England 1-1 Scotland (partially found footage of international football match; 1947)

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Official programme for the match.

Status: Partially Found

On 12th April 1947, England hosted Scotland at Wembley Stadium as part of the 1946-47 British Home Championship. Occurring in front of a record crowd at Wembley at 98,250, it saw England claim its 27th title after the game ended 1-1. From a television standpoint, the encounter was the first international football match televised by the BBC since the Second World War.


The 1946-47 British Home Championship was the first official instance of the annual football competition to occur following the end of the Second World War.[1] There was an unofficial 1945-46 competition held as part of the Victory International, with Scotland earning the title after winning all three matches.[1] Heading into the clash on 12th April 1947, England were performing strongly, leading the group after having beaten Ireland 7-2, and Wales 3-0.[2] In contrast, Scotland were struggling, losing 3-1 to Wales and being held to a 0-0 draw by Ireland.[2] Thus, England needed just a point to claim the title from Wales, whereas Scotland could only finish as joint-runners up at best.[3] Additionally, national pride was still at stake with this clash.[4]

Meanwhile, the BBC had revived its Television Service on 7th June 1946.[5][6] Upon re-opening, BBC Television Service did broadcast a few matches prior to the England-Scotland game, including an Athenian League football match between Barnet and Wealdstone, as well as a 1947 FA Cup fifth round match featuring Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers.[7] Before the Second World War forced BBC Television Service to cease transmissions, it had only broadcast two international matches, one featuring England and Scotland for the 1937–1938 British Home Championship, and the other featuring England beating a Rest of Europe side in 1938.[8] Just like the 1938 game, the England-Scotland clash of 1947 would serve as a prelude to that year's FA Cup Final, which also occurred at Wembley Stadium two weeks later.[9] Commentary was provided by Jimmy Jewell.[6][10][11]

However, whereas the 1938 clash was broadcast in full, the 1947 encounter would not receive that luxury. Following the Second World War, the Labour Government had imposed rationing that restricted domestic electricity usage.[12] Therefore, to comply with these rations, the BBC were given permission to only televise the final 35 minutes.[6][12][10][11] Even televising 35 minutes might have proven controversial, as the BBC's decision to air 40 minutes of the 1947 FA Cup Final led to many complaining to Radio Times that Labour was imposing double standards considering the extent of electricity required to televise the match.[12] Nevertheless, the BBC responded that televising the matches was critical for both entertainment purposes and for being of national significance.[12]

The Match

The match was also significant in that it drew a then-record attendance for Wembley Stadium at 98,250.[13][14] Another notable detail of this match was it began the debate on whether England's Stanley Matthews or Tom Finney should play, with Matthews being selected to start. Norman Giller noted that both players were deemed "exceptionally gifted" but it was never really decided by England to play both players simultaneously, causing long debate from fans and newspapers on who was more deserving to play on the right wing.[14]

Whereas England were most likely favourites to win considering their form as opposed to Scotland's, it was actually the visitors who controlled the first half.[15] Indeed, Scotland's Archibald Macauley and Alexander Forbes were credited by various reports for controlling the midfield, to the extent England's midfield were unable to replicate their form in the previous two games.[15][14] At the 15th minute mark, Scotland took the lead when Thomas Pearson achieved a strong pass to Andrew McLaren, who broke away from the middle to score for his team.[15][14] Scotland continued their assault against a home side struggling to withstand the pressure, with Lawrence Scott almost conceding a penalty following a possible handball.[15]

In the second half, England appeared more confident, and it showed with some early shots.[15] In the 56th minute, Tommy Lawton and Wilf Mannion initiated a sweeping movement that was converted by Raich Carter, thus achieving the equaliser.[15][14] Following the equaliser, England were back to their form showcased in earlier games, and were seemingly more likely to score the winning goal.[15] It almost became a reality when Carter started racing towards shooting without being challenged only for him to stop running upon hearing an ultimately rogue whistle.[14][16] He began running again and attempted a shot that was saved by William Miller.[16] Thus, the game ended 1-1, allowing England to clinch the title with five points, ahead of Ireland, who was on three points after beating Wales 3-1.[2] Scotland finished last in the group.[2][3]


Like all early television programs, the England-Scotland match was televised live and was unlikely to have been directly recorded. Although there were means of achieving this following the Second World War, recording seldom occurred until video tape was perfected in the late-1950s.[17] Thus, televised footage of the match is most likely permanently missing. Nevertheless, a few minutes of match footage from British Pathé's newsreels remains publicly accessible.



British Pathé newsreel of the match.

British Pathé newsreel of the match.


See Also

Association Football/Soccer Media

Early BBC Sports Television

Early BBC Television

Early Sports Television Media


  1. 1.0 1.1 Upstart Football detailing the game and the 1945-46 Championship prelude. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 England Football Online providing the 1946-47 British Home Championship group and results. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  3. 3.0 3.1 Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record summarising the match (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  4. BBC News detailing the England-Scotland football rivalry. Retrieved 4th Feb '21
  5. BBC detailing the revival of its Television Service. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 England Football Online detailing televised England matches following the Second World War. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  7. Archived Off the Telly detailing post-World War 2 matches the BBC broadcast prior to the game. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  8. England Football Online detailing the pre-Second World War international football television broadcasts. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  9. Archived FA-Cup Finals detailing the 1947 FA Cup Final that occurred two weeks following the England-Scotland game. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  10. 10.0 10.1 BBC Genome archive of Radio Times issues detailing the television broadcast. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  11. 11.0 11.1 Issue 1225 of Radio Times listing the match. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Copyright and the Challenge of the New detailing the BBC's challenges in broadcasting the 1947 FA Cup Final among other matches during this time period. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  13. England Football Online providing match statistics and report quotes. Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Norman Giller's match report (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 England: The Complete Post-War Record providing a detailed match report (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Weekly Dispatch reporting on the match and whistle incident (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 4th Feb '22
  17. Web Archive article discussing how most early television is missing due to lack of directly recording television. Retrieved 4th Feb '22