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12 Roar-some England Football Facts!

Love international football? Here are some amazing facts about the Three Lions and the Lionesses!

Beano Team
Last Updated:  May 9th 2024

If you're a fan of international football, then you'll know there's a world of amazing statistics and facts to learn, enjoy and tell or your friends when you've had a game in the park. Here's some fascinating pieces of trivia about the England teams, with a cat fact thrown in for good measure.

They think it's all over... it is meow!

1. England played the first-ever international game of footie against Scotland!

The game took place at Hamilton Crescent, Partick on November 30, 1872. 4000 people attended the world's first international fixture which ended in a goalless draw. 100 years later, the two teams faced each other, but this game marked the first international played by the Lionesses. After going two-nil down, the Lionesses won 3-2.

2. England has hosted and won the World Cup once!

England hosted and won the FIFA World Cup in July 1966, led by legendary captain Bobby Moore and manager Sir Alf Ramsey. The team beat Germany in a thrilling final, ending in a 4-2 scoreline. Geoff Hurst score a hat-trick, with Martin Peters scoring a fourth. The game was attended by 96,924 people at the original Wembley Stadium. The star above the badge represents this historic win.

3. The men's team are nicknamed the Three Lions!

The team's badge features three lions, which represent the historical association with the Royal Arms of England. The women's team are known as the Lionesses and proudly display the same crest on their kit.

4. Peter Shilton is the Three Lions' most-capped player!

In an international career lasting two decades, Peter Shilton played in goal for England 125 times! Wayne Rooney is England's second most-capped player with 120 appearances.

5. Fara Williams is the Lionesses' most-capped player!

Fara Williams has represented the Lionesses even more than Peter Shilton did. The midfielder earned 177 caps for England between 2001 and 2019, scoring 40 goals in the process. Not only that, she played for Great Britain 5 times in 2012, commanding the midfield for Team GB at the Olympic Games in London!

6. England suffered their biggest defeat to Hungary!

A sad football fan

May 23, 1954 is not a date England's football team will remember too fondly. They played an international friendly against Hungary at the Népstadion in Budapest before a crowd of 92,000 people. They got their money's worth as they watched the hosts wallop the Three Lions 7-1. Ivan Broadis was the only English player to hit the back of the net. Hungary had previously beaten England at Wembley 6-3 the previous year!

7. England once scored 13 goals in 1 game!

Northern Ireland played their first international game on February 18, 1882. It didn't go well as England kept scoring and scoring after taking a 5-0 lead at half time.

8. Sylvia Gore scored the Lionesses first-ever goal!

Football fans celebrating a goal

Remember the first game versus Scotland in 1972? Prescot-born midfielder Sylvia Gore hit the net for the Lionesses! She went on to manage the Wales team in 1982 and led the side for seven years.

9. Harry Kane is England's all-time leading goalscorer!

Harry Kane in an England shirt 2023

Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane drew level with Wayne Rooney in the team's quarter-final defeat to France in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, netting a total of 53 goals. By November 2023, he had scored 61 goals in 87 appearances and doesn't look like stopping any time soon.

10. The Lionesses reached the FIFA World Cup final in 2023!

On August 20, 2023, the Lionesses faced Spain in the World Cup final in Stadium Australia, Sydney. After a tense 90 minutes, they lost 1-0 after a 29th minute goal by Spanish captain Olga Carmona. England goalkeeper Mary Earps (above) saved a 70th minute penalty by Jennifer Hermoso, but their World Cup hopes were dashed.

11. The Three Lions have played in nearly every World Cup!

An England fan about to get hit with a football

England has played in every FIFA World Cup since it began in 1930, except in 1974 which took place in what was known as West Germany. They failed to reach the tournament again in 1978 which was hosted by Argentina. They've qualified for every World Cup since then!

12. The Three Lions made a new friend in Qatar!

During the team's World Cup campaign in Qatar, the squad made a friend at their training camp. A stray cat named Dave would watch the team practice in Al Wakrah.