England national amateur football team

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England Amateurs
Shirt badge/Association crest
AssociationThe Football Association
Most capsRod Haider (65)
Top scorerVivian Woodward (57)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
England Amateurs 12–0 Germany 
(White Hart Lane, London; 21 September 1901)[1]: 5–6, 15 [a]
Biggest win
 France 0–15 England Amateurs
(Parc des Princes, Paris; 1 November 1906)[1]: 5–6, 16 
Biggest defeat
Northern Ireland Amateurs 5–1 England Amateurs England
(Solitude, Belfast; 13 February 1937)[1]: 5–6, 116 
England England Amateurs 0–4 South Africa 
(Selhurst Park, London; 19 September 1953)[1]: 5–6, 177 

The England national amateur football team was the amateur representative team for England at football. It was formed in 1901,[1]: 5–6  due to the growth of the professional game which meant that amateur players could no longer easily find places in the main England national team.

It was the most successful team in the British Amateur Championship, winning on 16 occasions (5 joint). The England amateur team was disbanded by The Football Association in 1974.[2]

First match and unbeaten run[edit]

The England amateur football team of 1914 in Sweden

Its first international match was against Germany[a] on 21 September 1901, a 12–0 win at White Hart Lane, London, R. E. Foster scoring 6 (One source gives 7).[1]: 5–6, 15  The next match was away against France on 1 November 1906 and resulted in a 15–0 win for England, with Stanley Harris netting seven goals and Vivian Woodward four.[3] The team played many internationals against the full representative sides of Europe, which were usually a mixture of amateur and professional players.[4] The strength of the English amateur team meant they were still able to beat many of these sides and in fact they were unbeaten in 20 matches from 1906 to 1910.[5] Whilst these England amateur matches are not considered full senior internationals by The Football Association, they are deemed to be by their opponents.[5] As such, the England amateur side delivered the biggest defeats on several European nations; the Netherlands in 1907, Germany & Belgium in 1909, and Sweden & Hungary in 1912 (as Great Britain), beating them 12–2, 9–0, 11–2, 12–2 and 7–0 respectively.[6][7]

England amateurs and Great Britain Olympics team[edit]

Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Gold medal – first place 1900 Paris Team
Gold medal – first place 1908 London Team
Gold medal – first place 1912 Stockholm[8] Team

There is a difference of opinion as to whether the England amateur team was effectively the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 1908 and 1912 Olympic football tournaments. The FA's website considers the gold medals in these tournaments a win for the England amateur side rather than a British team,[9] whilst in Bryon Butler's book it is shown that the winners' certificate names England.[10] Conversely, Mark Chapman's England's Amateurs site states that the 1908 and 1912 teams were Great Britain and points to the fact that photographic evidence shows the team playing with the Union flag on their shirts.[11] It can be stated that both arguments are true, as it was the case for the 1956 Olympic tournament where the team played as Great Britain but the team was organised by the FA and consisted solely of amateur Englishmen as the other home nations withdrew their support.[11]

Demise and successors[edit]

The England amateur team was disbanded in 1974 when the Football Association abolished the distinction between amateurs and professionals, simply calling them "players".[2] A semi-professional representative team, made up of players from the National League System, now plays in its place.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b This match is not considered to be a full international by the German FA, and does not appear in the records of the German team.


  1. ^ a b c d e f McColl, Brian; Gorman, Douglas; Campbell, George (2017). UK Amateur International Football: The Complete Record 1901-1974 (2nd ed.). ISBN 978-1-326-35601-9.
  2. ^ a b Mark Chapman. "About The Project". A complete record of the England amateur international football team 1906–1974. England's Amateurs. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  3. ^ Mark Chapman (15 April 2009). "The First England Amateur International Match". A complete record of the England amateur international football team 1906–1974. England's Amateurs. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  4. ^ "FORGOTTEN GLORIES – British Amateur Internationals 1901–1974" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b Karel Stokkermans (30 March 2004). "England's and its Amateurs' series of 18 matches unbeaten each". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  6. ^ "All matches of The National Team in 1909". DFB. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Belgium – List of International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  8. ^ In some years, notably 1908, 1912 and 1956, the Great Britain Olympic team was the England national amateur football team playing in the colours of the United Kingdom. Sources differ as to whether this team should be considered a GB team or an England national team.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved 20 December 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Butler, Bryon (1991). The Official History of The Football Association. London: Queen Anne Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-356-19145-1.
  11. ^ a b Mark Chapman (25 March 2009). "Disputed status of international matches at amateur level". A complete record of the England amateur international football team 1906–1974. England's Amateurs. Retrieved 17 November 2010.