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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 12:47 GMT 13:47 UK
Against the odds
Cliff Jones
If Wales are to derail England's World Cup qualification charge this Saturday they will need to beat the old enemy in Cardiff for the first time in 50 years.

While there were famous victories in 1984, 1980 and 1977, you must go back to 1955 for success in the capital.

On 22 October in front of 62,000 fans at Ninian Park, Derek Tapscott and Cliff Jones scored in Wales' 2-1 win.

"It was my second international and my first win in Wales - it was a huge day for us," recalls Jones.

Like their predecessors, the current Wales side go into the match against England as huge underdogs.

Back then the superstars wearing white were Stanley Matthews, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney - that generation's equivalent of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and David Beckham.

"We weren't particular favourites - we'd not beaten England, I think, for 16 years before that!" former Tottenham star Jones admitted.

"But I scored the winner that day and when people ask about the great moments in my career then that is the best moment.

"I was on the field with some of the greatest players of all time - both Welsh and English - but there I was a young lad getting the winning goal."

There I was, a young lad getting the winning goal
Cliff Jones

As a 20-year-old making his way in the game, Jones admits to being overawed by some of the company alongside him on the pitch.

But he reasons that if he could rise to the occasion then the stage is set for one of Wales' youthful team to write their name into the history books.

"In front of 72,000 at the Millennium Stadium, with a lot of Welsh fervour, it's not beyond the boys to go and get a result," Jones said.

In 1955 Wales could field some real quality with the great John Charles - who ironically gave England their solitary score with an own goal - Ivor Allchurch and Trevor Ford.

But Jones believes John Toshack's side has its own top-class players.

"They've got Ryan Giggs and John Hartson - so let's not forget that and put it into a bit of perspective, I think the boys can get out there and do something with them," Jones said.

"I'm sure John Toshack is very aware of that and we've got to get amongst them.

"We all saw England play against Denmark (losing 4-1 in Copenhagen a fortnight ago) and the reason they played badly is because Denmark got in amongst them and stopped them playing.

"Taken man-for-man Denmark are no better than Wales and there's no reason on the day that Wales can't get a result.

"If they do then it's an achievement they will never forget."


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