England won their first match with Joe Mercer as caretaker boss on this day.
England’s friendly in Portugal in April 1974 turned out to be their last international with Sir Alf Ramsey as Manager.
Joe Mercer (above right) was given the job on a temporary basis and his first match in charge, a Home International Championship fixture with Wales in Cardiff, took place on this day.
Mercer had played for England five times at left-half just before the war and managed Sheffield United, Aston Villa and Manchester City.
‘Genial Joe’ had the England team playing with a freedom to express themselves and their direct brand of football had the Welsh at full stretch before 26,000 fans inside Ninian Park. Mercer made Emlyn Hughes his skipper and gave a debut to Leicester City winger Keith Weller.
England lined up like this: Peter Shilton, David Nish, Mike Pejic, Emlyn Hughes, Roy McFarland, Colin Todd, Kevin Keegan, Colin Bell, Keith Weller, Stan Bowles and Mick Channon.
Bowles scored on 35 minutes after Welsh ‘keeper Phillips had palmed the ball out from Weller’s hard, low cross. England then dominated the second half, Colin Bell missing two close-range chances before a deserved second goal arrived on 55 minutes. Keegan got a lucky touch to Nish’s long cross and the ball trickled past defender Villars on the line.Sign up to official SMS alerts to keep up to date with all England news. Visit our official mobile section here.