Q. from Ashley Miller, Ipswich, U.K., December
21, 1999. Hi there, absolutely excellent web-site. Only trouble is, I
don't seem to be
able to find the obscure little piece of trivia that I'm after, which is a quiz
question you may be able to help me with, which goes as follows: What was
the exact time (in seconds) of Bryan Robson's first goal against France in the
1982 World Cup?
A. from PY. Under
FIFA's uniform system of timing, it's recorded
simply as "1," but it actually came at 27 seconds, the fastest England
goal in the World Cup finals. The final score was 3-1, as Robson got
another and Paul Mariner a third, the sixth successive England match in
which he scored, a still-standing England record. [N.B. The statement
that Mariner holds the record for scoring in consecutive matches is wrong; see the discussion
in our Performance Records section.] Much of the U.K. media
hailed Robson's first as the fastest goal in World Cup finals history--and does
so to this day--but they are wrong. The fastest was scored by Vaclav Masek
for Czechoslovakia against Mexico in 15 seconds in the 1962 finals.
Ah, yes, 1982, the first time England qualified for the World Cup finals
in 20 years since they made the finals as hosts in 1966 and as reigning
champions in 1970 and stayed home as qualification failures in both 1974 and
1978. Manager Ron Greenwood's team started with a bang, winning all three
games in first round group play, but played two scoreless draws with West
Germany and host Spain in second round group play. Kevin Keegan and Trevor
Brooking were injured and didn't make their first appearances in the finals
until 63 minutes of the last match, against Spain, too late to make a difference
although both missed clear opportunities. So England went home with three
wins and two draws while France, well beaten in the opener, went on to the
semi-finals and almost to the final match. Just one of a string of
crushing World Cup disappointments for England--losing to West Germany 3-2 in
extra-time after being 2-0 up with 22 minutes to play in the 1970 quarter-finals,
sent home although unbeaten in 1982, losing to Maradona's Hand of God goal in
the 1986 quarter-finals against Argentina, and out on penalty kicks in both the
1990 semi-finals against West Germany and the 1998 round of 16 against
Argentina. Far more than any fan should have to bear. Then again, a
lot better than we usually do in the European Championship.
Q. from Paul Sherlock, Dubai,
December 15, 1999. Hello, I need to resolve a point of dispute that
has arisen here in Dubai. The question is about Terry Cooper. I am
sure that I remember Terry Cooper broke his leg and therefore did not go to the
Mexico world cup. A friend however is convinced that Jairzhino took the
ball around Cooper before crossing the ball that Pele hit and Gordon Banks made
the historic save. Can you tell me which of us is correct. Thank you
very much for your help.
A. from PY. Good to get a question from
Dubai--I've been expecting it! And very pleasing to get a question about a
match that lived up to its billing as a showdown between the two finest teams in the world--the
reigning champion and the chief challenger--and that many regard as the best match at the
1970 World Cup in Mexico. Because it more than met the tremendous
expectations that preceded it, it remains my all-time favourite match, although
England lost 1-0 on a thunderous Jairzinho strike from Pelé's perfect feed and missed many clear
Cooper played every minute of England's four matches at the 1970 World Cup,
including the third group match against Czechoslovakia when manager Alf Ramsey
rested several starters, which means he must have been very fit.
Clive Leatherdale, in his superb England: The Quest for the World
Cup--A Complete Record (1994), writes:
"The eleventh minute was rather special. The 1970 World Cup is
remembered for a handful of special moments. Most of them were provided by
Brazil--but not this time. Carlos Alberto fed Jairzinho down the right
touchline. With an awesome change of pace, the winger accelerated past
Cooper to the by-line and swung over a perfect cross. Pelé, timing his run
to the far post perfectly, rose above Mullery to power a lethal downward header.
The Jalisco Stadium acclaimed a goal. So did Pelé. But Banks,
originally stationed by the opposite post to cover Jairzinho's cross, propelled
himself across his goal-line to deflect the ball, as it reared up off the
ground, over the crossbar. It was the finest save that many people had
ever seen, securing Banks' ranking amongst the greatest goalkeepers of all
Another devastating winger, Jürgen Grabowski, still fresh as a
second half substitute, also got by the exhausted Cooper at 108 minutes in extra
time to send in the cross that led to Gerd Müller's winning goal for West
Germany in the 3-2 quarter-final loss that put England out of the 1970 World Cup.
Nevertheless, Cooper's performance in Mexico was much admired,
particularly by the Brazilians, because, as a former outside left switched to
left back, he continued to make sometimes spectacular runs down the touchline,
just the sort of stuff the Brazilians love in a fullback. I seem to recall
a Brazilian friend telling me that the Brazilian press named him left fullback
on a 1970 World Cup all-star team and will check that out with him.
I don't know if or when Cooper broke his leg and found no mention of it in a
quick glance through several England books. There was a gap of three
months between his appearance for England against Belgium on 25 February 1970
and his next England appearance, against Colombia on 21 May 1970, during which
he missed the three home internationals played in April, 1970. Yet it's
hard to believe he could be out with a broken leg in March and April, 1970 and
have time to regain sufficient fitness to play at altitude and in great heat in
Mexico against the finest teams in the world in early June, particularly given
that he was playing a very physically demanding role, what we would call today a
wingback. There was a longer gap in his England appearances between the
Brazil match on 1 June 1969 and the Holland match on 14 January 1970 during
which he missed the Holland match of 5 November 1969 and the Portugal match of
10 December 1969. Perhaps one of our readers can provide the answer.
Postscript: Seamus McCann, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland,
8 February 2002:
The following is from Andrew Mourant's
1992 book Leeds United - Player by Player: "Once it had
developed full momentum, Cooper's career became full of extravagant peaks - his
beautifully volleyed goal which won Leeds their first major trophy, the League
Cup in 1968 - and troughs, worst the broken leg sustained in an away match
against Stoke in April 1972 that robbed him not only of an F.A. Cup winners
medal, but of games in which to enthral crowds when at the height of his
powers. Cooper's emergence, as much as anything, helped Leeds shuffle off their
image as a dour side." So it was the 1972 FA Cup Final that Cooper
missed through a broken leg.
up the good work...the site is brilliant even though I'm not an England fan!!
Q. from Chris Dale, U.K., December 1,
1999. I attended both the England v Poland World Cup in Oct 73, and Don Revie's first match v Czechoslovakia in 1974. Whilst I have still got the
programmes, I cannot remember who played and in which position. Can you help? I
would like to locate anyone who may have the original ticket stubs for the game,
as mine were lost in a house move.
A. from PY. We've prepared the match
Match No. 486, England 3
Czechoslovakia 0, which was, indeed, Don Revie's first match as manager.
A promising beginning for England in the
European Championship qualifiers, but in the
end it was Czechoslovakia which advanced to the finals over England. To top it off, the Czechs went on to win the whole
thing, while England had to content themselves with a trip to the U.S.A., where
they won second place in the
Bicentennial Tournament, the chief benefit of which was that it gave me the
chance to see England lose to Brazil in Los Angeles. Soon we'll
also post the summary for Match No. 476, England 1 Poland 1, one of the
costliest results in England's history since it stopped them from going to the
1974 World Cup finals in West Germany and got manager Alf Ramsey the sack after
12 years in charge.
Q. from Alan Bain, U.K., November 4,
1999. I'm not sure if
your web page is still under development but on the players page it only allows
one to look at team and player records from 1998-2000. I need to know whether
Michael Thomas of Arsenal 1989 Anfield fame ever played for England. I was
hoping your web page could do it but it appears not at the moment. Is this a
temporary blip on what appears to be an excellent resource?
A. from PY. We began our website last
April  and won't catch up in recording the 128 years of England's history for
some time. But in the meantime, we aim to please ....
Michael Thomas earned two caps, both while
playing for Arsenal. His debut came in a 1-1 draw with Saudi Arabia in
Riyadh on November 16, 1988. At 80 minutes he came off in favour of Brian
Marwood, also of Arsenal, who made his only appearance for England over the last
10 minutes. Thomas' second cap came on December 13, 1989 at Wembley in a
2-1 victory against Yugoslavia. He was taken off in favour of David Platt
at 67 minutes. He didn't score in his two England appearances.
Thomas was one of five new caps in the Saudi Arabia match, and three of them
were starting players. The entire team put on a shoddy performance, and they were lucky
to escape with the draw. The press heaped abuse on manager Bobby Robson after this desultory display, including the infamous "In the
Name of Allah, Go!" headline. Just 20 months later, the same press
was praising him for England's fine, if somewhat lucky, showing at the 1990
World Cup in Italy, where they reached the semi-finals and went out against West
Germany only on penalty kicks after an extra-time 1-1 draw.
As for the Yugoslavia match, one
commentator wrote: "With Michael Thomas and David Rocastle finding it
difficult to come to terms with this higher grade of football, it was left to
[Bryan] Robson to hold the midfield together. He did so brilliantly and
certainly was an inspiration to the junior members of his side."
Robson scored both England goals and was a tremendous force throughout in what
was quite possibly his finest international performance. His first goal,
after only 38 seconds of play, is the fastest ever scored in a professional game
Q. from Robert
Rogina, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. October 23, 1999. Greetings. Loved
your webpage. I'm looking for the 70 full squad list, - reserves as well,
who might have been on the training camp. Was Keegan there? When did
he come into the England pool? Many thanks for your help in advance.
I have a ball autographed by the 70's team but Keegan is on it.
A. from PY. Kevin Keegan was born February 14, 1951, and at the time of
the 1970 World Cup he was a 19-year-old playing for Scunthorpe United. Not
until May, 1971 was he signed by Liverpool, and he gained his first
international cap November 15, 1972. I do not know when Keegan was first
named to an international squad. But he was definitely not involved in
World Cup 1970.
The official squad for the 1970 World Cup, under manager Alf Ramsey,
Goalkeepers: Gordon Banks, Stoke City; Peter
Bonetti, Chelsea, Alex Stepney, Manchester United.
Defenders: Keith Newton, Everton; Terry Cooper, Leeds United; Brian
Labone, Everton; Bobby Moore, West Ham United; Tommy Wright, Everton; Emlyn
Hughes, Liverpool; Jack Charlton, Leeds United; Norman Hunter, Leeds United.
Midfielders: Alan Mullery Tottenham Hotspur; Alan Ball, Everton; Colin
Bell, Manchester City; Martin Peters, Tottenham Hotspur; Nobby Stiles, Manchester
United; Bobby Charlton, Manchester United.
Forwards: Geoff Hurst, West Ham United; Allan Clarke, Leeds United; Peter
Osgood, Chelsea; Jeff Astle, West Bromwich Albion; Francis Lee, Manchester City.
Also named as travelling members of the England party, which played two matches
in South America on the way to the World Cup in Mexico, were: Ralph Coates,
Burnley; Brian Kidd, Manchester United; Bob McNab, Arsenal; David Sadler,
Manchester United; Peter Shilton, Leicester City; Peter Thompson,
Liverpool. The full squad was not selected until just before the World Cup
began, and these players did not survive the final cut. Paul Reaney, Leeds
United, also was selected as a travelling member of the party but withdrew due
Non-travelling reserves were Mike Bailey, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Colin Harvey,
Everton; John Hollins, Chelsea; Alan Hudson, Chelsea; Mick Jones, Leeds United;
Roy McFarland, Derby County; Jim Montgomery, Sunderland; Alan Oakes, Manchester
City; Joe Royle, Everton; Peter Simpson, Arsenal; Mike Summerbee, Manchester
Q. from Jill Mcgown, U.K., September 13,
1999: I found your name on the
English National Team in Soccer website, and I thought you might be able to help me with a quiz I'm doing, if you have the time to answer silly questions. The quiz question reads:
'As of 1 July 1999, who is the only male England football international to have scored a goal in an international match and have enjoyed an international career of less than an hour?'
If you can help me out, I'd be very grateful!
A. from PY: I was relieved to find that I didn't know the answer to this "silly question," as you put it, off the top of my head, but had to look in my files.
in its April 9, 1998 issue, asked the following trivia question: "Who is
the only player to come on as substitute on his England debut, score but never
be picked again? Clues? He was a striker and it was in a World Cup warm-up
friendly in the eighties, although warm probably wasn't an accurate description
of the weather." Then it made its readers wait for the answer until the
April 15, 1998 issue:
"The answer to our last trivia teaser last Thursday was PAUL GODDARD. He scored against Iceland in Reykjavik on June 2nd 1982 in a friendly before the French World Cup. Coming on as sub for the injured Cyrille Regis, he ran onto Glenn Hoddle's through ball to score an equaliser on 69 minutes. It finished 1-1.
"Ron Greenwood fielded his second string, with the A team playing the following night in Finland, but it was elevated to a full international on Iceland's insistence. Rare caps were won by Joe Corrigan, Alan Devonshire and Tony Morley. Steve Perryman also made his only appearance as sub. What did happen to that Hoddle bloke?"
was a bit mixed up. The 1982 Iceland friendly was not played
"before the French World Cup," but it did come just before the
World Cup in Spain, where England's opening match was against