United Kingdom
Association United Kingdom football association
Confederation UEFA
Head coach Fabio Capello
Captain Theo Walcott
Most caps Pat Jennings
Top scorer Denis Law
FIFA ranking 8
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First colours
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Second colours
First international
United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom 0-1 Flag of Chile Chile
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; June 25, 1950)
FIFA World Cup
Appearances 15
UEFA European Championship
Appearances 8

The United Kingdom national football team represents the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man for football matches as part of FIFA organized events and is controlled by the United Kingdom Football Association (UKFA). The UKFA is composed of representatives from the Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales and the Irish Football Association.

Although the Home Nations are the oldest international football teams in the World, the professional United Kingdom football team was not formed until 1947, prior to the 1950 FIFA World Cup. All four Home Nations had previously been members of FIFA, but had withdrawn due to disagreements over the status of amateur players. However before their return FIFA ruled that the United Kingdom could enter only one team into the competition. The associations of England, Northern Ireland and Wales agreed to the terms after some negotiation with Jules Rimet and the FIFA board, on the condition of their continued status on the International Football Association Board, and the continuation of the separate league structures and Home Championship tournaments. A separate association, the UKFA, was formed to manage the United Kingdom football team. The Scottish Football Association initially declined to participate, but eventually joined the UKFA in 1953 in time to be represented at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.

The United Kingdom's home ground is the Commonwealth Stadium, Liverpool, Merseyside, which was built in 1949 as a dedicated ground for the UK team, and hosted the 1966 World Cup Final. With a capacity of 100,000 it is one of the largest sports stadiums in the World.


Early History

Association Football originated in the United Kingdom. On 5 March 1870 the Football Association held a representative match between England and Scotland, followed by a further four matches. A return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. This match, played at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland, is viewed as the first official international football match, because the two teams were independently selected and operated, rather than being the work of a single football association. On 25 March 1876 Wales played Scotland in Glasgow, and in 1879 played England at the Kennington Oval, London. On 18 February 1882, fifteen months after the founding of the Irish FA, Ireland made their international debut against England.
England 1893

The Great Britain and Ireland Olympic football team, 1908

Over the next thirty years, the Home Nations — Scotland, Wales and Ireland — played each other exclusively in the British Home Championship.

The Home Nations did not enter the three FIFA World Cups held during the 1930s, because they had been excluded from FIFA due to a disagreement regarding the status of amateur players. The four associations returned to the FIFA fold after the Second World War, but FIFA ruled that as the United Kingdom was one nation, they would only be allowed to enter one team. This came about largely because of the dispute involving the North American Soccer Football League and the American Soccer League, which resulted in two competing USA teams being entered for the same World Cup in 1950. Meanwhile FIFA also ruled that the Football Association of Ireland, (FAI) and the Irish Football Association could no longer field 'All-Ireland' teams, as on previous occasions some players had played for both teams. All four British football associations protested FIFA's decision to merge the UK teams. The SFA suggested that England, as winners of the British Home Championship, should represent the United Kingdom, and future representatives would be decided by the Home Championships. However the FA, IFA and FAW eventually agreed to the ruling, on several conditions. Firstly the Home Nations were to retain their status in the International Football Association Board, further that FIFA would not interfere with their domestic league system, and the continuation of the British Home Championships. At this time there was a widespread belief in the United Kingdom that British teams were far superior to all others, as they had invented the sport and had the best established football league at the time. It was felt that it would be unsporting to field a single British team, as nobody else would have any chance of beating them. FA Chairman Amos Brook Hirst declared "after the first 10 or 11 goals of the first half of the first British match, the presiding members of FIFA will realise the extent of their mistake and by the next competition the Home Nations shall regain their rightful place as individual competitors". To prove his point, he immediately arranged a friendly match to be played between 'Great Britain' (although the team included players from Ireland) and the Rest of Europe, which the British team won 6-1 at Wembley Stadium, London. The SFA were opposed to Scottish players playing for the UK side, and threatened to ban any players who played for the UK. However Billy Liddell defied the ban, and the rest of the team joined the UK in time for the 1954 World Cup.


Main article: Stanley Park
The United Kingdom Football team played their first competitive match against a Rest of Europe team at Hampden Stadium, Glasgow on the 10 May 1947, winning 6-1. The next few games were played away, defeating the World Champions Italy in Turin and the undefeated Portugal in Lisbon. The UKFA decided to build a dedicated ground for the United Kingdom football team. Initial suggestions to build the stadium on the Isle of Man, situated roughly in the middle of the United Kingdom, were rejected due to concerns that the small island could not accommodate travelling fans. Carlisle was rejected for the same reason, and the relative difficulty of travelling from Northern Ireland. In the end the UKFA decided to build the stadium in Liverpool, already home to two sizeable football clubs, and situated near to Wales and accessible by ferry from Northern Ireland. Stanley Park was opened in 1950, by Queen Elizabeth II. Although there is a Stanley Park in Liverpool, the Stanley Park stadium is named after and built in the Stanley area of the city, just south of the Stoneycroft area. Another common misconception is that the stadium is named after Sir Stanley Matthews. The official name of the stadium is the Commonwealth Stadium, but is better known by the more widely used Stanley Park. In 2012 the stadium underwent a dramatic reconstruction for the 2012 Olympic Games in Liverpool, bolstering the capacity from 90,000 to 100,000 and incorporating facilities for sports, leisure, fitness and hospitality. This expansion made it one of the largest football stadiums in the World, equaling the capacity of the Azadi stadium in Tehran, Iran, and only surpassed by the 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Competitive Record

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup 1950

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1950;OTL

The FIFA World Cup 1950 was held in Brazil. It was the first World Cup attended by the United Kingdom football team, and any team from the British Isles.

FIFA World Cup 1954

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1954; OTL

The 1954 FIFA World Cup was held in Switzerland. For the first time, the Scottish players joined the United Kingdom Football team, having previously been barred by the SFA due to a disagreement with the FA, FAW, and IFA about their entry to the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup 1958

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1958;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1962

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1962;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1966

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1966;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1970

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1970;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1974

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1974;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1978

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1978;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1982

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1982;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1986

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1986;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1990

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1990;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1994

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1994;OTL

FIFA World Cup 1998

Main article: FIFA World Cup 1998;OTL

FIFA World Cup 2002

Main article: FIFA World Cup 2002;OTL

FIFA World Cup 2006

Main article: FIFA World Cup 2006;OTL

FIFA World Cup 2010

Main article: FIFA World Cup 2010;OTL

FIFA World Cup 2014

Main article: FIFA World Cup 2014;OTL

European Championships

Olympic Games

Main article: Great Britain Olympic football team

Since 2012, The United Kingdom football team and the United Kingdom football association have represented the United Kingdom in association football at the Summer Olympic Games.


Current Squad

Recent call ups

Most capped players

Top goalscorers

Notable former players


Current coaching staff


The UK football team for most of it's history has played in blue shirt, white shorts, and red socks, representative of the colours of the Union flag, with the away strip most often being red shirt, white shorts and blue socks. However for brief periods the team has adopted different colours, including a home strip in British racing green in the early 1970's, and a lighter shade of blue in the 1980's to 90's. Occasional third kits have been in a range of colours, most often white. In 2008 the 1990 away strip was voted number 1 in FHM Magazine's poll of the worst 80's/ 90's football shirts, with the home strip coming in 7th.

The current badge of the UK football team and the UKFA is a combination of the individual logos of the football associations of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. This badge is affectionately known as the 'four lions', a play on the four lions in the badge (three lions in the England badge, and one in the Scotland badge) and the four home nations that make up the UK team.

Kit Supplier

The current kit supplier is Nike. At the Euro 2004 Championships the UK team had kits designed and manufactured by Rocawear, an unusual choice as the brand had never previously manufactured sportswear. The deal was initialized by David Beckham, whose wife Victoria Beckham was a representative of Rocawear at the time.


The United Kingdom football fans have a reputation for passionate support, with large groups of fans following the team all over the World, even to minor friendly games. The UK fans have increasingly adopted the tifo culture of European football, although smoke bombs and flares are banned from UK football grounds. The fans variously refer to themselves as the Tommies, the barmy army (not to be confused with the England cricket following of the same name) and the lions. Fans of other teams such as the USA disparagingly refer to the UK fans as the redcoats, the limeys and rosbif.

Football Hooliganism

Football hooliganism has been a major problem with UK football fans, culminating in the team being banned from the 1980 European championships for disruptive behaviour during qualifying matches. Intense rivalries with fans of Germany, France and Argentina, and in recent years with Turkey and Croatia, have led to large scale brawls and pitch invasions.


The United Kingdom football team has been the subject of numerous controversies, including sectarian displays at games versus the Republic of Ireland, military and offensive displays at games versus Germany and racist chanting against Turkey. The UK football team later issued a full apology and started a campaign against racism in football supported by the entire squad and management team. In 2014 the UK launched an away kit reminiscent of the Queens Guard in memorial of the First World War. The kit was widely criticised for being militaristic, imperialistic and inappropriate for sporting occasions. The shirt was withdrawn from stores and never used in a football match.