England Triumphs in Historic 150th Anniversary Clash with Scotland


England Triumphs in Historic 150th Anniversary Clash with Scotland

In the annals of football history, there exists a rivalry that transcends the boundaries of mere sport. It’s a rivalry fueled by centuries of history, geographical proximity, and a shared passion for the beautiful game. The clash between Scotland and England in the realm of football is not just a fixture; it’s a spectacle, a tradition, and an embodiment of the enduring spirit of competition.

In the year 2023, football enthusiasts around the world marked a significant milestone – the 150th anniversary of the oldest international football fixture in history: Scotland vs. England. This storied rivalry dates back to 1872 when the two nations faced off for the first time on a football pitch. A match at the West of Scotland Cricket Club set the stage for what would become one of the most enduring and fiercely contested football rivalries in the world.

To commemorate this historic occasion, England and Scotland once again locked horns, this time at Hampden Park, Glasgow. The 150th-anniversary edition of the “Auld Enemy” clash did not disappoint, as it showcased the rich history, passionate fan base, and the never-dying spirit of competition that defines this iconic rivalry.

A Brief History of the Rivalry

The rivalry between Scotland and England goes beyond football, rooted in centuries of historical, cultural, and societal differences. However, it was the 1872 football match that officially set the stage for their footballing rivalry.

Back in the late 19th century, as football was transitioning into a professional sport, there was a debate over which nation could claim to have “invented” the game. The rules established by the Football Association (FA) in England in 1863 formed the basis of the sport, but many Scottish teams claimed credit for innovations such as passing and tactical formations.

The rivalry between England and Scotland was intensified by this debate, as Scottish teams and newspapers challenged the FA’s rules and asserted their contributions to the sport. This historical backdrop laid the foundation for a rivalry that has persisted for 150 years.

While the rivalry may not be as fiery as it once was in modern times, with England developing rivalries with the likes of Germany and Argentina, the “Three Lions” remain largely disliked by Scottish football fans. The fixture is a matter of immense pride and historical significance for both nations.

150 Years of Footballing History

Over the course of 150 years, Scotland and England have clashed on the football field 126 times, with each encounter adding to the lore of this rivalry. The majority of these matches took place within the now-defunct British Home Championship, which featured England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (formerly Ireland) from 1884 to 1984.

In terms of head-to-head statistics, England has secured 49 victories, Scotland has claimed 41 wins, and 26 matches have ended in draws. This closely contested record only serves to underline the competitive nature of this fixture.

The Modern Era of the Rivalry

In the modern era, the rivalry between England and Scotland has continued to captivate football fans worldwide. After a near 14-year hiatus without a competitive match, the rivalry was reignited with friendlies in 2013 and 2014.

The past three encounters between the two nations have been particularly memorable. These included two World Cup qualifiers and a Euro 2020 group stage match that ended in a thrilling 0-0 draw at Wembley Stadium. However, perhaps the most iconic of recent clashes was a dramatic World Cup qualifier in 2017. Leigh Griffiths appeared to have secured a historic 2-1 win for Scotland with two late free-kicks, only for Harry Kane to snatch a last-gasp equalizer for England.

Here is a list of England vs. Scotland matches in the 21st century:

  • Aug 14, 2013: Friendly at Wembley – England 3-2 Scotland
  • Nov 18, 2014: Friendly at Celtic Park – Scotland 1-3 England
  • Nov 11, 2016: World Cup 2018 qualifying at Wembley – England 3-0 Scotland
  • June 10, 2017: World Cup 2018 qualifying at Hampden Park – Scotland 2-2 England
  • June 18, 2021: Euro 2020 at Wembley – England 0-0 Scotland
  • Sep 12, 2023: Friendly at Hampden Park – Scotland 1-3 England

The 150th Anniversary Clash

The 150th-anniversary clash at Hampden Park in 2023 lived up to the historic significance of the occasion. England emerged victorious, sealing a 3-1 win over their Scottish counterparts. The match was a fitting tribute to 150 years of rivalry, passion, and the enduring love of the sport.

With 4,000 fans in attendance, the atmosphere was electric, and the players on both sides wore their hearts on their sleeves. The game showcased the resilience, determination, and skill of the players, embodying the essence of what makes this rivalry so special.


The clash between Scotland and England is more than just a football match; it’s a testament to the enduring power of sport to unite, divide, and inspire. It’s a celebration of history, culture, and the unwavering passion of fans. As the rivalry continues to evolve in the modern era, it remains a cherished fixture on the football calendar, a reminder of the sport’s rich heritage, and a source of inspiration for generations of players and fans alike.

As we reflect on 150 years of history, one thing is clear: the Scotland vs. England rivalry is not just about the scoreline; it’s about the shared journey, the memories created, and the indomitable spirit that makes football the beautiful game. In the years to come, this iconic clash will continue to capture the imagination of football enthusiasts worldwide, keeping the flame of rivalry burning bright for generations to come.




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