England Flag Football Hitting Goal Net

England’s Biggest Ever Wins – The Three Lions Highest Scoring Football Matches

England hammered North Macedonia 7-0 in their Euros qualifier at Old Trafford on 19th June 2023, but it’s nowhere near their biggest win. Although it’s certainly not as common these days, there was a time when the England national football team would win games by at least that margin on a fairly regular basis.

In this article, we’ll take a look back at the (perhaps surprisingly numerous) occasions when England have won by a scoreline of 7-0 or better. Note that we’ll focus on officially sanctioned matches only (so England’s 13-2 hammering of Germany in Berlin back in 1899 has to be disregarded, unfortunately!). Still, as you will see, there have been some fantastically one-sided encounters over the decades.

Firstly, we’ll take a closer look at the six occasions on which England have scored 10 or more goals in a game (an officially recognised clash, that is).

England’s Biggest-Ever Wins (in Official Matches)

Chart That Shows England's Biggest Wins in Official Football Matches

England have had numerous wide margin victories over the years but they have only score 10 or more goals six times in their history, these are described below:

Ireland 0-13 England, 18 Feb 1882

Given that Opta wasn’t around in 1882, we haven’t got a detailed statistical picture of how this game in Belfast panned out. But the stat that counts certainly paints a one-sided picture as England ran out 13-0 victors at the Knock Ground in Bloomfield, Belfast, then part of a united Ireland.

What we also know is that England were 5-0 up at half time and that a 21-year-old called Howard Vaughton scored a whopping five goals for England… on his debut. It is possible that Vaughton was the first England player to score a hat-trick for England, but we can’t be sure as there are no reliable sources for the timings of the goals and Arthur Brown also banged in four goals for the Three Lions that day.

Interestingly, Vaughton only scored one more goal for England despite playing five more matches. Perhaps even more interestingly, after retiring from football he went into the silversmith trade and was commissioned by the FA to make a new FA Cup after the original disappeared.

Back to this match though: it was played in front of a crowd of around 2,500 and the gate receipts amounted to just short of £10. Those were the days! Jimmy Brown also scored twice, while Charlie Bambridge and Harry Cursham were the other England scorers. The England players hailed from teams including Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Notts County along with some sides like Old Etonians AFC, Oxford University AFC and Swifts FC (from Slough) who aren’t readily harvested for national team talent these days.

England 13-2 Ireland, 18 Feb 1899

Ireland were on the receiving end of another 13 goals from England before the 20th century rolled around, but at least this time they managed to get a couple of goals themselves. Things had moved on in football since the 1882 clash, and this time the crowd was around 13,000 and the gate receipts totalled more than £500.

Gilbert Smith (of Corinthians FC) was the top scorer for England this time, with four goals to his name. James Settle (Bury) got a hat-trick and both Frederick Forman of Nottingham Forest and Derby County’s Stephen Bloomer bagged braces. Bloomer went on to become England’s top scorer for a time with 28 goals in total for the Three Lions, one more than David Platt and four more than World Cup hero Geoff Hurst. At the time of writing, Bloomer still holds the record for scoring in the most consecutive England appearances (10). Can Harry Kane, on a run of six consecutive scoring games at present, earn himself yet another England record by matching that incredible run?

As a footnote, this match saw England’s first penalty miss as Villa man James Crabtree failed from the spot. Sadly, it wouldn’t be their last!

Austria 1-11 England, 8 Jun 1908

Moving into the 20th century and England realised it was a bit harsh to save their biggest wins for Ireland alone, so they invited Austria to the getting-hammered party. When England travelled to Austria, they were captained by Vivian Woodward, who scored four goals in this game. He ended up scoring a total of 29 goals for England in just 23 matches – one hell of a strike rate!

Portugal 0-10 England, 25 May 1947

We had to wait almost 40 years before England scored 10 or more in an official international match. That came in a friendly against Portugal in Lisbon as Europe and the world were rebuilding after the Second World War. The England team, managed by Walter Winterbottom, featured some players who are more likely to be familiar to modern readers including the likes of Stan Mortensen, Tom Finney and the great Stanley Matthews (who got a goal and three assists in the game). Thomas Lawton and Mortensen (who played alongside Matthews at Blackpool) each scored four for England that day, with Tom Finney adding the other.

United States 0-10 England, 27 May 1964

England’s first truly massive win (i.e. scoring 10+ goals) over non-European opposition came in the 1960s when Alf Ramsey’s England travelled to New York. Preparations for the home World Cup had already got underway and this team featured many of the players who would become national heroes two years later. Gordon Banks, George Cohen and Roger Hunt all started the match, while Bobby Charlton came on for an injured George Eastham in the first half.

Many of the goals came from Merseyside, with Liverpool man Hunt (four), and Everton’s Fred Pickering (three) filling their boots. Southampton’s Terry Paine (two), and one from Charlton, rounded off the scoring, as the Manchester United man continued his excellent scoring record for his country.

San Marino 0-10 England, 15 Nov 2021

The only time England have scored 10 goals in an official match in the 21st century came in the World Cup qualifier against minnows San Marino in November 2021. Current all-time leading England scorer Harry Kane certainly enjoyed that match as he netted four times. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (who scored a hat-trick in England’s aforementioned 7-0 thrashing of North Macedonia) also got on the scoresheet against San Marino. While Tyrone Mings, Emile Smith Rowe and even Harry Maguire were among the other scorers.

List of England’s Biggest Official Victories

Below is a table of all England’s wins by seven or more goals, shown in date order from their 13-0 win against Ireland up to Their 7-0 win against North Macedonia in 2023.

Date Result Location Tournament
18 Feb 1882 Ireland 0-13 England Belfast, Ireland International Friendly
24 Feb 1883 England 7-0 Ireland Liverpool, England International Friendly
23 Feb 1884 Ireland 1-8 England Belfast, Ireland Home Championship
5 Feb 1887 England 7-0 Ireland Sheffield, England Home Championship
15 Mar 1890 Ireland 1-9 England Belfast, Ireland Home Championship
9 Mar 1895 England 9-0 Ireland Derby, England Home Championship
16 Mar 1896 Wales 1-9 England Cardiff, Wales Home Championship
18 Feb 1899 England 13-2 Ireland Sunderland, England Home Championship
8 Jun 1908 Austria 1-11 England Vienna, Austria International Friendly
10 Jun 1908 Hungary 0-7 England Budapest, Hungary International Friendly
31 May 1909 Hungary 2-8 England Budapest, Hungary International Friendly
1 Jun 1909 Austria 1-8 England Vienna, Austria International Friendly
20 May 1937 Finland 0-8 England Helsinki, Finland International Friendly
18 Nov 1938 England 7-0 Ireland Manchester, England Home Championship
27 Nov 1946 England 8-2 Netherlands Huddersfield, England International Friendly
25 May 1947 Portugal 0-10 England Lisbon, Portugal International Friendly
16 Nov 1949 England 9-2 Ireland Manchester, England Home Championship/World Cup Qualifying
28 May 1959 United States 1-8 England Los Angeles, USA International Friendly
19 Oct 1960 Luxembourg 0-9 England Luxembourg World Cup Qualifying
15 Apr 1961 England 9-3 Scotland London, England Home Championship
10 May 1961 England 8-0 Mexico London, England International Friendly
5 Jun 1963 Switzerland 1-8 England Basel, Switzerland International Friendly
20 Nov 1963 England 8-3 Northern Ireland London, England Home Championship
27 May 1964 United States 0-10 New York, USA International Friendly
26 Sep 1973 England 7-0 Austria London, England International Friendly
15 Dec 1982 England 9-0 Luxembourg London, England Euros Qualifying
14 Nov 1984 Turkey 0-8 England Istanbul, Turkey World Cup Qualifying
14 Oct 1987 England 8-0 Turkey London, England Euros Qualifying
22 Mar 2013 San Marino 0-8 England Serravalle, San Marino World Cup Qualifying
14 Nov 2019 England 7-0 Montenegro London, England Euros Qualifying
15 Nov 2021 San Marino 0-10 England Serravalle, San Marino World Cup Qualifying
19 Jun 2023 England 7-0 North Macedonia Manchester, England Euros Qualifying

As you can see, most of the biggest wins for England came in the early years of international football… and many against Ireland! That includes England’s biggest ever score, when the Three Lions roared like never before or since, to smash Ireland 13-0. Other sides to have been on the wrong end of England hammerings more than once include Austria, Hungary, United States, Luxembourg, Turkey and San Marino.