|Number of teams||4|
|Most successful team(s)|
The British Home Championship [a] (historically known as the British International Championship or simply the International Championship) was an annual football competition contested between the United Kingdom's four national teams: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (the last of whom competed as Ireland for most of the competition's history). Starting during the 1883–84 season, it is the oldest international association football tournamentand it was contested until the 1983–84 season, when it was abolished after 100 years.
The first international association football match, between Scotland and England, took place in November 1872. Following that contest, a schedule of international matches between the four home nations gradually developed, the games taking place between January and April of each year. In 1884, for the first time, all six possible matches were played. This schedule continued without interruption until the First World War.
|Year||England v Scotland||Scotland v Wales||England v Wales||England v Ireland||Wales v Ireland||Scotland v Ireland|
Recognition of the international season as constituting a single tournament came slowly. Early reports focused on the rivalries between the two teams in each match, rather than any overall title.Talk of a "championship" began to emerge gradually during the 1890s, with some writers suggesting the use of a league table between the nations, with 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw (as had been in use for the Football League since 1888). By 1908, we find a published list of "International Champions" extending all the way back to 1884.
The championship, although increasingly recognized as such, had no official prize until 1935 (see below), when a trophy for the "British International Championship" was created in honour of the silver jubilee of King George V.
The dates of the fixtures varied, but they tended to bunch towards the end of the season (sometimes the entire competition was held in a few days at the end of the season), except between the World Wars, when some fixtures were played before Christmas. The rise of other international competitions, especially the World Cup and European Championships, meant that the British Home Championship lost a lot of its prestige as the years went on.
However, the new international tournaments meant that the Championship took on added importance in certain years. The 1949–50 and 1953–54 Championships doubled up as qualifying groups for the 1950 and 1954 World Cups respectively and the results of the 1966–67 and 1967–68 Championships were used to determine who went forward to the second qualifying round of Euro '68.
The British Home Championship was discontinued after the 1983–84 competition. There were a number of reasons for the tournament's demise, including it being overshadowed by the World Cup and European Championships, falling attendances at all but the England v Scotland games, fixture congestion, the rise of hooliganism, the Troubles in Northern Ireland (civil unrest led to the 1980–81 competition being abandoned), and England's desire to play against 'stronger' teams. The fate of the competition was settled when the (English) Football Association, swiftly followed by the Scottish Football Association, announced in 1983 that they would not be entering after the 1983–84 Championship. The British Home Championship trophy remains the property of the Irish FA, as Northern Ireland were the most recent champions.
The Championship was replaced by the smaller Rous Cup, which involved just England, Scotland and, in later years, an invited guest team from South America. That competition, however, ended after just five years.
Since then, there have been many proposals to resurrect the British Home Championship, with advocates pointing to rising attendances and a significant downturn in football-related violence. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations are keen on the idea, but the English association are less enthusiastic, claiming that they agree in principle, but that fixture congestion makes a revived tournament impractical.
Therefore, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales and the Irish Football Association, with the Republic of Ireland's Football Association of Ireland, pressed ahead and organised a tournament similar to the British Home Championship. The Nations Cup, between Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, was launched in Dublin in 2011. It was discontinued after one tournament because of poor attendance.
Each team played every other team once (making for a total of three matches per team and six matches in total). Generally, each team played either one or two matches at home and the remainder away, with home advantage between two teams alternating each year (so if England played Scotland at home one year, they played them away the next).
A team received two points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. From these points, a league table was constructed and whoever was top at the end of the competition was declared the winner. If two or more teams were equal on points, that position in the league table was shared (as was the Championship if it occurred between the top teams). In 1956, all four teams finished level on points and for the only time the Championship was shared four ways. From the 1978–79 Championship onwards, however, goal difference (total goals scored minus total goals conceded) was used to differentiate between teams level on points. If goal difference could still not separate them, then total goals scored was used.
Early editions of the tournament had no trophy. In 1935, a trophy was presented to King George V by the Football Association in recognition of the monarch's silver jubilee.It was first awarded, as the "Jubilee Trophy", to Scotland, victors of the 1935-36 competition. The trophy was of solid silver, consisting of a pedestal supporting a football surmounted by a winged figure. It bore the words "British International Championship".
The Scotland v England match of 5 April 1902 became known as the Ibrox Disaster of 1902. The match took place at Ibrox Park (now Ibrox Stadium) in Glasgow. During the first half, a section of the terracing in the overcrowded West Stand collapsed, killing 25 and injuring over 500. Play was stopped, but was restarted after 20 minutes, with most of the crowd not knowing what had happened. The match was later declared void and replayed at Villa Park, Birmingham.
The 1950 British Home Championship was used as a qualification group for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, with the teams finishing both first and second qualifying. England and Scotland were guaranteed the top two places and World Cup qualification with one match to go, when the Scottish Football Association declared that it would only go to the 1950 World Cup if they were the British champions. Scotland played England at Hampden Park on 15 April in the final game and lost 1–0 to a goal by Chelsea's Roy Bentley. Scotland finished second and withdrew from what would have been their first-ever World Cup appearance.
The 1966–67 British Home Championship was the first since England's victory at the World Cup 1966. Naturally, England were favourites for the Championship title. In the end, the outcome of the entire Championship rested on the final game: England v Scotland at Wembley Stadium in London on 15 April. If England won or drew, they would win the Championship; if Scotland won, they would triumph. Scotland beat the World Cup winners 3–2. The match was followed by a large, but relatively harmless, pitch invasion by the jubilant Scottish fans, who were quick to waggishly declare Scotland the 'World Champions', as the game was England's first defeat since winning the World Cup. The Scots' joke ultimately led to the conception of the Unofficial Football World Championships.
Again, the 1976–77 Championship came down to the final game between England and Scotland at Wembley on 4 June. Scotland won the game 2–1, making them champions. As in 1967, a pitch invasion by the overjoyed Scottish fans followed, but this time vandalism ensued: the pitch was ripped up (although it was going to be relaid after the game) and taken back to Scotland in small pieces to be laid in back gardens, along with one of the broken crossbars.
The Troubles in Northern Ireland had affected the British Home Championship before, with things turning so hostile that Northern Ireland often had to play their 'home' games in Liverpool or Glasgow. The entire 1980–81 Championship was held in May 1981, which coincided with a large amount of civil unrest in Northern Ireland surrounding the hunger strike in the Maze Prison. Northern Ireland's two home matches, against England and Wales, were not moved, so both teams refused to travel to Belfast to play. As not all the matches were completed, that year's competition was declared void with no winner; only Scotland completed all their matches. It was the only time in the Championship's history, apart from during World War I and World War II, that it was not awarded.
The Home Championships came to an end, with England and Scotland announcing that the 1983–84 British Home Championship would be their last. They cited waning interest in the games, crowded international fixture lists and a sharp rise in hooliganism for their decision. The final match of the Championship was held at Hampden Park between Scotland and England in which the winners of the game would win the final Championship. The match ended in a 1–1 draw, allowing Northern Ireland to win the Championship on goal difference after all the teams ended on three points each; Wales came second on goals scored.
|1914–19||Not held due to the First World War|
|1939–45||Not held due to the Second World War|
|1980–81||Abandoned due to civil unrest in Northern Ireland|
|Team||Wins total||Wins outright||Shared wins|
* Does not include the British Victory Home Championship in 1945–46 or the 1980–81 Championship where Scotland was on top when tournament was cancelled due to civil unrest in Northern Ireland.
The England national football team represents England in men's international football and is governed by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. It competes in the three major international tournaments; the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. England, as a country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete at the Olympic Games.
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in men's international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the three major professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games. The majority of Scotland's home matches are played at the national stadium, Hampden Park.
Association football is organised on a separate basis in each of the four constituent countries that make up the United Kingdom (UK), with each having a national football association responsible for the overall management of football within their respective country. There is no United Kingdom national football team. Football has been the most popular sport in the UK since the 1860s. Rugby union, rugby league and cricket are other popular sports.
No United Kingdom national football team exists, as there are separate teams representing each of the nations of the United Kingdom in international football.
The 1966–67 season was the 94th season of competitive football in Scotland and the 70th season of Scottish league football.
The 1983–84 British Home Championship was the 100th anniversary of the British Home Championship and the final football tournament between the Home Nations to be held, with both England and Scotland announcing their withdrawal from future competition, citing waning interest in the games, crowded international fixture lists and a sharp rise in hooliganism. Although the football competition was instituted in 1884, it was only the eighty-seventh tournament to be completed due to a five-year hiatus during World War I, a seven-year gap in World War II and the cancellation of the 1981 competition following threats of violence during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The 1980–81 British Home Championship was the only British Home Nations international football championship, other than the years of the First World War and Second World War, which was not completed and thus failed to produce a winner. As with the rugby union 1972 Five Nations Championship the cause of this cancellation was The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The championship was scheduled to be played in May 1981 after the end of the domestic season. On 5 May, however, the Provisional Irish Republican Army hunger strike leader Bobby Sands died in the Maze Prison, invoking a storm of protest and violence by republicans in Northern Ireland. Thus the English and Welsh FAs, whose teams were scheduled to travel to Windsor Park later in the month, declined to play, rendering the tournament incomplete and void.
The 1929–30 British Home Championship was an edition of the annual international football tournament played between the British Home Nations. 1930 was the year in which the tournament finally gained a serious rival as the premier international football competition, with the inception of the 1930 FIFA World Cup, held in Uruguay. The Home Nations were not however members of FIFA due to disputes over the growing professionalism in continental and South American football. As a result, they were not able to attend and indicated that even if they were invited they would have no interest in attending, deeming foreign opposition too weak for serious contest. The England team, which dominated the 1930 championship, had lost to Spain the year before in the first defeat by a foreign football team, and in the same year they only managed draws with Germany and Austria. The Scottish side, which had won most of the previous ten championships, was likewise unprepared, only playing its first game outside the British Isles in 1929, and being heavily defeated on tour in 1931 by both the Austrians and the Italians.
The 1952–53 British Home Championship was a football tournament played between the British Home Nations throughout the 1952–53 season. The tournament saw a last minute goal by Lawrie Reilly in the final game at Wembley which salvaged a draw and thus a share in the trophy for Scotland. England were the other winners whilst both Wales and Ireland played well in a very competitive competition.
The 1958–59 British Home Championship was a football tournament played between the British Home Nations. It came the year after the notable failure of England and Scotland to impress at the 1958 FIFA World Cup, for which all four nations qualified for the only time. Wales and Northern Ireland were the only achievers, both reaching the quarter-finals after playoffs.
The 1957–58 British Home Championship was a football tournament played between the British Home Nations during the 1957–58 season. The competition was marred by the Munich air disaster on 6 February 1958, when an aircraft carrying the Manchester United football team home from a European Cup match in Belgrade crashed at the Munich-Riem airport on take-off. Eight players and fifteen other people, including an array of senior coaches, officials and sports journalists were killed and another nineteen seriously injured. Three of the dead, Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor and Duncan Edwards were experienced England team members while Jackie Blanchflower, an Ireland international, was left permanently disabled. Several other international footballers were also injured more or less severely. This tragedy rather subdued the tournament culmination two months later, although the England team did secure a cathartic 4–0 victory in Glasgow over the Scots with one of the goals coming from Bobby Charlton, who had been injured in the Munich crash.
The 1955–56 British Home Championship was a football tournament played during the 1955–56 season between the British Home Nations. It was the only occasion during the hundred-year run of the Home Championship in which all four teams finished level on points. As goal difference was not used to determine position until 1979, all four teams shared the trophy, holding it for three months each. Had goal difference been used to determine the winner, then England would have won with Scotland second.
The 1927–28 British Home Championship was an international football tournament played during the 1927–28 season between the British Home Nations. The competition was won by Wales who did not lose a game and only dropped a single point during the tournament. This championship is most notable for what became known as the "Wembley Wizards" when a scratch Scottish team crushed a highly regarded England side 5–1 at the English national stadium of Wembley.
The 1923–24 British Home Championship was an international football tournament played during the 1923–24 season between the British Home Nations. It was won by the excellent Welsh team of the early 1920s who achieved a whitewash of the other three home nations over the tournament, scoring five goals for just one in return.
The 1902–03 British Home Championship was an international football tournament between the British Home Nations.
The 1912–13 British Home Championship was an international football tournament between the British Home Nations. An evenly matched tournament, all four sides won at least one game and the competition could have gone any way, as Ireland showed the following year when they won their first undisputed tournament. In the event, the trophy went to England courtesy of a single goal victory over Scotland at Stamford Bridge in the final match. Scotland shared second place with Wales after both teams achieved three points and Ireland finished last with two.
The England–Scotland football rivalry is a sports rivalry that exists between the England and Scotland national football teams. It is the oldest international fixture in the world, first played in 1872 at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow. The history of the British Isles has led to much rivalry between the nations in many forms, and the social and cultural effects of centuries of antagonism and conflict between the two has contributed to the intense nature of the sporting contests. Scottish nationalism has also been a factor in the Scots' desire to defeat England above all other rivals, with Scottish sports journalists traditionally referring to the English as the "Auld Enemy".
The 2011 Nations Cup was a round-robin football tournament between the Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales national teams. The first set of two games were played in Dublin in February, with the remaining four games played in May 2011. It was won by the Republic of Ireland, who won all three of their games without conceding a goal.
The Wales national football team is the third-oldest side in international association football. The side played their first fixture in March 1876, four years after Scotland and England had contested the first-ever international match. Wales played annual fixtures against Scotland, England, and later Ireland, and these were eventually organised into the British Home Championship, an annual competition between the Home Nations. Wales did not win their first championship until the 1906–07 tournament and the triumph remained the nation's only one before the First World War. Wales improved considerably in the post-war period, and claimed three titles during the 1920s, although the team was often hindered by the reluctance of Football League clubs to release its players for international duty. The situation was so grave that, in the early 1930s, Wales were forced to select a team of lower league and amateur players in a side that became known as "Keenor and the 10 unknowns", a reference to captain Fred Keenor and the relative obscurity of his teammates.
Altogether England had an exceptionally successful season, winning all three matches, but especial care was taken that no chance of turning the tables on Scotland should be lost
[O]n the result of the match in question the championship depended
England and Scotland will meet on Saturday to play for the international championship
a. ^ Name of the Home Championship in the languages of participating countries: