England played Greece for the first time 39 years ago today.
England’s first match with Greece was played on this day in 1971.
A 60,000 crowd at Wembley on a Wednesday evening saw England win a European Championship qualifier 3-0, with Martin Chivers, Geoff Hurst and Francis Lee on target.
The first half was short on excitement, with the ball usually going sideways instead of forward, but there was a great goal to savour on 23 minutes. Chivers, the big Spurs striker winning only his second cap, took Martin Peters’ pass in his stride to power past two Greek challenges and lash a left-footer past Khristides.
In the second period Lee pushed forward more often and the pressure on the Greek defence increased. Khristides saved well from Peters and Lee before Peters’ cross on 70 minutes was flicked on by Chivers for Hurst nod home. It was a goal long overdue.
Spurs’ Ralph Coates, substituting for Alan Ball, made an immediate impact and combined with new cap Peter Storey near the end to set up Lee for a spectacular diving header that made it 3-0.
Gordon Banks, England’s legendary ‘keeper, didn’t have a direct shot to save in the whole 90 minutes, emphasising the gulf between the sides.