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A look back at when Scotland became unofficial world champions with England win

A look back at when Scotland became unofficial world champions with England win
© Reuters
Scotland enjoy their victory over England on April 15, 1967.

Scotland secured one of their most enjoyable victories when they beat England 3-2 at Wembley in their first meeting since Sir Alf Ramsey's side lifted the World Cup.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at that famous encounter under the Twin Towers on April 15, 1967.

Fortress Wembley

John Greig and Bobby Moore lead out the teams
John Greig and Bobby Moore lead out the teams (PA)

The world champions had gone 19 matches unbeaten since losing at home to Austria in October 1965 while Scotland had failed to qualify for the World Cup on their doorstep. Ramsey started with 10 of his World Cup finalists plus Jimmy Greaves, who had missed the victory over West Germany through injury. But, despite missing influential Celtic pair Bobby Murdoch and Jimmy Johnstone, confidence was high among the visitors. The Scots had won three and drawn one of the previous five Auld Enemy encounters.

Wounded Jackie

A struggling Jack Charlton nets for the hosts
A struggling Jack Charlton nets for the hosts (PA)

England were hit with an early blow when Jack Charlton suffered a broken toe inside 15 minutes. In the days before substitutes, the Leeds centre-back limped about up front for most of the game, although he scored and forced two decent saves. Scotland had won at Wembley four years earlier despite playing with 10 men after skipper Eric Caldow broke his leg in the fifth minute but England were outplayed after their setback.

Unofficial World Champions

Scotland controlled the game and Denis Law and Bobby Lennox had them two ahead before Charlton netted with six minutes left. Scotland almost immediately went straight up the park to net through Jim McCalliog before Geoff Hurst gave the scoreline a flattering sheen for England in the last minute. The visitors declared themselves unofficial world champions after bringing their rivals back down to earth.

Baxter's Impudence

There was a difference of opinion in the Scotland ranks over how to press home their superiority. As the only survivor of Scotland's 9-3 Wembley humiliation in 1961, Law was desperate for more goals. On the other side, Jim Baxter wanted to torment his opponents. Legend has it the Sunderland midfielder read the Racing Post in the Wembley dressing room instead of warming up. He slowed the game down and dictated play, even indulging in a spell of keepie-uppies, while riling Alan Ball by calling him Jimmy Clitheroe, the diminutive TV comic with a high-pitched voice.

Dream Debuts

Ronnie Simpson, left, Bobby Brown, centre, and Jim McCalliog ahead of their debuts
Ronnie Simpson, left, Bobby Brown, centre, and Jim McCalliog ahead of their debuts (PA)

The game proved a glorious introduction for Bobby Brown, Scotland's first full-time manager while McCalliog and 36-year-old goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson also made their international debuts. Lennox, who would win the European Cup with Celtic team-mate Simpson six weeks later, won his second cap.

Euro Pain

Scotland fans celebrated on the pitch
Scotland fans celebrated on the pitch (PA)

The win saw Scotland clinch the British Championship trophy and put them in the driving seat for European Championship qualification with the next season's home nations event also counting. Despite drawing with England at Hampden, they missed out by a point with Ramsey's side winning all their other games and Scotland losing in Belfast and drawing in Cardiff.

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