 

Two of the five half-time substitutes gave Britain a two-goal lead, but they were eventually beaten by the Third Division side.

xSquad Members: 13
13

Manager: Charlie Hughes
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Roy Sleap (Hendon)

Second Qualifying Round First Leg  
45 25 October 1967 - West Germany 0 Great Britain 2 [0-1]
Rosenaustadion, Augsburg (8,000)
= (11)
Hogwood, Pritchard AW
 

The refusal of Queen's Park to release three players before their Saturday fixture, caused Charlie Hughes to ignore them for the qualifier and it was England who went to Germany and won, despite only having ten fit outfield players. As it turned out, the Germans ended up with nine fit players, after Bergfelder went off with concussion and one of their strikers, Faltermeier played on with a leg injury. The visitors even missed a penalty in the 73rd minute, when Schulte saved from Dave Andrews, three minutes before Larry Pritchard's clincher.

Second Qualifying Round First Leg  
46 8 November 1967 - Great Britain 0 West Germany 1 [0-1]
Great Britain win 2-1 on aggregate
Claremont Road, Hendon, London (4,002)
= (11+1 sub)
Keifler HL
 

Hughes again left out the Scots, and opted for an Isthmian League eleven that just had enough to hold on to the first-leg lead.

Olympic Trials  
- 29 January 1968 - Oxford United 1 Great Britain 0 [0-0]
Manor Ground, Oxford

= (11+2 subs)
G.Atkinson AL
 

Another all-English side fell to a 40-yard stunner from Graham, the lesser-known of the Atkinson brothers. His elder sibling, 'Big Ron' (who was also in the side) captained the club to the Third Division Championship that season and went on to manage several top clubs, including Manchester United.

- 12 February 1968 - Watford 0 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
Vicarage Road, Watford
= (8)(3)
Gray AW
 

Scottish players were welcomed back into the fold, for the first time since the previous visit to Watford, four months earlier. This time, the Anglo-Scottish team managed to hold on to their lead.

- 26 February 1968 - Charlton Athletic 3 Great Britain 2 [NK]
The Valley, Charlton, London
NK AL
Friendly  
47 8 March 1968 - Great Britain 6 Republic of Ireland 0 [1-0]
Vicarage Road, Watford (1,564)
= (10+2 subs)(1)
Greene (3), Pritchard (3) HW
Olympic Trial  
- 18 March 1968 - Arsenal 0 Great Britain 3 [0-2]
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London

= (9+2 subs)
(2)
Greene (2), Davidson OG AW
 

Great Britain's biggest ever victory against a First Division side was the ideal boost before the difficult trip to Spain.

xSquad Members: 16
14 2

Manager: Charlie Hughes
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Roy Sleap (Hendon)

Third Qualifying Round First Leg  
48 27 March 1968 - Spain 1 Great Britain 0 [1-0]
Estadi de la Nova Creu Alta, Sabadell (20,000)
= (9)(2)
Ortega AL
 

Partick Thistle and Scotland's George Cumming was sent off in the 63rd minute in a physical game settled by a seventh minute winner.

Third Qualifying Round Second Leg  
49 10 April 1968 - Great Britain 0 Spain 0 [0-0]
Spain win 1-0 on aggregate
White City Stadium, Shepherd's Bush, London (23,000)
= (9+2 subs)(2)
  HD
 

Britain returned to the scene of their gold medal success of sixty years earlier, but they were unable to break down their opponents and exited the competition. Hungary won the gold medals.

1972 - Games of the XX Olympiad (Munich, West Germany)

 

The final Olympic competition entered by Britain's amateurs produced one moment of glory, but only one Scotsman managed to break into the, otherwise, English side.

Olympic Trials
- 9 November 1970 - Oxford United 0 Great Britain 1 [NK]
Manor Ground, Oxford
NK AW
 

A UK-wide squad for the successful trip to their Second Division opponents, with three Welshmen, a Scotsman, an Irishman and ten English players.

- 23 November 1970 - Watford 2 Great Britain 4 [NK]
Vicarage Road, Watford
NK AW
 

Back to a virtually all-English squad, with a single Scotsman, but an emphatic victory away to another Second Division side.

- 14 December 1970 - Derby County 0 Great Britain 1 [0-0]
The Baseball Ground, Derby

= (11)
Gray AW
 

A full-English eleven continued the good form by going to First Division, Derby and winning.

- 11 January 1971 - Reading 0 Great Britain 2 [NK]
Elm Park, Reading
NK AW
 

Possibly, another all-English eleven stretched the winning run to four games, against a team heading for relegation to the Fourth Division.

- 25 January 1971 - Northern Ireland 3 Great Britain 3 [1-2]
Windsor
Park, Belfast

= (11+1 sub)(1 sub)
Mullan (pen), Dickson (2)
Pritchard, Delaney, Gray
AD
 

An all-English eleven took on a mostly-amateur Irish FA side selected entirely from the Irish League, though four were full internationals, including Bryan Hamilton, who went on to win fifty caps and also managed his country. Welshman, Allan Phillips came on as a substitute for the visitors.

- 8 February 1971 - Preston North End 0 Great Britain 0 [0-0]
Deepdale Stadium, Preston

= (10)(1)
  AD
 

Preston went on to win the Third Division Championship.

- 22 February 1971 - Southampton 0 Great Britain 4 [NK]
The Dell, Southampton
NK AW
 

The trials were proving very successful as another leading First Division club was outplayed on their own ground. Britain's squad of 18 contained a single (English-based) Welshman and 17 English players.

- 15 March 1971 - Sheffield Wednesday 3 Great Britain 1 [NK]
Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
NK AL
 

The Second Division side ended the run of ten games unbeaten on British soil, in the last trial match before the big qualifier at Wembley.

xSquad Members: 16
14 1 1

Manager: Charlie Hughes
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Ted Powell (Wycombe Wanderers)

First Qualifying Round First Leg  
50 24 March 1971 - Great Britain 1 Bulgaria 0 [1-0]
Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
(2,200)
= (10+1 sub)(1)
Adams HW
 

The home side took great confidence from their recent run of five victories away to Football League clubs, with England also about to clinch their third successive British Championship title, but very few expected a team of English amateurs (plus Scottish defender, Bill Currie) to defeat a side containing eight players that had appeared in the previous year's World Cup.

Olympic Trials
- 19 April 1971 - Sunderland 3 Great Britain 2 [NK]
Roker Park, Sunderland
NK AL
 

Another 18-man squad travelled north to face a Second Division side, with only one player each from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The rest were all English.

- 26 April 1971 - Motherwell 2 Great Britain 1 [NK]
Fir Park Stadium, Motherwell
NK AL
 

What was, to be, the very last Olympic trial match, saw Britain lose to a Scottish First Division side. This time, the squad included two Scotsmen and a Welsh goalkeeper with the 15 English players.

xSquad Members: 16
15 1

Manager: Charlie Hughes
Trainer: Jack Jennings
Captain: Ted Powell (Wycombe Wanderers)

First Qualifying Round Second Leg  
51 5 May 1971 - Bulgaria 5 Great Britain 0 [2-0]
Bulgaria win 5-1 on aggregate
Stadion Vasil Levski, Sofia
(30,000)
= (11+2 subs)
Zhekov (2), Mihailov, Vassilev, Mitkov (pen) AL
 

The story of Great Britain's amateur team ended as it had begun, 63 years earlier; with an all-English team, though there was an unused Welsh goalkeeper (Grenville Millington) on the substitutes' bench. Their opponents were professional in all but their official status and overwhelmed the plucky Englishmen. Poland won the gold medals.

1976 - 2012

 

The FA ended the distinction between professional and amateur status in 1974. So, without an amateur national team, they could no longer enter the football tournament of the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee attempted to restrict the obviously 'professional' amateurs from eastern Europe in 1984 by banning players that had previously played in World Cup qualification matches. In 1992, the football tournament became restricted to under-23 teams, regardless of status; a rule that ultimately led to the re-entry of the Great Britain team, when London hosted the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012. This was the first professional British team to take part in the Games.

The stories behind each of the games, including interviews with ex-players, plus the team line-ups for all of the Olympic fixtures and squad listings for the Olympic Games can be found in Steve Menary's 'GB United? - British Olympic football and the end of the amateur dream', without which this page would not have been possible.

If you can fill in any of the gaps on this page, please get in touch.

GI