Connections - England 8
As Tottenham are playing all their games at Wembley Stadium this season ‘Connections’ turns its attention to a few of the first and notable occasions linking Spurs and England in games played at the National Stadium. For other connections with England and Tottenham at the stadium see links at the end of the article.
The last Spurs player to make his England ‘Wembley debut,’ in his 4th international, was Danny Rose in June 2016 in a win over Portugal when the national side started with five Lilywhites (Walker, Dele, Dier and Kane).
Harry Kane’s international debut had come at Wembley V Lithuania in 2015, when he came on in the 72 minute, having been standing on the touchline for seven minutes. Then just seventy nine seconds later he headed his first England goal, (top image).
England actually played their first game at Wembley in 1924, a year after it opened but the second game and first connection didn’t arrive till four years later when future Spurs manager Joe Hulme appeared for the national side. Strangely the first ten fixtures England played there were all against Scotland. This sequence saw the first Spurs man to grace the ground, Willie Hall in the 1938 game alongside Bert Sproston (then of Leeds).
The next Spurs man in England colours at the ground was Alf Ramsey in April 1951 V the Scots. The following month he was in the side for the first overseas team to play at Wembley, Argentina, that game is covered in ‘Spurs and the Festival of Britain’, (1).
It was Alf’s third match V Austria when he became the first Spur to score for the national side at the ground, from a penalty after Eddie Baily was fouled. Les Medley was also in the side that day.
The next England game finds the first ‘foreign’ Spurs player as Ron Burgess skippers Wales. Then in 1953 Ramsey scored a 90th minute penalty V the Rest of Europe to tie the game 4-4. The same year and the infamous 3-6 defeat to Hungary was when George Robb won his only full cap to go with eleven for the amateur side.
Harry Kane, Alan Mullery Alf Ramsey and Arthur Grimsdell have all captained England but not at Wembley. Danny Blanchflower who skippered us to two Cup triumphs at the stadium did also skipper Northern Ireland there on four occasions, the first being 1955.
Left - Johnny Brooks and Cliff Jones 1956.
Other Tottenham men to skipper their countries at Wembley include Mike England and Paul Price (Wales) and future manager Terry Neill (N Ire). When Price led Wales out his manager was Mike England.
In October ‘82 Gary Mabbutt won his first cap V West Germany. The following month England beat Luxemburg 9-0; Hoddle comes on for Mabbutt and scores the 8th goal. Mabbutt’s only goal for England comes V Yugoslavia in 86.
Johnny Brooks will score the first ‘Spurs’ goal from open play in the Yugoslavia game in 1956. The game before that saw a then record five Spurs play in the Welsh match, Mel Hopkins, Terry Medwin and Cliff Jones were against Brooks (debut) and Ted Ditchburn (who had played for the country in War Time internationals at the ground).
The first ‘away’ goal is netted by Scotland’s Dave Mackay in 1961. England won that day 9-3; Greaves scoring a hat trick (right) and Smith twice. Dave had played previously as a schoolboy and a full international in 1959. A little earlier in the October during that Double season, Bobby Smith scores twice (and Chelsea’s Greaves once) in the game V Spain.
Then in the November Wales field Medwin and Jones as Smith scores again, (Greaves gets 2). Greaves had had his first England Wembley game in 1959 and scored. He wins his first Wembley cap as a Spur in May 62 and the first goal arrives in the November V Wales (and Terry Medwin). In 1966 he will play in three games in the World Cup finals at the ground.
Paul Gascoigne scores his first international goal V Albania (88) when Gary Lineker and Chris Waddle also score. Gary Lineker leads the country for the first time the same year V Hungary and scores the only goal. Then in 1991 and Paul Stewart wins his first cap in the game Jurgen Klinsmann comes on for the Germans as a sub. Sol Campbell led the national side twice, both at Wembley while Martin Peters led England four times and three of those were at Wembley.
Another Spur to appear at the stadium for England in recent times is Andros Townsend (left) in October 2013 when he scored on his debut V Montenegro,
Kyle Walker also scored (and was booked) that night.
In the next Connections, on the next international match day, we continue the Wembley links and these include Dier, Alli, more skippers, managers and goals. Correct as at October 1st if you know any other notably connections that you feel should be included please contact me
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Notes 1- http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-festival-of-britain
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