England v Republic of Ireland: Stuttgart, stalemates and Sheedy – when these sides meet


Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Thursday 12 November Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport app and BBC Sounds. Live text commentary and report on BBC Sport app and online

“1966 at Wembley was a landmark in my career, but I think this experience is even better.”

So said Republic of Ireland manager, and 1966 World Cup winner with England, Jack Charlton after leading his side to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1990.

A sporting giant on both sides of the Irish Sea, Charlton will be represented by a banner behind the goal at Wembley as the sides meet four months after his death.

It will be a rare occasion – just the 10th meeting in the last 40 years – with the last six games all draws.

England haven’t beaten the Republic since 1985. Here, BBC Sport takes a look at some of the key clashes down the years…

‘Somebody once told me fortune favours the brave and God, our lads were brave’

England 0-1 Republic of Ireland 12 June 1988

Goalscorers: Ray Houghton Key players: Peter Shilton, Bryan Robson, John Barnes, Gary Lineker; Packie Bonner, Paul McGrath, Houghton, Ronnie Whelan, John Aldridge Managers: Bobby Robson; Jack Charlton Venue: Neckarstadion, Stuttgart

It had been nearly 40 years since an Irish win over England and Bobby Robson’s side came into the Euro 88 tournament among the favourites after a decent World Cup in Mexico. When will they ever learn?

Diego Maradona was their nemesis in 1986; this time it would be Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton, whose early, looping header was the difference and the start of a woeful tournament for England.

The Republic, 50-1 outsiders at the start of their first major tournament, drew with the Soviet Union and were minutes away from reaching the semi-finals until eventual winners the Netherlands found a goal.

‘A game we couldn’t afford to lose’

England 1-1 Republic of Ireland 11 June 1990

Kevin Sheedy
Kevin Sheedy became the first Irish player to score at the World Cup and also scored in the shootout against Romania

Goalscorers: Gary Lineker; Kevin Sheedy Key players: Paul Gascoigne, Chris Waddle, Stuart Pearce, Lineker; Bonner, Steve Staunton, Houghton, McGrath, Sheedy, Aldridge Managers: Bobby Robson; Charlton Venue: Stadio Sant’Elia, Cagliari

The Republic’s World Cup debut was once again against familiar foes – and again the boys in green threw a spanner in the English works.

Gary Lineker – who missed a bagful of chances in Stuttgart two years earlier – put the Three Lions ahead with an early, scruffy goal, but the Republic levelled when Steve McMahon trod on the ball and Everton winger Kevin Sheedy drilled past Peter Shilton.

In a proper group of dearth – five of the six matches were drawn with only seven goals in total – both sides made it through to the knockout stage. England would be beaten on penalties in the semi-final of course, while the Republic won a shootout against Romania but were undone by hosts Italy in the last eight.

‘It was mayhem – just carnage’

Republic of Ireland 0-0 England* 15 February 1995

* Match abandoned. Goalscorers: David Kelly Key players: Denis Irwin, McGrath, Andy Townsend, Niall Quinn; David Seaman, Paul Ince, David Platt, Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier Managers: Charlton; Terry Venables Venue: Lansdowne Road

Memorable for all the wrong reasons, the friendly in 1995 was abandoned after David Kelly gave Ireland the lead in the 22nd minute.

Seats were ripped up, missiles thrown and some England ‘fans’ fought pitched battles with the Irish police.

“People were coming forward onto the pitch to get away from the trouble, some of them with bloodied heads,” Charlton said.

“The scenes reminded me of the Hillsborough disaster at first, if I’m honest. I’d been at that game and the people pouring onto the pitch reminded me of that terrible day.

“It was chaos, mayhem, and I feared the worst. The referee called the game off. He had no other option.”

A first on English soil

England 0-2 Republic of Ireland 21 September 1949

Goalscorers: Con Martin, Peter Farrell Key players: Billy Wright, Tom Finney, Wilf Mannion; Johnny Carey, Martin, Davy Walsh Managers: Walter Winterbottom; Selection committee Venue: Goodison Park

Con Martin
Con Martin, nicknamed Mr Versatility, played in nearly every position during his career

You may think that the Hungary team of Ferenc Puskas and Nandor Hidegkuti were the first non-British side to beat England on their own soil. But you’d be wrong.

Four years before the Might Magyars dished out that famous hiding at Wembley, the Republic won at Goodison Park, as England failed to score at home for the first time in 11 years.

With most of the 52,000 crowd loudly backing the visitors, goals in each half from Aston Villa’s Con Martin and Peter Farrell of Everton were enough to see off the hosts.

This win, and the success at Euro 88, are the only two against England by a Republic of Ireland side.

Last time they met…

Republic of Ireland 0-0 England, 7 June 2015

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy (left) stepped off the bench to make his debut

Goalscorers: None Key players: Seamus Coleman, Robbie Brady, Glenn Whelan; Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Wayne Rooney Managers: Martin O’Neill; Roy Hodgson Venue: Aviva Stadium

England’s first visit to Dublin since the riot of 1995 thankfully passed by without incident – as did the match itself.

A dour 0-0 saw Jamie Vardy make his England debut from a bench that also included Charlie Austin, as England’s wait for a first win over the Republic since 1985 continued.

Surely we’re in for a better spectacle this time?

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