Wembley debut for Belarus
Wednesday, 14 October, 2009
Belarus to become 57th international visitors to Wembley tonight.
Belarus become the 57th different country to play England in a full international at Wembley tonight. It will only be the second ever meeting of the two teams, England having won a FIFA World Cup qualifier 3-1 in Minsk last October.
Wembley’s first visitors for an international were Scotland in 1924, the year after the original stadium had opened. A crowd of 37,250 saw a 1-1 draw, Aston Villa’s Billy Walker equalising for England on the hour. The Scots were also the second visitors, four years later, when England were beaten 5-1 by the ‘Wembley Wizards’.
Wales didn’t come to Wembley for a peacetime fixture until 1952 and Northern Ireland not until three years later. England’s next Wembley opponents after Scotland were actually Argentina, who came here for a prestigious friendly in 1951 that drew 99,000 fans to the famous stadium. England were losing to Boye’s 18th-minute opener for the South Americans until Stan Mortensen and Jackie Milburn scored in the last eleven minutes.
Belarus aren’t this season’s first new visitors to Wembley. Slovenia played their first match here last month.