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England's Disaster Goals

affectionately called 'Howlers!'

Last update includes no. 1021 against Italy on 11 July 2021


Disaster Goals scored against England

to be completed

12 March 1881, 1-6 vs. Scotland,
Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington
Edgar Field scored a 79th minute own goal, though some reports still credit John Smith, so completing his hat-trick. The goal came from Field's foot out of a scrimmage.

13 March 1882, 3-5 vs. Wales,
The Racecourse, Wrexham
Alf Jones scored a 60th minute own goal with his head.

10 March 1883, 2-3 vs. Scotland, Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Dr John Smith's last minute goal came down with a rush, as Dr. Smith sent the ball right into Harry Swepstone's hands low down. For once, the brilliant custodian had made a mistake, and had retreated a foot too far back in his goal, so that he had received the ball when it was actually under the bar, and although he got rid of it smartly enough, the sharp eyes of the Scotch forwards found him out, and an appeal to the Umpires was decided in favour of the Scotchmen, and half a minute later, the whistles announced time. - Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, Monday, 12 March 1883.1882-83

14 March 1885, 1-1 vs. Wales, Leamington Street, Blackburn
In the 37th minute,
Billy Lewis and George Farmer, by a brilliant dash, threatened danger, and Herby Arthur running out a few yards fell, and the ball shot past him, equalising the score. - The North Wales Chronicle, Saturday, 21 March 1885.

13 April 1889, 2-3 vs. Scotland,
Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington
Harry Allen scored an own goal. Although some newspapers credit Oswald. But as Billy Moon stopped a low hard shot, he threw the ball away into the path of Harry Allen, who returned the ball, only to kick it through his own goal.

4 April 1891
, 2-1 vs. Scotland, Ewood Park, Blackburn
In the 78th minute,
Frank Watt dribbled finely to the English quarters and Billy Moon, running out, missed his kick, which left the goal clear for Watt to shoot the ball through, a chance which he quickly took advantage of. The second portion of the game had been in progress a little over half an hour. - The Standard, Monday, 6 April 1891.
In another description, after the keeper Wilson saved magnificently, the ball got down to the field with Watt, who raced off alongside Holmes, who was doing his best to knock Watt off the ball. Moon came out to kick away, but caught the ball and Holmes, with the result that the latter fell, allowing
Frank Watt to rush in and caught the ball within a foot of the line, and screwed through. - Athletic News, Monday, 6 April 1891.

25 February 1905
, 1-1 vs. Ireland, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
The second half opened in sensational style. Ireland got down and obtained a corner, which Williamson just cleared, and from a scrimmage which ensued, Ireland got another corner, Jack Kirwan dropping the ball in front of goal. It was caught by
Tim Williamson, but it dropped from his hands and bounced back over the line. - The Devon and Exeter Gazette, Monday, 27 February 1905.

9 April 1906, 1-2 vs. Scotland,
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Scotland's goal came as a surprise to all. Smith sent over a rare cross to
James Howie, who as cleverly popped it into the goalmouth. Jimmy Ashcroft made a brave effort to save it, in fact, he caught the ball in his arms-but he had stepped over the line, and a confident appeal by Scotland was favourably considered by the referee, who after a seconds hesitation pointed to the centre. - The Dundee Courier, Monday, 9 April 1906. Notes: The Scotsman states it came from a Dunlop free-kick.

6 April 1907, 1-1 vs. Scotland,
St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Jimmy Stewart and Bobby Walker worked the ball into a favourable position near the corner flag and Stewart centred accurately. Bob Crompton rushed out to head the ball clear, but instead of doing so, landed it through his own goal. - The Dundee Courier, Monday, 8 April 1907.

9 April 1921, 0-3 vs. Scotland, Hampden Park, Glasgow
With the wind behind them, Scotland penetrated the English half with ease.
Alan Morton, from the touchline, sent in a high, curling ball. It was a centre, rather than a cross, but it slipped into the net just under the bar, after Harold Gough completely misjudged the ball.

12 April 1924, 1-1 vs. Scotland
The British Exhibition Empire Stadium, Wembley
In the first England match to be played at the new Empire Stadium, Percy Barton was penalised for harshly dispossessing Alex Archibald. The free-kick, taken by William Clunas, dropped between Sam Wadsworth and Teddy Taylor, neither attempted to make the ball, instead William Cowan took his opportunity and snapped in a shot. It hit the post, but made it into the net via Teddy Taylor's knee.

28 November 1927, 1-2 vs. Wales,
Turf Moor, Burnley
Captain Jack Hill scored a 40th minute own goal. In another Welsh attack on the right, Hill, racing back, tried to head the bouncing ball back to Tremelling, but instead the Captain turned the ball out of the goalkeeper's reach and into the net. - Western Daily Press, 29 November 1927

13 April 1929, 0-1 vs. Scotland, Hampden Park, Glasgow

The irony was in Scotland's goal. Blunders have decided more than one big Association match in recent years and a blunder by Hacking, the Oldham Athletic goalkeeper, was responsible for England losing. When Alex Cheyne took the last minute corner, this goalkeeper came too far out of his goal, and the wind swept the ball curling out of his reach as he vainly fisted at it above his head. - Western Daily Press, 15 April 1929

15 April 1939, 2-1 vs. Scotland, Hampden Park, Glasgow
Venters, standing well back, placed the ball accurately up the middle, and from Dougall it went to Walker, who instead of turning it out to McSpadyen, in an open position, directed it back to Dougal, who was covered by Cullis and Morris. But for some inexplicable reason, Woodley ran out, and Morris unaware, passed back towards the vacant goal. Like a shot
Jimmy Dougall was on hand to put the ball into the net for the first goal of the game. - Glasgow Herald, Monday, 17 April 1939.

22 November 1950, 2-2 vs. Yuguslavia
, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
England were two-nil up when, four minutes before half-time, Ognjanov shot from the right found Leslie Compton trying to kick clear, only the put the ball past his own goalkeeper, Bert Williams.
14 April 1951, 2-3 vs. Scotland
, Empire Stadium, Wembley
Bert Williams tragically dropped a long cross by Billy Steel, and
Billy Liddell, with an eighteen yard low shot into an unguarded net, enforced the full penalty; 3-1. Williams was injured but quickly recovered. - Evening News, Monday, 16 April 1951

17 June 1954, 4-4 vs. Begium
, Sankt-Jakob Stadium, Basel
Jimmy Dickinson, who had played so well, gave the Belgians a gift goal when he back headed a shot going wide into his own goal after four minutes of extra-time. - Birmingham Gazette, Friday, 18 June 1954. Some state it was from a Dries cross, others state it was a free-kick at the halfway lane, either way, Dickinson was unheeded and unthreatened.

22 May 1955, 1-3 vs. Portugal
, Estádio do Futebol Clube do Porto, Oporto
Left-back Roger Byrne tried to dribble in the penalty area, was dispossessed, leaving Matateu with an easy chance from ten yards out - Birmingham Daily Gazette, Monday 23 May 1955
José Åguas
thundered in to make it three and humiliation for England when Wright mis-headed back to Williams - Daily Mirror, Monday, 23 May 1955.

10 April 1965, 2-2 vs. Scotland
, Empire Stadium, Wembley
With England two up, Banks undermined the whole position just before the interval. He slashed with his foot at a low shot by Law from the edge of the penalty area, got a half touch and turned in despair to see the ashes in his net. It looked completely infantile. Caught in two minds, and perhaps deceived by pace and trajectory, Banks' last desperate reaction was to save with his feet. He was caught on a blind spot and utterly yorked. - The Times, Monday, 12 April 1965.

more to come....probably 

16 October 2002, 2-2 vs. FYR Macedonia, The Friends Provident St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton
Artim Sakiri's 11th minute goal was the sixth corner kick that England had conceded, the hapless Seaman failed to react to wind-assisted swirling ball.
The humiliation was not over, for on 25 minutes a fairly innocuous low ball was played into the England penalty area, and though Sol Campbell was first there, he did not make good contact with his clearance, shuffling the ball out to the lurking Vance Trajanov. The midfielder found the perfect finish to curl the ball round Seaman.

6 September 2003, 2-1 vs. FYR Macedonia, Gradski Stadion, Skopje
Gheorgi Hristov's 27th minute goal came out of calamitous English mistakes, Grozdanovski's cross was completely messed up by Sol Campbell, his attempted header, a single yard of the floor, was missed and the ball scrambled beneath him to a waiting Pandev. His shot rebounded of a John Terry and Gary Neville combination, falling to Hristov, who's shot hit James' foot, parrying into the net.

4 September 2004, 2-2 vs. Austria, Ernst Happel Stadion, Wien
Andreas Ivanschitz's 73rd minute goal was a twenty-five yard shot. Although the shot had power, it should have been easily saved by David James, even more so as it went through his arms, instead of parrying the ball away. Only two minutes earlier, England were two-nil up.

17 August 2005, 1-4 vs. Denmark, Parken Stadion, København
Dennis Rommedahl's 60th minute goal was scored from a Danish counter-attack. David James ran out from his goal to chase down a cross-field ball that Jon Dahl Tomasson collected and won. The momentum carried the ball towards the by-line. Tomasson's first shot was blocked by the only defender, Ashley Cole, but the rebound was hit towards an empty six yard box by Tomasson for Rommedahl to tap into an empty net.

11 October 2006, 0-2 vs. Croatia, Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb
Gary Neville's 68th minute own goal was a defensive backpass to his goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, the ball hit a divot and bounced over Robinson's flayling foot. The divot was created by Robinson himself, as a guide to himself.

22 August 2007, 1-2 vs. Germany,
The National Stadium, Wembley.
Kevin Kurányi's 26th minute tame tap-in from three yards came after a Bernd Scneider's cross that should have been dealt with by the goalkeeper, but Robinson's positioning and footwork was all wrong and in the end he had to claw the ball out from under his crossbar. He could only flap at it and gift Kurányi.

15 November 2007, 2-3 vs. Croatia,
The National Stadium, Wembley.
Niko Kranjčar's 8th minute speculatative shot from thirty yards curled around Micah Richards and bounced in front of Scott Carson as he crouched down to catch it, it bounced across him and into the back of the net.

11 October 2008, 5-1 vs. Kazakhstan,
The National Stadium, Wembley
Zhambyl Kukeev's goal in the 68th minute came from an innocuous backpass from Ashley Cole. After picking up the ball at the touchline, a Kazakhi striker bore down on Cole who passed the ball back to his goalkeeper, the ball is hit too short allowing Kukeev to run past Ferdinand and Upson, and places the ball past a static David James.
19 November 2008, 2-1 vs. Germany,
Olympiastadion, Berlin
Patrick Helmes' goal in the 63rd minute came from a disastrous mix-up between captain John Terry and goalkeeper Scott Carson.  Terry was shielding the ball that was heading to Carson, allowing his goalkeeper to pick up the ball as it entered the penalty box. Unfortunately, Helmes' slipped in between them both and poked the ball through Carson's legs, before sidefooting the ball into an empty net for a German equaliser.

12 June 2010, 1-1 vs. United States,
Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, Phokeng
Clint Dempsey's fortieth minute goal was a shot out of hope more than anything.  Dempsey's shot from twenty-five yards went through a crowd of players, and should have been an easy catch for the experienced Rob Green, instead, it slipped through his hands and through his body, allowing an American equaliser to literally slip through his fingers.

6 June 2019, 1-3 vs. Netherlands, Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques, Guimarães
Having waited nine years to allow a howler to be scored, England proceeded to allow two. Kyle Walker's 97th minute own goal came from a John Stones' mistake. He was tackled outside his own box by Memphis who instantly struck to be saved by Pickford was pounced by Promes and Walker. Promes's slice then hit Walker's ankle to bounce into the goal.
In the 114th minute, Walker restarted play following a Strootman substitution with a throw-in. He threw the ball back to Stones, who was near his own corner flag, he passed the ball to Barkley, who was guarded too closely by Promes. The resulting panicked pass was to Memphis, who running onto Pickford. He passed the ball back towards Promes as he shot into an empty net from ten yards.

10 September 2019, 5-3 vs. Kosovo
, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton
England did not wait too long in the match to allow the next howler, 34 seconds to be precise. Michael Keane's pass found Vedat Muriqi, who played Velon Berisha into to slip the ball wide of Jordan Pickford.