Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox national football team The England women's national football team represents England in international women's association football at the senior level. The team has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, England is permitted by FIFA statutes to maintain its own national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.

England has qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times, reaching the quarter final stage on the first three occasions in 1995, 2007, and 2011, and finishing third in 2015. They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009.


Early yearsEdit

The success of the men's national football team at the 1966 FIFA World Cup led to an upsurge of interest in football from women within England. The Women's Football Association (WFA) was established a few years later in 1969 as an attempt to organise the women's game.[1] That same year, Harry Batt formed an independent English team that competed in the Fédération Internationale Européenne de Football Féminine (FIEFF) European Cup.[2]Template:Rp Batt's team also participated in two FIEFF World Cups held in Italy (1970) and Mexico (1971).[3][4]

Following an UEFA recommendation in 1972 for national associations to incorporate the women's game, the Football Association (FA) rescinded its fifty-year ban on women playing on Football League grounds.[5][6]

Shortly after, Eric Worthington was tasked by the WFA to assemble an official women's national team. England competed in its first international match against Scotland in Greenock on 18 November 1972, almost 100 years after the first men's international.[1][7]

The team overturned a two-goal deficit to defeat their northern opponents by 3 goals to 2, with Sylvia Gore scoring England's first international goal.[8] Tom Tranter replaced Worthington as long term manager of the women's national football team and remained in that position for the next six years.[2]Template:Rp

1979–1993: Progress under ReaganEdit

Martin Reagan was appointed to replace Tranter in 1979.[2]Template:Rp England reached the finals of the inaugural European Competition for Women's Football, after beating Denmark 3–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Despite resolute defending, including a spectacular goal line clearance from captain Carol Thomas, the England team lost the first away leg 1–0 against Sweden, after a header from Pia Sundhage, but won the second home leg by the same margin, with a goal from Linda Curl.[9] England lost the subsequent penalty shootout 4–3. Theresa Wiseman saved Helen Johansson's penalty but both Curl and Lorraine Hanson had their spot kicks saved by Elisabeth Leidinge.[10]

At the 1987 European Competition for Women's Football, England again reached the semi-finals but lost 3–2 after extra time against holders Sweden, in a repeat of the previous final. The team settled for fourth, after losing the third place play off against Italy 2–1.[11]

Reagan was sacked after England's 6–1 quarter-final loss against Germany at the 1991 UEFA Women's Championship, which left them unable to qualify for the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup. John Bilton was appointed as head coach in 1991 after Barrie Williams's brief tenure.[2]Template:Rp

1993–1998: FA involvementEdit

In 1993, the FA took over the running of women's football in England from the WFA, replacing Bilton with Ted Copeland as national team manager.[2]Template:Rp England managed to qualify for the 1995 UEFA Women's Championship, having previously missed out on the last three editions, but were beaten 6–2 on aggregate over two legs against Germany.[12] Reaching the European semi-finals granted England a place at the World Cup for the first time. The team advanced from the group stages of the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, but lost out again to Germany 3–0 in the quarter-finals.[13]

1998–2013: Development under PowellEdit

Hope Powell became the team's first full-time head coach in June 1998, succeeding her former coach Copeland.[14]

The European Championship expanded in 1997 to eight teams and moved from a biennial event to a quadrennial one. England qualified via the play offs for the 2001 competition held in Germany, despite recording their biggest loss (away against Norway 8–0) during qualification, but did not advance past the group stages.[15] England automatically qualified as hosts in 2005, but again did not make it to the semi-finals.[16]

Qualification for the World Cup changed for the 1999 edition. European qualifiers were introduced, so that teams no longer needed to rely on advancing to the latter stages of the European Championship. England qualified unbeaten for the 2007 World Cup in China, winning Group 5 in the European qualifiers and recording their biggest win (away against Hungary, 13–0) in the process, ending a 12-year hiatus from the competition.[17][18] After coming second in their group, they advanced into the quarter-finals to face the United States but lost 3–0.[19]

In May 2009, central contracts were implemented to help players focus on full-time training without having to fit it around full-time employment.[20][21] Three months later, at the European Championships in Finland, England marked their return to the recently expanded twelve team competition by reaching the final for the first time in 25 years. They advanced from Group C to the quarter-finals by virtue of being the top third placed team, beating both the hosts and the Netherlands in the knockout stages on the way to the final. There they lost 6–2 to reigning champions Germany.[22]

England reached their third World Cup in 2011, having won Group 5 and their play off 5–2 over two legs against Switzerland.[23][24] In Germany, they topped Group B – ahead of eventual winners Japan.[25]

England were paired with France in the quarter-finals, with the match ending in a 1–1 draw. England had taken the lead with Jill Scott's chip, only to have Élise Bussaglia equalise with two minutes remaining. After extra time ended in stalemate, they lost the ensuing penalty shootout 4–3. Karen Bardsley had saved Camille Abily's initial penalty but misses by Claire Rafferty and Faye White sent England out of the competition.[26]

Powell left the role in August 2013 after a poor showing at the 2013 UEFA Women's Championship, with England bowing out early at the group stages.[14]

2013–present: Recent formEdit

Mark Sampson succeeded Powell as England manager. England qualified for their third successive World Cup in August 2014 with a game to spare, winning all ten matches and topping Group 6.[27]

England played their first international match at the new Wembley Stadium, home to the men's national team, in a friendly against the reigning European champions Germany on 23 November 2014. England had not played Germany since their heavy defeat in the European Championship final five years earlier. They lost the match 3–0, marking the 20th attempt at which England had failed to record an official win over Germany.[28][29]

2015 FIFA Women's World CupEdit

At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, England lost their opening group game to France 1–0 in Moncton, with a long range goal from French midfielder Eugenie Le Sommer in the first half, however Mark Sampson praised the performance, despite criticism from the media. England then won their remaining group games against Mexico and Colombia, easing through to the last 16 to play 1995 champions Norway. After a scoreless first half, Norway managed to score first through Solveig Gulbrandsen's header off a corner kick, but England rallied as captain Steph Houghton answered with a header of her own off a corner and Lucy Bronze fired in a powerful long-range strike to give England a 2–1 win. It marked England's first-ever knockout stage win at a Women's World Cup and a ticket to the quarterfinals to face host nation Canada.

Despite facing not only a strong Canadian team but a capacity partisan crowd at BC Place in Vancouver, England took control with two quick goals from Jodie Taylor's finish off a mistake from Lauren Sesselmann and Bronze's header off the crossbar from a free kick. Christine Sinclair managed to score a goal back for Canada, but it was not enough for the hosts and England progressed to the semifinals of the Women's World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first England team of any gender to reach a World Cup semi final since the England men's team at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, which had included Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker in addition to Sir Bobby Robson as coach.

England played reigning World Cup holders Japan in Edmonton, and they managed to impose themselves physically very well on Japan, however they conceded a penalty kick, and Aya Miyama of Japan converted it past Karen Bardsley. Replays showed the foul was committed outside the penalty area, and it should have been a free kick. Just a couple of minutes later, Japan conceded a penalty as Yuki Ogimi clipped Steph Houghton's left heel, although the contact seemed slight, and Fara Williams slotted it past Ayumi Kaihori to level the game. However, in the last minute of the game, Laura Bassett scored an own goal to send Japan through to the final. Bassett broke down in tears, along with other members of the England team. These images were compared to that of Gascoigne in 1990, when he cried after he was booked, and ultimately England were eliminated on penalties against West Germany; about the own goal, it was considered as a replay of Colombia's Andrés Escobar's infamous own goal during the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States, which had led to Colombia losing 1–2 to the US, crashing out of the tournament and Escobar being murdered.[30] Immediate reaction was tremendously supportive towards Bassett and Mark Sampson called her a hero and one of his best players throughout the tournament.[31] Support also came from the football community for Bassett and England from American counterparts Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain – all members of the famous team that won the 1999 Women's World Cup as hosts – as well as opposite numbers from the England men's team and FA management including captain Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle and FA president Prince William. Template:Citation needed

England eventually finished in third place by beating Germany for the first time in 21 meetings, 1–0, after Lianne Sanderson won a penalty off a Tabea Kemme foul in the 108th minute that Williams converted past German captain and keeper Nadine Angerer.[32] It not only gave them the bronze medal and the best placing of any European team in the tournament but also marked the best performance by a senior English team, male or female, since an England men's team coached by Sir Alf Ramsey and including Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore had famously won the 1966 World Cup as hosts. In the process, England also denied a podium finish for Angerer and coach Silvia Neid – the two remaining pieces from the German teams that had won consecutive Women's World Cups in 2003 in the United States and 2007 in China – in their final World Cup.

It is hoped that the victorious 2015 campaign will usher in more success for women's football in England with the FA WSL and even more players playing the game, in a similar fashion to the 2012 Summer Olympics plus the FA Women's Cup final between Chelsea Ladies and Notts County Ladies being played at Wembley Stadium for the very first time. At the beginning of the tournament, Houghton said the team wanted to "inspire a nation", and English fans spoke of being revitalized by the Lionesses' success, as the men's team had crashed out of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil at the group stage following losses to Italy and Uruguay.[33]

Competitive recordEdit

File:England Women's Vs USA (16365773538).jpg

World CupEdit

England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times (1995, 2007, 2011, 2015) and failed to qualify for three competitions (1991, 1999, 2003). The England team reached the quarter final stage on three occasions, losing out to Germany in 1995, the United States in 2007 and France on penalties in 2011. In 2015, however, England earned the bronze medal for the first time, under Mark Sampson, by beating Germany in the third place play-off.

World Cup finals
Year Result GP W D* L GF GA GD
Template:Flagicon 1991Did not qualify-------
Template:Flagicon 1995Quarter-finals420269−3
Template:Flagicon 1999Did not qualify-------
Template:Flagicon 2003Did not qualify-------
Template:Flagicon 2007Quarter-finals412186+2
Template:Flagicon 2011Quarter-finals422063+3
Template:Flagicon 2015Third Place7502107+3
Template:Flagicon 2019To be determined
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

European ChampionshipEdit

Template:Main England first entered the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984, reaching the final that year and in 2009. The England team has reached the semi-finals on two other occasions (1989, 1995) but only managed to make the group stages in three editions (2001, 2005, 2013). The team did not qualify in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1997.

Year Result GP W D* L GF GA
No Host 1984Runners-up430142
Template:Flagicon 1987Fourth Place200235
Template:Flagicon 1989Did not qualify
Template:Flagicon 1991Did not qualify
Template:Flagicon 1993Did not qualify
No Host 1995Semi-final200226
Template:Flagicon Template:Flagicon 1997Did not qualify
Template:Flagicon 2001Group Stage301218
Template:Flagicon 2005Group Stage310245
Template:Flagicon 2009Runners-up 6 3 1 2 12 14
Template:Flagicon 2013Group Stage301237
Template:Flagicon 2017Qualified
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border colour denotes tournament was held on home soil.

Olympic GamesEdit

Template:Main England do not participate in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, as the country does not have its own National Olympic Committee (NOC). Members of its team have played for the Great Britain women's Olympic football team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Since England falls under the jurisdiction of the British Olympic Association, remit for an Olympic football team requires support from all four Home Nation associations. The Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Irish Football Association (IFA) have all previously objected to the premise over fears that the team would erode the independence of their individual football associations.[34]

Minor tournamentsEdit

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Template:Flagicon 1976 Pony Home Championship Winners, group stage 1st220091
Template:Flagicon 1969 Unofficial European Championship Third Place 3rd210154
Template:Flagicon 1979 Unofficial European Championship Semi Final 4th421164
Template:Flagicon 1981 Mundialito Group Stage 3rd210141
Template:Flagicon 1984 Mundialito Semi Final 3rd402236
Template:Flagicon 1985 Mundialito Winners 1st2311135
Template:Flagicon 1988 Mundialito Winners 1st431082
Template:Flagicon 1990 North America Cup Group Stage 3rd411237
Template:Flagicon 2002 Algarve Cup Group Stage 9th4103812
Template:Flagicon 2005 Algarve Cup Group Stage 8th4310130
Template:Flagicon 2007 Four Nations Tournament Group Stage 4th302130
Template:Flagicon 2009 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st4310143
Template:Flagicon 2010 Cyprus Cup Group Stage 5th421165
Template:Flagicon 2010 Peace Queen Cup Group Stage 2nd202000
Template:Flagicon 2011 Cyprus Cup Group Stage 5th420244
Template:Flagicon 2012 Cyprus Cup Group Stage 4th420257
Template:Flagicon 2013 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st4310127
Template:Flagicon 2014 Cyprus Cup Final 2nd430172
Template:Flagicon 2015 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st431082
Template:Flagicon 2016 SheBelieves Cup Group Stage 3rd301213
Template:Flagicon 2017 SheBelieves Cup Group Stage 3rd310223
Total6 titles6935162112974


For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see List of England women's international footballers (alphabetical)
Caps, goals, and recent players may not be current as the FA does not maintain an easily accessible database of historical statistics.

Current squadEdit

On 3 April 2017, the following players were named in the squad for the UEFA Women's Euro 2017.[35]

Head coach: Template:Flagdeco Mark Sampson

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Recent callupsEdit

The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last twelve months. Template:Nat fs r start Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs break Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs break Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player Template:Nat fs r player |}

Recent schedule and resultsEdit

All times are listed in GMT except where noted.


Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible Template:Footballbox collapsible


Carol Thomas was the first player to reach 50 caps in 1985, before retiring from representative football later that year, having amassed 56 caps. Fara Williams holds the record for England appearances, having played 162 times since 2001. She overtook previous record holder Rachel Yankey in August 2014, in a friendly against Sweden.[36] Yankey had passed Gillian Coultard's 119 record England women caps in September 2012, in a European qualifying match against Croatia, and Peter Shilton's 125 record England international caps in June 2013, in a friendly against Japan.[37] Alex Scott is currently the second highest capped female England player with 138, followed by Casey Stoney and Rachel Yankey with 129 caps. Karen Carney has the fifth highest number of England caps.

Kelly Smith has scored the highest number of goals for England, with 46 over a twenty-year international career. She surpassed Karen Walker's 40 goal record in September 2010, in a World Cup qualifying play off against Switzerland.[38]

Most capped playersEdit

# Name Caps Goals Years Ref
1 Template:Sortname 162 40 2001–present [39]
2 Template:Sortname 138 12 2004–present [40]
3 Template:Sortname 129 19 1997–present [41]
4 Template:Sortname 129 6 2000–present [42]
5 Template:Sortname 128 31 2005–present [43]

Top goalscorersEdit

# Name Caps Goals Years Ref
1 Template:Sortname 117 46 1995–2015 [44]
2 Template:Sortname 83 40 1988–2003 [45]
2 Template:Sortname 162 40 2001–present [39]
4 Template:Sortname 66 35 1983–1998 [46]
5 Template:Sortname 102 33 2004–present [47]


Player Year
Sheila Parker 1972–1976
Carol Thomas (née McCune) 1976–1985
Debbie Bampton 1985–1991
Gillian Coultard 1991–1995
Debbie Bampton 1995–1997
Gillian Coultard 1997–2000
Mo Marley 2000–2001
Tara Proctor 2001
Karen Walker 2002
Faye White 2002–2012
Casey Stoney 2012–2014
Steph Houghton 2014–present

See alsoEdit




  1. 1.0 1.1 Gregory, Patricia (3 June 2005). "How women's football battled for survival". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Lopez, Sue (1997). Women on the ball: a guide to women's football. London: Scarlet Press. ISBN 1857270215. 
  3. "Coppa del Mondo (Women) 1970". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  4. "Mundial (Women) 1971". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  5. "Women's Football". Culture, Media and Sport Committee. p. 3. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  6. Williams, Jean (2003). A Game for Rough Girls? A History of Women's Football in Britain. London: Routledge. p. 36. ISBN 1135136149. 
  7. Mitchell, Paul. "The first international football match". BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  8. Croydon, Emily (7 July 2013). "Women's Euros 2013: Women's football's forgotten heroines". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  9. Saffer, Paul. "1984: Sweden take first title". UEFA. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  10. Leighton, Tony (19 May 2009). "England's shoot-out jinx begins – England, 1984". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  11. Saffer, Paul. "1987: Norway victorious in Oslo". UEFA. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  12. Saffer, Paul. "1995: Germany establish upper hand". UEFA. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  13. "FIFA Women's World Cup – Sweden 1995". FIFA. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Hope Powell sacked as England women's manager". BBC Sport. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  15. "Germany too strong for England". BBC Sport. 30 June 2001. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  16. Oatley, Jacqui (14 June 2005). "England excitement all over too fast". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  17. Leighton, Tony (8 September 2007). "England talk up World Cup chances". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  18. Leighton, Tony (28 October 2005). "England's record victory boosts World Cup credentials for China". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  19. "USA send England out of World Cup". BBC Sport. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  20. Leighton, Tony (14 May 2009). "FA boosts England's women's team with central contracts". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  21. Williams, Jean (2011). "Woman's Football, Europe and Professionalization 1971–2011". De Montfort University. pp. 72–73.,%20Europe%20%26%20professionalization%201971-2011.pdf?sequence=1. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  22. Ashenden, Mark (10 September 2009). "England 2–6 Germany". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  23. Leighton, Tony (21 August 2010). "Kelly Smith goals help England to 4–0 win over Austria". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  24. "Swiss Women 2–3 England Women". BBC Sport. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  25. Stevenson, Jonathan (5 July 2011). "Women's World Cup: England 2–0 Japan". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  26. Ashdown, John (9 July 2011). "England lose to France on penalties in Women's World Cup quarter-final". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  27. Leighton, Tony (17 September 2014). "England Women thrash Montenegro 10–0 in qualifier". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  28. Thompson, Anna (23 November 2014). "BBC Sport – England 0–3 Germany". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  29. "Deutschland vs England" (in German). German Football Association. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  30. "England's Laura Bassett's tears bring back Italia 90 memories". BBC Sport. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  31. "Women's World Cup: England are heroes, says Mark Sampson". BBC Sport. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  32. Germany Women 0 – England Women 1
  34. "Football Association wants Great Britain sides at Rio Olympics". BBC Sport. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  36. Dunn, Carrie. "From sleeping rough to England's caps record: the inspirational story of Fara Williams". Eurosport. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  37. "Rachel Yankey breaks Peter Shilton's 125 England caps". BBC Sport. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  38. "Smith's six of the best". FIFA. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 "Fara Williams". The Football Association. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  40. "Alex Scott". The Football Association. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  41. "Rachel Yankey". The Football Association. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  42. "Casey Stoney". The Football Association. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  43. "Karen Carney". The Football Association. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  44. "Kelly Smith". The Football Association. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  45. "Walker announces retirement". BBC Sport. 3 June 2003. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  46. Galvin, Robert. "Hope Powell". National Football Museum. Archived from the original on 8 August 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  47. "Eniola Aluko". The Football Association. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 

External linksEdit

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