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16 October 2014

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Wembley Wizards 1967

Scottish players celebrate Bobby Lennox's goal


The Scottish victory was a result of individual brilliance built on a solid defensive rock. Scotland's fullbacks Tommy Gemmell and Eddie McCreadie had the freedom to support wingers Wallace and Lennox as England manager Alf Ramsay continued with his wingless wonders formation, which had won them the World Cup.

Instead England knocked long balls forward in the hope of finding Hurst and Greaves but neither had much joy against Greig and McKinnon.

Scotland were undoubtedly helped by an injury incurred by England's centre-half Jack Charlton as he tackled Lennox early in the first half. Although he stayed on the park for the full 90 minutes playing as a forward, the big Leeds player could barely run. He did, however, manage to score England's opener.

To the modern viewer, the Wembley Wizards game makes for strange viewing. Players made long runs forward with the ball at their feet, often not closed down and would then shoot at goal from outrageous distances when team mates were in better scoring positions. The formations were also very fluid; both Denis Law and Bobby Charlton dropped back to pick up the ball from outside their own penalty boxes on more than one occasion.

Many tackles which would have had players sent off today were simply waved on by German referee Gerd Schulenburg.

A Scottish fan hugs Jim Baxter after the match


Glyn Edwards described the game's most famous incident the following Monday in The Herald: "I shall cherish for a long time the memory of Baxter slowing down the game to almost walking pace, insouciantly juggling the ball with instep, forehead and knees while Stiles, no more than a couple of yards away, bobbed up and down, unsure whether to make his challenge at knee or head level."

But it wasn't the juggling that was remarkable, which only lasted a couple of seconds, it was that somebody was slowing the pace and looking for the best pass in a match where, on the whole, hearts were ruling heads.

Although the result was enough to see Scotland as winners of the Home Internationals for 1967, they missed the larger prize of a quarter-final match against Spain in 1968's European Championships due to poor results in other matches. The Scots lost in Belfast to Northern Ireland and could only draw with England at Hampden in the corresponding fixture the following February. Scotland finished the group on eight points, one behind winners England.


1. Banks (Leicester)
2. Cohen (Fulham)
3. Wilson (Everton)
4. Stiles (Manchester Utd)
5. J. Charlton (Leeds)
6. Moore (West Ham Utd)
7. Ball (Everton)
8. Greaves (Spurs)
9. B. Charlton (Manchester Utd)
10. Hurst (West Ham Utd)
11. Peters (West Ham Utd)

1. Simpson (Celtic)
2. Gemmell (Celtic)
3. McCreadie (Chelsea)
4. Greig (Rangers)
5. McKinnon (Rangers)
6. Baxter (Sunderland)
7. Wallace (Celtic)
8. Bremner (Leeds)
9. McCalliog (Sheffield Wed)
10. Law (Manchester Utd)
11. Lennox (Celtic)


Law 0-1, Lennox 0-2, J. Charlton 1-2, McCalliog 1-3, Hurst 2-3.

Written by: Gordon Cairns

Page: 1 2 3


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