England 1-3 Scotland (partially found footage of international football match; 1949)

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Lawrie Reilly scoring Scotland's third goal.

Status: Partially Found

On 9th April 1949, England hosted Scotland at Wembley Stadium for the final match of the 1948-49 Home International Championship. Occurring in front of a record 99,500, It saw Scotland win 3-1, earning not only the Championship, but also ending England's unbeaten post-war home record.


Heading into the match, both sides had won all their previous Home International Championship games.[1] England defeated Ireland 6-2, and Wales 1-0, while Scotland beat Wales 3-1, and Ireland 3-2.[1] Prior to the match, England maintained an unbeaten home record since the end of the Second World War, as well as an overall streak that stretched to eleven games, having last beaten Switzerland 6-0 on 2nd December 1948 Retrieved 1st May '22.[2][3] Meanwhile, Scotland's last game was the aforementioned win over Ireland, on 17th November 1948.[4]

Meanwhile, this was the third England-Scotland clash to be televised by the BBC.[5][6][7][8][2] In the previous two encounters, Scotland defeated England 1-0 on 9th April 1938, while the two sides drew 1-1 on 12 April 1947.[7][8] In both instances, England ultimately ended up winning the Home International Championships, with Scotland seeking its first since 1936, while England required just a draw for its fifth consecutive title.[9][10] Additionally, national pride was at stake with this match.[11] Match commentary was provided by Jimmy Jewell and Peter Lloyd.[5][6][8]

The Match

The match itself occurred on 9th April 1949 in front of a stadium record of 99,500, with Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh also being present at the game.[12][2] Prior to the match, it was known England had made five changes from the side that beat Switzerland.[13] The changes appeared to have worked when, in the first 25 minutes, the majority of chances came from the home side, with Scotland goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan being required to make multiple saves to keep his nation in the game.[12][9][13][10] This included blocking a Stanley Pearson shot, which was then rebounded by Stanley Mortensen into an open goal, only for Samuel Cox to clear it off the line.[12] However, the visitors began to fight back, and after 29 minutes, William Steel made a pass that went through John Aston and towards Lawrence Reilly, who then made a cross that was sidefooted into the England goal by James Mason to make it 1-0.[12][9][13][10][2]

In the second half, Scotland dominated the midfield, with Steel and Mason being particularly strong.[12] The duo passed among themselves before William Houliston took over from the 51st minute mark, his backheel pass bypassing the English defenders, enabling Steel to virtually walk the ball into the goal for 2-0.[12][9][10][2] Ten minutes later, William Waddell's cross was met with a header by Reilly, allowing Scotland to lead 3-0.[12][9][13][10][2] England attempted a comeback, making progress after Thomas Finney laid the back towards Mortensen, whose shot was then diverted by John Milburn for a consolation goal.[12][9][13][2] A chance to make it 3-2 was thwarted when Milburn accidentally blocked a goalbound shot from Stanley Matthews, with a Pearson header also just hitting the bar.[12] Ultimately, it was not enough, enabling Scotland to win its first Home International Championship since 1936, and breaking England's post-war unbeaten home record, and its eleven match unbeaten streak.[2][10][1][4] Match reports generally praised Cowan for his saves early in the match, as well as Cox, who prevented Matthews from converting chances by intercepting passes meant for him.[13][12]


Like most early televised football matches, the match was broadcast live and is not known to have been recorded, as recording seldom occurred until video tape was perfected in the late-1950s.[14] In fact, a telerecording would not occur until England's later game against Italy on 30th November 1949.[15] Thus, all televised coverage of the encounter is now permanently missing. Nevertheless, newsreel footage of the match remains publicly available.



British Pathé newsreel of the match.

Another British Pathé newsreel of the match.

Further newsreel footage in tribute to Lawrie Reilly.


See Also

Association Football/Soccer Media

Early BBC Sports Television

Early BBC Television

Early Sports Television Media


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 England Football Online detailing the 1948-49 Home International Championship table. Retrieved 1st May '22
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 England Football Online detailing the result of the match. Retrieved 1st May '22
  3. England Football Online detailing England's win over Switzerland Retrieved 1st May '22
  4. 4.0 4.1 RSSSF detailing Scotland's games between 1946-1950. Retrieved 1st May '22
  5. 5.0 5.1 BBC Genome archive of Radio Times issues detailing the broadcast of the match. Retrieved 1st May '22
  6. 6.0 6.1 Issue 1,329 of Radio Times listing the match. Retrieved 1st May '22
  7. 7.0 7.1 England Football Online detailing pre-war England matches the BBC televised. Retrieved 1st May '22
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 England Football Online detailing England matches the BBC broadcast from 1947-1950. Retrieved 1st May '22
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Glen Isherwood's match report (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 1st May '22
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 FA Yearbook's account of the match (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 1st May '22
  11. BBC News detailing the England-Scotland football rivalry. Retrieved 1st May '22
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record providing a detailed match report (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 1st May '22
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Norman Giller's match report (quote found on England Football Online). Retrieved 1st May '22
  14. Web Archive article discussing how most early television is missing due to a lack of directly recording television. Retrieved 1st May '22
  15. BBC noting no telerecording of football matches occurred until the November 1949 England-Italy game. Retrieved 1st May '22