England met the Aussies at football for the first time on this day.
On this day in 1980, exactly a week after England had played their 98th match against Scotland, they met Australia for the first time in a match to celebrate the Centenary of the Australian FA.
It was England’s first official international against any country from the Oceania Confederation.
There was a 26,000 crowd inside the Sydney Cricket Ground to see England win 2-1 with goals by Glenn Hoddle and Paul Mariner. Leeds United defender Trevor Cherry captained the side for the first (and only) time and there were debuts for Russell Osman, Terry Butcher, Alan Sunderland, David Armstrong and Peter Ward.
Brighton striker Ward came on for the last eight minutes and still jointly holds the record for the shortest England career.
England’s midfield was too strong for the Aussies and after their long trip the visitors were 2-0 up by the 24th minute.
Hoddle fired past ‘keeper Woodhouse from just outside the box and Butcher put Ipswich team-mate Mariner through for a well-taken second. A big score in England’s favour looked on the cards, but they lost their way a little after that.
A defence well marshalled by their skipper kept the eager Aussies at bay until the Aussie referee awarded a spot-kick with two minutes to go. Cole, a teacher by profession, duly shot past big Joe Corrigan.