We look back on a great year for Stuart Pearce's side which saw them qualify for Euro 2009.
Undefeated in 2008, England Under-21s booked their place in next summer's UEFA European Championship Finals after topping their qualification group and narrowly beating Wales in a two-legged Play-Off.
There were only two group matches played in this calendar year and after beating Republic of Ireland 3-0 at St Mary’s in February, Stuart Pearce’s side required just a point against Portugal in their final group game to secure a Play-Off berth.
Goals from Aston Villa duo, James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor inflicted defeat on Portugal at Wembley Stadium to set up the Play-Off with Brian Flynn’s side in October.
After surviving an early scare, the first leg at Ninian Park finished 3-2 to England. Sam Vokes put the Welsh ahead, but David Wheater headed home the equaliser from a corner for his first-ever Under-21 goal.
Wheater’s Middlesbrough team-mate, Adam Johnson, curled home an exquisite effort from the edge of the area to give England a 35th minute lead before Vokes scored his second of the game to level matters once more.
An intricate flick from Agbonlahor gave England a slender advantage ahead of the second leg at Villa Park, where Wales once again threatened to derail England’s efforts to qualify for next summer’s tournament in Sweden.
Though Tom Huddlestone extended England’s advantage with a free-kick after just 14 minutes, goals from Aaron Ramsey and Simon Church gave Wales hope. However, Vokes inadvertently guided a Steven Taylor header into his own goal to restore parity and England held on to secure qualification.
Four friendlies completed England’s fixture list in 2008 – including a 2-0 win over Wales in Wrexham at the end of last season. Six debutants took to the field against Poland in March and they performed admirably in a 0-0 draw. England began this season with a 2-1 victory over Slovenia and their final match of 2008 saw them defeat Czech Republic 2-0 at Bramall Lane.