The oldest international fixture in world football, there is nothing quite like the England-Scotland rivalry.
The fixture bristles with history and dates back to 1872, a time before football divisions were even a thing and the FA Cup had only just been introduced. Since then, the two countries have faced off over 100 times with each nation’s pride on the line every single time.
In more recent times, the sides have played each other less – particularly in prestigious tournaments like the World Cup – but the desire and passion to win remains the same.
Here are six of the best games to take place between England and Scotland.
1961 – England 9-3 Scotland
We start with England dishing out an absolute drubbing at Wembley with almost 100,000 people in attendance as the Scots suffered their heaviest defeat in this fixture. The victory meant England claimed the British Home Championship with further wins over Wales and Ireland.
Tottenham‘s record goalscorer Jimmy Greaves bagged a hat-trick with Bobby Smith and Johnny Haynes each scoring braces – Bobby Robson and Bryan Douglas made up the rest.
In a Scottish side that contained Manchester United legend Denis Law, the goalscorers were Dave Mackay and Dave Wilson, who scored twice. Frank Haffey, the away side’s goalkeeper, helped contribute to the English stereotype that Scottish keepers are a bit rubbish, which may or not be true…
1967 – England 2-3 Scotland
If you know anything about football, you’ll know England became world champions in 1966 by clinching the World Cup. So surely they were the best team on the planet and would be incredibly hard to beat?
Err, no – not quite. Scotland naturally went into the match as huge underdogs and shocked the World Cup winners who were unbeaten in 19 games. Law opened the scoring before Bobby Lennox added another later on, only for an injured Jack Charlton to grab one back to give the English hope.
1977 – England 1-2 Scotland
New Scotland manager Ally MacLeod was gearing his team up for the 1978 World Cup and this result greatly helped. Goals from Gordon McQueen and Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish put the Scots two up, with Mick Channon despatching a penalty for England’s consolation.
Scottish fans invaded the pitch at the final whistle, tearing down goalposts and ripping up the pitch which helped build awareness of football hooliganism in the United Kingdom.
England ended up failing to qualify for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, with Scotland taking their place. However, they were unable to capitalise and didn’t make it out of the group stages.
1996 – Scotland 0-2 England
2013 – England 3-2 Scotland
As part of the FA’s 150th-anniversary celebrations, a friendly match between Scotland and England was set up – and what a match it was. The five-goal thriller provided a very special moment for Rickie Lambert, who scored with his first touch in international football.
James Morrison struck the first blow for the Scots before speedster Theo Walcott equalised. The Scots went ahead again through Kenny Miller but were pegged back by Danny Welbeck’s finish. The burly figure of Lambert then rose above the rest to nod home a fine header on his England debut.
The return fixture was played the following year, with England winning 3-1. Andy Robertson scored for the Tartan Army, which is a very rare occurence as Liverpool fans all know.
2017 – Scotland 2-2 England
The most recent fixture between the two nations provided a dramatic late finish. With World Cup qualification on the line, England snatched a late equaliser at Hampden Park.
Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired in before Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths produced two moments of magic. His first free-kick swung into the right-hand side of Joe Hart’s goal to equalise, before he repeated the feat from the opposite side to send the fans into euphoria. Their joy was short-lived though, as captain Harry Kane volleyed home two minutes into stoppage time.
Before the game, the Scots would have taken the result, but to come so close was a bitter pill to swallow. England went on to qualify for the World Cup and were a ‘Harry Kane pass to Raheem Sterling’ away from a possible final. We will never know…