England played at Wembley Stadium for the first time on this day.
England’s first-ever match at Wembley was played on this day 86 years ago. We met Scotland at the ‘old’ stadium in a British Championship fixture and it finished in a 1-1 draw.
Of course, it was a new stadium then, having been opened just in time for the 1923 FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. The capacity was meant to be around 125,000 but possibly as many as twice that number gained entry amidst chaotic scenes on that April afternoon. Only the calming presence of King George V and some sterling work by a white police horse called ‘Billie’ allowed that Final to go ahead.
By contrast the crowd for England v Scotland just under a year later was a surprisingly low 37,250. They saw Newcastle United’s Willie Cowan give the Scots the advantage five minutes before half-time. Billy Walker, Aston Villa’s inside-left, levelled on 59 minutes.
Walker recalled: “I was at Wembley two weeks running in April 1924, first in an international and the following Saturday in the Cup Final (for Newcastle)! In the international against Scotland I scored England’s goal. Next Saturday, in the Cup Final, I crashed into the goalpost and knocked myself out!”
England had lined up like this for their first Wembley appearance: Teddy Taylor (Huddersfield Town), Tommy Smart (Aston Villa), Sam Wadsworth (Huddersfield Town), Frank Moss (Aston Villa), Charlie Spencer (Newcastle United), Percy Barton (Birmingham), Bill Butler and David Jack (Bolton Wanderers), Charlie Buchan (Sunderland), Billy Walker (Aston Villa) and Fred Tunstall (Sheffield United).