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A history of the championships

The 1968 England squad
England - world beaters in 1966 but humbled two years later


England were world champions by the time the 1968 European Championship came along, though unlike the World Cup of 1966, they were obliged to qualify for the final stages in Italy.

A Home Championships double-header group made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was assembled to determine who would go through and England had it far from their own way.

Scotland beat England 3-2 at Wembley in 1967 - a match still fondly recalled by many Scots as the day the inspirational figure of Jim Baxter tormented the auld enemy. A 1-1 draw in Glasgow followed, but Scotland slipped up elsewhere and England managed to reach the quarter-finals, where Spain were despatched in a two-leg play-off.

Alan Mullery
Alan Mullery was sent off against Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia were next up in the semis and crowd scenes of England fans marching through the streets of Florence to the match were used as a backdrop in the Michael Caine film The Italian Job of the same year. The main drama of a bad-tempered semi-final was the sending-off of Alan Mullery - the first English player to get his marching orders in an international. A 1-0 defeat ended England's hopes of reaffirming their top-dog status in European football. Goals by Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst brought England a 2-0 victory over the Soviet Union in the third place play-off, though that was scant consolation.

History Map

1968
European Championship
Held in Italy England Results

Qualifying Group 8
N Ireland 0-2 England
England 5-1 Wales
England 2-3 Scotland
Wales 0-3 England
England 2-0 N Ireland
Scotland 1-1 England
Quarter-finals
England 1-0 Spain
Spain 1-2 England
Semi-final (in Florence)
England 0-1 Yugoslavia
3rd place play-off (in Rome)
England 2-0 USSR


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