1883–84 British Home Championship

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The 1883–84 British Home Championship was the inaugural international football tournament, played between the Home Nations of the British Isles which at the time made up the constituent nations of the United Kingdom; England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. International football matches had begun with annual games played between England and Scotland in 1872 and they had been joined by Wales in 1876 and Ireland in 1882. In 1883[citation needed] the four governing bodies held a conference to standardise the rules of the game and to arrange a tournament to be held yearly in which the four nations would all play each other once in a league format. This championship would be considered by many to be the world's premier international football tournament for the next 46 years.

The tournament was played in an unusual layout, with Ireland playing all three of their games first, and losing heavily in each one. Then England and Scotland played what would eventually be the deciding match of the tournament, which Scotland won in a close fought contest. Finally Wales played both England and Scotland, losing heavily to each in turn and thus granting Scotland victory in the first British Home Championship.


Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Scotland 6 3 3 0 0 10 1 +9
 England 4 3 2 0 1 12 2 +10
 Wales 2 3 1 0 2 7 8 −1
 Ireland 0 3 0 0 3 1 19 −18

The points system worked as follows:

  • 2 points for a win
  • 1 point for a draw


Ireland  0–5  Scotland
  Goal 12'86' William Harrower
Goal 30'70' James Gossland
Goal 60' John Goudie
Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Thomas Hindle (England)

Scotland  1–0  England
John Smith Goal 7'  
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: John Sinclair (Ireland)

Scotland  4–1  Wales
Joseph Lindsay Goal 22'
Frank Shaw Goal 49'
John Kay Goal 65'87'
Goal 15' Robert Roberts
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Robert M. Sloane (England)


  • Guy Oliver (1992). The Guinness Record of World Soccer. Guinness. ISBN 0-85112-954-4.