The evolution of the goalscoring record has
settled in two periods of its life, firstly, between 1907 and 1956
when Steve Bloomer held the record, joined by
Vivian Woodward in 1911. Then when Nat Lofthouse
came on as a substitute against Finland in May 1956, his two goals
equalled that record, then beat it five minutes later. But over the
next few years, both he and Tom Finney took turns in
holding the record, until they finished their goalscoring career on
thirty goals each on separate dates in October 1958.
October 1963, when Bobby Charlton scored his 31st
goal, and took the tally to 49 in 1970, the record remained unbroken,
but not unchallenged, until 2015 when Wayne Rooney
celebrated his fiftieth goal. Rooney then
held on to the record for seven more years when Harry Kane
scored his 52nd and 53rd goals during the 2022 World Cup Finals in
The first ever international
match produced six goals, four from England, but in particular, two
from William Kenyon-Slaney. Thus making him the
record goalscorer from that very match in November 1872, until
Charlie Bambridge scored twice in April 1879. Bambridge
scored twice again in the following match, putting space between him
and Kenyon-Slaney's past record. He scored a fifth in March 1881.
In the 13-0 demolition of Ireland in February 1882, Howard
Vaughton scored five goals, thus possibly making him an
equal-record holder. It is not known whether Vaughton had completed
his haul before or after Bambridge scored his sixth England goal.
Vaughton did score the only goal in the next match, against Scotland,
and rightfully claiming half the mantel. It lasted less than a year,
as Bambridge scored a seventh goal in February 1883. By the end of the
1885 set of matches, Bambridge had squeezed his tally up to twelve. In
February 1889, Fred Dewhurst, in his ninth and final appearance,
scored his twelfth and record-equalling goal.
In March 1891,
Tinsley Lindley scored twice in his final appearance,
equalling, then beating the record when he scored his thirteenth goal.
Lindley held the goalscoring record for six years, almost keeping the
record safe until on 3 April 1897, Steve Bloomer
scored his thirteenth England goal. It would be a whole year later,
against the same country that Bloomer, with his two goals, would make
the record his own, until Woodward joined him in 1911.