From the vault – 1977 Home International, England v Wales

At Y Ddraig, we like to reminisce about former Welsh internationals for positive or negative reasons, but games that stick in the mind. The next game that we look at is the historic victory at Wembley Stadium in 1977 against England. Ah, memories.

The game took place on the 31st of May 1977. England, who was managed by Don Revie was under pressure following a disappointing 1976 European Championships qualifying campaign. Revie was under pressure for not playing individual players in his side regularly such as the maverick styles of Alan Hudson, Tony Currie and Stan Bowles. Also, he had recently dropped, Alan Ball from the squad and with performances not improving every decision he made was under scrutiny.

The Welsh side came into the game still buoyed by their performances in the 1976 European Championships, unlike England. Wales had reached the quarter-finals and the players and Mike Smith; the Welsh manager went into the game full of belief.

On a warm, bright evening in London, the game itself was a well fought competitive game, which is the minimum you would expect between these two countries. There is a video on YouTube put on by our friends at Podcast Pel-droed which is just over ten minutes long, capturing some of the critical moments, if you have not seen the game or simply want a trip down memory lane.

Some of the highlights of the video and indeed the match, include a terror tackle from Terry Yorath on Brian Greenhoff, which gains a yellow card. The card to Yorath is given only minutes after another let’s say “robust” challenge on Mick Channon, the England captain. The goal itself, which is after an awful bit of communication (if any), between Emlyn Hughes and Peter Shilton plus some excellent build-up play from Wales with several goal-scoring opportunities and some resolute Welsh defending, Ian Evans and Joey Jones on the night were magnificent.

We also love the winning goal from Leighton James from the penalty spot, just see how long his run-up is and the pace he runs into the strike on a straight run. Great stuff.

Embed from Getty Images

It was a fantastic win, and the match programme from that night is one of my favourite bits of football memorabilia I have. The result was taken very severely by the English media, and only a few months later, Revie would be quitting the managerial job moving to the United Arab Emirates to become their national manager. All very turbulent times in England. But for us, Welsh, what great memories!

The two sides that night was as follows:

England
1/ Peter Shilton
2/ Phil Neal
3/ Mick Mills
4/ Brian Greenhoff
5/ Dave Watson
6/ Emlyn Hughes
7/ Kevin Keegan
8/ Mick Channon (Capt)
9/ Stuart Pearson
10/ Trevor Brooking
11/ Ray Kennedy
Used Subs
Dennis Tueart for Brooking

Wales
1/ Dai Davies
2/ Rod Thomas
3/ Joey Jones
4/ John Mahoney
5/ Leighton Phillips
6/ Ian Evans
7/ Peter Sayer
8/ Brian Flynn
9/ Terry Yorath (Capt)
10/ Nick Deacy
11/ Leighton James
Used subs
Dave Roberts for Phillips

Feature picture credit: dailymail.co.uk