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European Championship 1968

The 1968 tournament saw a change of format with the qualifying rounds now consisting of a group phase leading to the two-leg quarter-finals, rather than being a straight-forward knock-out competition from the start. There was also a change of name from 'The European Nations Cup' to 'The European Championship', but the original trophy was retained. Scotland had yet to take part in the Euro's and England were now having 2nd thoughts, but on 10th February 1966 it was announced that England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales would all agree to enter the competition on condition that they were allowed to form together as one of the eight qualifying groups, with the Home Nations group doubling up as two separate Home International tournaments. The request was considered and agreed to at a meeting of the tournament's organising committee in Zurich on 23rd February 1966. The draw for the other qualifying groups was made on the same day.

By the time the opening matches were due to be played, England were World Champions and despite then losing the Wembley clash with Scotland and drawing at Hampden, England went on to win the group to claim a place in the quarter-finals. Their opponents in the last eight were holders Spain, who had topped a qualifying group including the Republic of Ireland, Czechoslovakia and Turkey. England beat Spain 3-1 on aggregate to progress to the finals for which Italy had already been chosen as hosts, having completed their quarter-final legs several days before anybody else. England were presumably not up for consideration as they had only just hosted the World Cup.
Only the BBC covered the games in Italy, England's semi-final defeat going out live including the unprecedented sight of an England player being sent off! The 2nd half of the 3rd place play-off was also shown live but not the final, late night highlights being shown after the interment of Robert Kennedy. The final went to a replay but it is not known whether the BBC showed this game live, as highlights or, as the newspaper listings suggest, not at all.
 

ITV games are in white, BBC or non-televised matches are in grey.
All matches were broadcast in black & white unless stated.

Qualifiers & Friendlies

Sat 22/Oct/1966    Northern Ireland 0 England 2 (Hunt, Peters)
Qualifier / Home International in Belfast
ITV Highlights
Barry Davies
*ITV showed highlights on Sunday afternoon, ATV London and Tyne Tees at 3:10-4:10pm, ABC, Southern, Ulster and Grampian at 2:45-3:40pm (The programme was billed as an ABC production in the London listings, so probably went out as an edition of "World of Soccer"). This was England's first match following the World Cup final victory in July, Alf Ramsey selected the same 11 players. Roger Hunt scored on 40, Martin Peters on 60. Billy Ferguson was sent off for N.Ireland near the end of the game.

Sat 22/Oct/1966    Wales 1 (R.Davies) Scotland 1 (Law)
Qualifier / Home International in Cardiff
TWW & SCOTTISH Highlights
*TWW (and Teledu Cymru) showed Sunday highlights at 3:00-3:30pm. Scottish most likely showed highlights on "Scotsport" on Saturday night at 9:00-10:05pm. Highlights were also included on BBC1's "Match of the Day" 10:00-10:50pm called by Ken Wolstenholme. Ron Davies scored for Wales on 76, Denis Law equalised on 86.

Wed 02/Nov/1966    England 0 Czechoslovakia 0
Friendly at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Hugh Johns
*10:35-11:16pm except Granada who showed it at the later time of 11:05pm and Grampian who opted out (Scottish had "Scotsport"). The World Cup winning 11 made their first Wembley appearance since lifting the Jules Rimet trophy in this goalless friendly.

Wed 16/Nov/1966    England 5 (Hurst 2, R.Charlton, J.Charlton, Hennessey(og)) Wales 1 (W.Davies)
Qualifier / Home International at Wembley
BBC Highlights
Ken Wolstenholme
*BBC1 10:55-11:30pm. England were unchanged for the 6th match running, a national record. Brothers Jack and Bobby Charlton both scored, to date - the last pair of siblings to score for England in the same fixture. Geoff Hurst put England 2-0 ahead with goals on 30 and 34, Wyn Davies pulled one back for Wales on 36, Bobby Charlton made it 3-1 on 43, a Terry Hennessey own goal for 4-1 on 65 and Jack Charlton made it 5-1 on 84.

Wed 16/Nov/1966    Scotland 2 (Murdoch, Lennox) Northern Ireland 1 (Nicholson)
Qualifier / Home International at Hampden
?BBC SCOTLAND?
*Most likely highlights on "Sportsreel" on BBC1 Scotland 11-11:30pm. Possibly BBC1 NI too. Nicholson for NI on 9, Murdoch 14, Lennox 35,

Wed 12/Apr/1967    Northern Ireland 0 Wales 0
Qualifier / Home International in Belfast
*ITV had "Professional Football" at various times late night, but this was an FA Cup QF.

Sat 15/Apr/1967    England 2 (J.Charlton, Hurst) Scotland 3 (Law, Lennox, McCalliog)
Qualifier / Home International at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Hugh Johns & Billy Wright
*Scottish and Grampian showed highlights on Saturday night as "Scotsport Wembley Special" 10:05-10:30pm, the other regions showd either ATV London's "International Star Soccer" or ABC's "World Of Soccer" at various times on Sunday afternoon. Jimmy Greaves came back into the side in place of Roger Hunt, Scotland keeper Ronnie Simpson made his debut, as did Jim McCalliog. The world champions were beaten for the first time in 20 games by the auld enemy who's fans chanted "Easy, Easy" at 3-1. Scotland went ahead through Denis Law on 27, Bobby Lennox made it 2-0 on 78, Jack Charlton pulled one back on 84, Jim McCalliog made it 3-1 to Scotland on 87 and Geoff Hurst pulled another back for England on 88.

Wed 10/May/1967    Scotland 0 Soviet Union 2 (Gemmell(og), Medvid)
Friendly at Hampden
SCOTTISH Highlights
*"Scotsport" introduced by Arthur Montford, Scottish region only 10:40-11:22pm. BBC1 Scotland had "Sportsreel" at 11:02-11:32pm. Tommy Gemmell(og) 17, Fjedor Medvid 41.

Wed 24/May/1967    England 2 (Greaves, Hunt) Spain 0
Friendly at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Hugh Johns
*ITV highlights at 10:25-11:13pm (Granada and Ulster at the later time of 11:10pm). Scottish & Grampian included footage along with Kilmarnock v Leeds on "Scotsport Special". The current World Cup holders v the European Nations champions - Jimmy Greaves scored his 44th and last international goal on 72, Roger Hunt made it 2-0 on 78. John Hollins won his one and only cap in this game. Archived

Sat 27/May/1967    Austria 0 England 1 (Ball)
Friendly in Vienna
BBC Highlights
Ken Wolstenholme
*BBC1 "Match of the Day", 11:15-midnight. Jimmy Greaves' 57th and final appearance for England, Alan Ball scored the only goal of the game on 20 minutes.

Sat 21/Oct/1967    Northern Ireland 1 (Clements) Scotland 0
Qualifier / Home International in Belfast
BBC Highlights
Ken Wolstenholme
*BBC1 "Match of the Day", 10:15-11:00pm. Dave Clements scored the only goal on 67.

Sat 21/Oct/1967    Wales 0 England 3 (Peters, R.Charlton, Ball)
Qualifier / Home International in Cardiff
ITV Highlights
Hugh Johns
*All ITV regions except in Scotland showed highlights on Sunday afternoon at various times, either taking ATV's "Star Soccer" presentation or ABC's "World Of Soccer" (who may have had Barry Davies commentating for them). Martin Peters scored the opener on 34, Bobby Charlton made it 2-0 on 85, Alan Ball netted from the penalty spot on 89.

Wed 22/Nov/1967    England 2 (Hurst, R.Charlton) Northern Ireland 0
Qualifier / Home International at Wembley
ITV Highlights
Hugh Johns
*ITV highlights at 11:15-midnight. An England debut for Manchester United's David Sadler. Geoff Hurst scored just before the break on 44, Bobby Charlton made it 2-0 on 62. George Cohen made his 37th and final England appearance.

Wed 22/Nov/1967    Scotland 3 (Gilzean 2, McKinnon) Wales 2 (R.Davies, Durban)
Qualifier / Home International at Hampden
SCOTTISH Highlights
Arthur Montford
*The Scottish ITV region must have included highlights as part of "Scotland Late" at 10:30-11:32pm. BBC1 in Scotland and Wales showed brief highlights at 11:23-11:38pm. Aberdeen's goalkeeper Bobby Clark made his international debut in this one, whilst Jim Baxter made his 34th and final appearance in a Scotland jersey. Gilzean put Scotland ahead on 15, R.Davies equalised on 18 and Durban then put Wales in front on 55, Gilzean got his 2nd on 65 to make it 2-2, McKinnon grabbed a winner for Scotland on 78.

Wed 06/Dec/1967    England 2 (Ball, Peters) Soviet Union 2 (Chislenko 2)
Friendly at Wembley
BBC Highlights
Ken Wolstenholme
*BBC1 10:35-11:25pm (including Rugby). England gave a debut to Spurs Cyril Knowles. Alan Ball scored on 22, Igor Chislenko equalised on 43 and then put the visitors ahead on 44, Martin Peters equalised for England on 73.

Sat 24/Feb/1968    Scotland 1 (Hughes) England 1 (Peters)
Qualifier / Home International at Hampden
SCOTTISH & GRAMPIAN LIVE
*Live on Scottish & Grampian only from 2:40pm, both stations also showed Saturday night "Scotsport" highlights at 9:35-10:05pm and Sunday afternoon highlights at 3:15-3:45pm on "Sunday Scotsport". BBC1 in Scotland also showed the match live and there were highlights on "Sportsreel" 10:20-11:10pm, English viewers saw highlights on BBC1's "Match of the Day" also at 10:20-11:10pm with Ken Wolstenholme commentating . Scotland needed a win to snatch 1st place and qualification to the Euro QF's. Manchester City's Mike Summerbee made his England debut in front of a crowd of 134,461 - a record for the European Championships. Martin Peters scored for England on 20, John Hughes equalised on 38.

Wed 28/Feb/1968    Wales 2 (Rees, W.Davies) Northern Ireland 0
Qualifier / Home International in Wrexham
*No TV coverage. Rees 75,  Ron Davies 84 (Scorer conflict with Rothmans - check match report)

Group 8 Final Table
1. England        9
2. Scotland       8
3. Wales          4
4. N.Ireland      3

Quarter-Finals

Wed 03/Apr/1968    England 1 (R.Charlton) Spain 0
Wembley
BBC Highlights
Ken Wolstenholme
*BBC1 10:00-10:35pm. Bobby Charlton gave the World Champions a slender 1st leg lead against the European Nations Cup holders with a late goal on 84 mins, it was his 44th (equaling the England record set by Jimmy Greaves a year earlier)

Wed 08/May/1968   Spain 1 (Amancio) England 2 (Peters, Hunter)
Madrid
BBC Highlights
Ken Wolstenholme
*BBC1 10:55-11:29pm (except Wales). Amario Amancio levelled the tie just after half-time on 48, but Martin Peters soon had England ahead on aggregate with a headed equaliser from a corner on 55, Norman Hunter secured England a place in the final stages with a winner on 81.
 

Pre-tournament friendlies

Wed 08/May/1968    Wales 1 (W.Davies) West Germany 1 (Overath)
Friendly in Cardiff
*BBC1 Wales were scheduled to opt out from coverage of England QF with an edition of the topical magazine show "Heddiw", but may have showed highlights of this game instead. Overath put the Germans ahead on 11, Wyn Davies equalised on 26.

Wed 22/May/1968    England 3 (Peters, Charlton, Hurst) Sweden 1 (Andersson)
Friendly at Wembley
BBC Highlights
David Coleman
*BBC1 10:00-10:35pm. Manchester United's Alex Stepney played in goal (his only cap), Manchester City's Colin Bell also made his debut. Martin Peters opened the scoting on 36, Bobby Charlton made it 2-0 on 38, Roger Hunt got a 3rd on 73 and Rolf Andersson netted a late consolation for Sweden on 89.

Thu 30/May/1968    Netherlands 0 Scotland 0
Friendly in Amsterdam
*No scheduled British TV coverage. Scotland gave debuts to a number of players, but with the exception of Bobby Moncur, none of them were able to carve out a notable international career.

Sat 01/Jun/1968    West Germany 1 (Beckenbauer) England 0
Friendly in Hanover
ITV LIVE
Hugh Johns
*Also BBC2 LIVE in Colour
*This was the very first England match to be televised in colour, but only on BBC2 from 3:55-5:45pm (excluding Scotland) and on German TV. ITV's black & white coverage ran from 3:55-5:47pm in all regions. England (wearing red) lost to German opposition for the first time ever. The only goal was a deflected shot by Franz Beckenbauer on 82 (some credit it as an own goal to Brian Labone). BBC1 (except in Scotland) also showed the game live in black & white with the voice of Ken Wolstenholme being heard on both BBC channels. Cyril Knowles made his 4th and final England appearance.
 

Semi-Finals

Wed 05/Jun/1968    Italy 0 Soviet Union 0 [AET]
(5pm bst)
Naples
*120 minutes of football failed to produce a goal and the tie was settled on the toss of a coin with the hosts going through to the final. Some footage may have been shown on BBC1 prior to England's kick-off later that night.

England's Alan Mullery sent off v Yugoslavia in 1968Wed 05/Jun/1968    Yugoslavia 1 (Džajic) England 0
(8:15pm bst)
Florence
BBC LIVE
Ken Wolstenholme
*LIVE coverage began on BBC1 at 8pm, there was a break for the news at 9pm before returning to the football at 9:15-10:05pm. The match was played on the same day that Robert Kennedy had been shot dead (in the early hours of Wednesday morning UK time). On 87, Dragan Džajic latched onto a floated ball across the box from the left, taking it on his chest and then hooking the ball past the advancing Gordon Banks into the roof of the net for the winning goal. Alan Mullery became the first ever England player to be sent off on 88 (pictured) for retaliating after a foul by Paviovic. Alf Ramsey said afterwards; "It would appear that you can kick a player in front of the referee and get away with it. But if you kick in retaliation and the referee does not see it, you get sent off. Within two minutes of the start, Trivic had kicked both Alan Ball and Bobby Charlton. We have the reputation of being a team that plays over-hard, but there are many other teams using far more physical force than ourselves and I include Yugoslavia among them."

3rd/4th place play off

Sat 08/Jun/1968    England 2 (R.Charlton, Hurst) Soviet Union 0
(5:45pm bst)
Rome
BBC LIVE 2nd Half
Ken Wolstenholme
*The 2nd half was scheduled for "Grandstand Part 2" on BBC1 at 6:20-7:35pm. Ken Wolstenholme most likely commentated on both the play-off and the final which were played in the same stadium on the same day, the stands began to fill with spectators whilst England's game was in progress. Everton's Tommy Wright made his debut. Bobby Charlton scored on 39, Geoff Hurst on 63. Clips of the 1st half would have been shown before the start of the 2nd half, Bobby Charlton's goal still exists on VT. This was the last England appearance for Ray Wilson on 63 caps.

The Final

Sat 08/Jun/1968    Italy 1 (Domenghini) Yugoslavia 1 (Džajic) [AET]
(8:15pm bst)
Rome
BBC Highlights
Ken Wolstenholme
*Only brief highlights on BBC1 from 11:05-11:25pm, probably as a result of coverage of Robert Kennedy's interment at 9:55-11pm. Dragan Džajic put Yugoslavia ahead on 39, Angelo Domenghini netted a late underserved equaliser on 80. The game could not be settled in extra-time for which a replay was pre-arranged for Monday night.

Replay
Mon 10/Jun/1968    Italy 2 (Riva, Anastasi) Yugoslavia 0
(8:15pm bst)
Rome
?BBC Highlights?
*No TV coverage scheduled, but there was presumably a late programme change on BBC1, perhaps highlights at 11:26pm when the channel was due to close down, if not then maybe Tuesday highlights during "Sportsview" at 9:30-9:55pm. Ken Wolstenholme would have been the commentator. If the BBC did cover it, they did not apparently retain a copy. Both goals were scored in a similar fashion, with the scorer receiving the ball on the edge-of-centre area of the box before turning between two defenders to shoot home, Luigi Riva netted the opener on 12, Pietro Anastasi grabbed the 2nd on 31.


Italy team caption, Luigo Riva celebrates after scoring the opening goal
and Italy become the 3rd nation to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
 
 

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27.09.2013

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