On This Day in Football: The Welsh get off the mark

On this day in 1881, the Welsh national team got its first ever win in international football – a one-goal victory over England.

The Welsh Football Association was founded in 1876 at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in Wrexham, making it the third oldest football association in the world after the English and Scottish FAs. A month later, they played their first ever international match, a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow which the Scots won by an emphatic score line of 4-0. A return fixture was scheduled in the following year at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. It became the first international football match to take place on Welsh soil but the Scots won that one as well.


The Welsh national side was not off to a great start. And the misery continued when they faced England for the very first time. Played at the Kensington Oval in London, the Three Lions won 2-1 in their first ever meeting in 1879. Wales lost their first seven matches which also included a 9-0 hammering from the Scots in 1878. In those seven games, Wales conceded an incredible 28 goals while scoring a paltry total of four.

The tides turned for the better when England hosted another friendly at Alexandra Meadows in Blackburn. John Vaughan of Druids FC conjured up some magic in the 34th minute to score the only goal of the game and give Wales their first ever victory in international football.