Video of the Day: Wales vs England – April 1970

by | Mar 21, 2016

There’s no Premier League football for a couple of weeks on account of a break for international friendlies, so this week we’re going to have a look back at some historical matches featuring teams that will be playing the group stages of this summer’s European Championships in France, kicking off with this selection of ITV coverage from the 1970 British Home Championships. England, of course, were still the reigning world champions at this time, but without a need to qualify for the finals of this tournament they’d been without any competitive football apart from this tournament since the 1968 European Championships.

This was, therefore, a great opportunity for Alf Ramsey to take a look at his team in a competitive environment against teams that definitely wanted to give them a game. First up for England was a match against Wales at Ninian Park in Cardiff, a match which provided some cause for doubt that Ramsey’s team would be anything like capable of defending their trophy in the heat and altitude of Mexico that summer. Second up is a match between Northern Ireland and Scotland, which features a certain George Best getting himself in trouble with the referee and then getting a stern telling off on the television by Jimmy Hill.

England did end up winning the 1970 Home Championships, but only just, following their match against Wales with a comfortable win at Wembley against Northern Ireland – who were still at the time informally known as “Ireland”, as can be seen from ITV’s presentation of the Scotland match – and a goalless draw against Scotland at Hampden Park in their final match. This left England, Wales and Scotland tied on four points each at the top of the group, with England topping the four-team group on goal difference. Commentary for these two matches comes from Brian Moore and Hugh Johns.

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