England played ‘foreign’ opposition for the first time on this day.
England had been playing international football for 36 years when they finally ventured onto the European continent on this day in 1908.
They met Scotland in the first match in history in Glasgow in 1872 and had their first meetings with Wales at Kennington Oval in 1879 and with Ireland in Belfast in 1882.
And that’s how it stayed, with Scotland, Wales and Ireland providing the opposition for all of England’s internationals until that summer early in the new century.
The FA arranged a four-match European tour to Austria, Hungary and Bohemia, and in the opening fixture England took on the Austrians in Vienna’s ‘Cricketer-Platz’.
A crowd of just 3,500 saw England win easily, 6-1. Chelsea’s strike pair of George Hilsdon and Jimmy Windridge scored a brace each.
The teams met again two days later, this time at the ‘Hohe Warte’ ground, and England slaughtered Austria 11-1. Tottenham’s Vivian Woodward led the way with four goals.
Then the tourists proceeded to beat Hungary 7-0 in Budapest and Bohemia (part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) 4-0 in Prague.
So England were playing ‘abroad’ at last. But they wouldn’t play in a World Cup for another 42 years.