A statistical look back at England’s 999 international matches

England reach 1,000 games in men’s international football on Thursday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a statistical look back at the first 999.

England’s overall record

England's all-time win record
England have won 57 per cent of their all-time fixtures (PA graphic)

England have won 568 of their 999 matches for a 57 per cent win rate, which is largely unaffected whether competitive matches (won 350 of 609) or friendlies (218 of 390).

They have won over 67 per cent of qualifiers for World Cups or European Championships, 147 or 218 going into Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro, but only 39 of their 100 matches at major tournament finals.

They also have a 64 per cent win rate in home games compared to 51 per cent in matches played away or at neutral venues.


Bulgaria v England – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group A – Vasil Levski National Stadium
Tyrone Mings was England’s 1,244th international (Nick Potts/PA)

England have used 1,244 players in their history, with the potential for uncapped squad members James Maddison, Fikayo Tomori or Dean Henderson to add to the tally against Montenegro.

Every player has been allocated a “legacy number” by the Football Association, from number one Robert Barker – England’s goalkeeper in their first international against Scotland in 1872, to number 1,244 Tyrone Mings who made his debut against Bulgaria last time out.

  • 1 Robert Barker
  • 100 Bruce Russell
  • 603 Sir Stanley Matthews
  • 658 Billy Wright
  • 767 Sir Bobby Charlton
  • 804 Bobby Moore
  • 843 Sir Geoff Hurst
  • 867 Peter Shilton
  • 979 Gary Lineker
  • 1,000 Neil Webb
  • 1,071 Gareth Southgate
  • 1,078 David Beckham
  • 1,125 Wayne Rooney
  • 1,207 Harry Kane
  • 1,244 Tyrone Mings

Peter Shilton’s 125 caps remain an all-time record, with Wayne Rooney five behind and leading all outfield players.

Nine players in all have won a century of caps, the others being David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Bobby Moore, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright.


Wayne Rooney celebrates become the first England player to score 50 international goals, against Switzerland in 2015
Wayne Rooney is England’s record scorer (Mike Egerton/PA)

England have scored 2,188 goals in total – 1,321 in competitive internationals, including 131 at major tournaments, and 867 in friendlies.

The first was scored by the Rt Hon William Kenyon-Slaney in their second international, a 4-2 win over Scotland in 1873, after an opening goalless draw.

George Woodhall and Steve Bloomer scored the 100th and 200th respectively, while Jimmy Greaves brought up England’s 1,000 goals in their 345 international – all three of those goals came in comfortable wins over Wales.

The 2,000th was the subject of debate before eventually being awarded to Gareth Barry. Sweden’s Daniel Majstorovic was initially deemed to have scored an own goal as England won their 902nd international 1-0, but Barry was identified as the scorer in the referee’s report.

Rooney is England’s all-time leading scorer with 53, four clear of Sir Bobby Charlton. Gary Lineker (48), Jimmy Greaves (44) and Michael Owen (40) complete the top five.

  • Most caps: 125 – Peter Shilton
  • Most goals: 53 – Wayne Rooney
  • Biggest win: 13-0 – v Ireland, 1882
  • Biggest defeat: 7-1 – v Hungary, 1954
  • Oldest player: 42 – Sir Stanley Matthews, 1957
  • Youngest player: 17 – Theo Walcott, 2006
  • Most games as captain: 90 – Bobby Moore and Billy Wright
  • Most games as manager: 139 – Sir Walter Winterbottom

Captains and coaches

There have been 122 England captains, from Cuthbert Ottaway in the first two games against Scotland to Harry Kane as the current designated skipper and Raheem Sterling, the most recent addition to the list in June when he wore the armband for his 50th cap.

Bobby Moore stands out as England’s World Cup-winning captain in 1966 and shares the record for most games as skipper, 90, with Billy Wright.

Bryan Robson (65) and David Beckham (59) each completed a half-century and Kane is one of 13 men to pass the 20-game threshold – he will move joint-eighth on the list as long as he leads the team out against Montenegro.

England have had 15 full-time coaches, as well as four caretakers. World Cup winner Sir Alf Ramsey was one of only two to rack up a century of games, his 113 second only to predecessor Walter Winterbottom’s 139.

Walter Winterbottom
Walter Winterbottom was England manager for a record 139 games (PA)

Going into his 40th game in charge, current boss Gareth Southgate already stands eighth on the all-time list.

Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson remain the only two overseas coaches to take charge of the Three Lions.

Capello, with 28 wins from 42 games, has the highest win percentage of any England coach at 66.7 per cent – excluding Sam Allardyce’s one-game reign.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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