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The Auld Enemy: Six classic encounters between England and Scotland

Euro’ 96 Hendry
(Image credit: by Adam Butler)

Fans on both sides of the border have already circled Friday, June 18 in their 2021 calendar, a date that will pit England and Scotland against each other in the postponed European Championship.

The neighbouring nations have not met in a tournament for almost 25 years and here PA news agency looks at a handful of classic encounters.

England 2 Scotland 3, April 1967

JIm Baxter Scot beat Eng 1967

Jim Baxter receives the love of the fans after the famous Wembley win of 1967 (PA Archive).

The Tartan Army crowned their team the ‘unofficial world champions’ after seeing Alf Ramsey’s heroes of 1966 beaten for the first time since their World Cup triumph. Law, Bobby Lennox and debutant Jim McCalliog scored the goals – but the winning margin was not as big as it could have been, with Jim Baxter preferring to savour the moment with his keepy-uppie routine, rather than push for more goals as Scotland joyously marked the summer of love by cavorting across the Wembley turf.

Scotland 0 England 5, Feb 14 1973

Leeds' Allan Clarke scored twice in the Centenary Cup win.

Leeds’ Allan Clarke scored twice in the Centenary Cup win (PA Archive)

There was only ever going to be one fixture to mark the centenary of the Scottish Football Association, but the result proved anything but a celebration for the home contingent at Hampden. Almost 50,000 fans were tempted to a snowy Hampden Park on Valentine’s Day. Alf Ramsey’s team had the game won inside 15 minutes, an own-goal from Peter Lorimer followed by efforts from Allan Clarke and Mick Channon. Their expected fightback was not forthcoming and England’s day only improved as Martin Chivers and Clarke, with a second, spoiled the party in style.

England 1 Scotland 2, June 4 1977

Scotland fans went wild after their win in 1977.

Scotland fans went wild after their win in 1977 (PA Archive)

Scotland’s first win in the fixture in a decade is as well remembered for the post-match chaos as it is for the 90 minutes of on-field action. Away fans poured from the stands after the whistle, dragged down the goalposts and took souvenir slices of the Wembley pitch. Gordon McQueen and Kenny Dalglish sealed the win despite a late Mick Channon penalty.

England 2 Scotland 0, June 15 1996

Paul Gascoigne puts the finishing touch to a classic goal.

Paul Gascoigne puts the finishing touch to a classic goal (Neil Munns/PA)

Euro ’96 holds a special place in the hearts of England fans who lived through the time football came home, even if it didn’t stay quite long enough. A Wembley date against their closest rivals was always likely to be a defining moment and in Paul Gascoigne’s masterfully conceived, gloriously executed and riotously celebrated goal it provided a moment for the ages. Both teams had drawn their opening group games but Terry Venables’ men were deserving winners, with Alan Shearer’s poaching instincts kicking things off and David Seaman’s penalty save off Gary McAllister adding to Gazza’s classic.

Scotland 0 England 2 and England 0 Scotland 1, November 13/17 1999

Kevin Keegan admitted England got lucky in 1999.

Kevin Keegan admitted England got lucky in 1999 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A place at Euro 2000 was at stake in a two-legged play-off that saw away wins in both games. Paul Scholes’ was the decisive contribution as he scored both goals in Glasgow, but the illusion of comfort evaporated four days later where Scotland dominated a game settled by Don Hutchison. Three Lions boss Kevin Keegan would later admit his team were “the luckiest side in the world”.

Scotland 2 England 2, June 10 2017

Leigh Griffiths bends his second goal of the game against England.

Leigh Griffiths bends his second goal of the game against England (Jane Barlow/PA)

The trip to London seven months earlier had proved a damp squib for Gordon Strachan’s men, soundly beaten 3-0 by a team beginning to show signs of life under Gareth Southgate’s guidance. The return fixture towards the end of World Cup 2018 qualifying was a much more stirring affair, not least in a tumultuous conclusion. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got the ball rolling for England before Leigh Griffifths broke his international duck in stunning fashion, bending a pair of free-kicks into either corner of Joe Hart’s goal in the 87th and 90th minutes. England were on the way to Russia but Scotland fell short.