When Was the First International Football Match?

The first international match took place on Saturday, 30th November 1872, kicking off shortly after 2pm.
It was contested by arch enemies England and Scotland, who played out a tense 0-0 draw in a match that was played according to Football Association rules.

Played in high winds and challenging conditions, the game was relatively even and keenly contested during the first 45 minutes, before the Three Lions took control and completely dominated the second period.
However, the Scots repelled their rivals thanks to resolute performances by defender W.H. Gladstone and goalkeeper A. Morten, ensuring that the first ever FIFA international match ended goalless.


Where Was the First International Football Match?

The first international match between England and Scotland was held north of the border, at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Hamilton Crescent, Partick.
Interestingly, this venue was founded in 1862 as a joint venture between local businessmen and the Clutha Cricket Club, with Hamilton Crescent not formally categorised as a football ground.

What is the Oldest International Football Ground?

The oldest international football ground is the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Hamilton Crescent, having hosted the inaugural clash between England and Scotland in 1872.
However, this venue is now used solely for amateur cricket matches and various functions. So, the oldest international football ground still in use is the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, Wales, with this venue having hosted Wales first match with Scotland on March 5th 1877.
Wales lost the game 2-0, although the country has the distinction of being the third oldest international side after England and Scotland.


Who Was the Referee at the First International Match?

The referee at the first international match was Scotsman William Keay, who took charge of the match between England and Scotland.
As Scotland had yet to form an official Football Association prior to the game, Keay was affiliated to a team called Queens Park FC (which used English FA rules).

Interestingly, all of the Scottish national players at the time played for Queens Park, while Keay was also one of the first referees to take charge of a competition match under Scottish FA rules later in his career.

How Many People Attended the First International Match?

Some 4,000 people attended the first international match between England and Scotland, with this the highest recorded attendance at a game up to that point in history.

Each fan paid an admission fee of one shilling too, while arguably both sets of supporters were relatively happy with a draw at the end of the proceedings.
Many had to bear the brunt of the conditions too, as the cold winter wind continued to howl throughout the match!


Key Fact

Referee: William Keay (Scotland)

Venue: Venue: Hamilton Crescent, Partick

Score: 0-0

Attendance: 4,000



GK Robert Gardner (c)
BK William Ker
BK Joseph Taylor
HB James J. Thomson
HB James Smith
FW Robert Smith
FW Robert Leckie
FW Alex Rhind
FW Billy MacKinnon
FW Jerry Weir
FW David Wotherspoon


GK Robert Barker
BK Harwood Greenhalgh
HB Reginald Courtenay Welch
FW Frederick Maddison
FW William Maynard
FW John Brockbank
FW Charles Clegg
FW Arnold Kirke Smith
FW Cuthbert Ottaway (c)
FW Charles Chenery
FW Charles Morice


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