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The 'Wembley Wizards'

England 1, Scotland 5

31 March 1928

The Home Championships of 1927-28 had been a catalogue of disappointment for the Scotland team as they slumped 1-0  to Northern Ireland in Glasgow and could only manage a 2-2 draw with Wales in Wrexham. Few gave them any chance of beating a star-studded English side at Wimbley.

The announcement of the team to fact England only added to the general feeling of gloom among football supporters in Scotland.  Regulars Meiklejohn, McPhail and McGrory had been drooped from the team. To make matters worse all but three of the team were earning their living playing south of the border.  In particular, Buryís Tom Bradshaw had been chosen to mark Evertonís prolific goal scorer Dixie Dean. The Daily Record summed up the general attitude in Scotland that 'its not a great side'.

The game itself could not have started better for ScotlandTheir first attack of the game resulted in an Alex James cross which Alex Jackson headed home.   A minute to go before the break Alex James doubled Scotland's lead when he beat Ted Hufton in the England goal with a left foot shot.

The Scots lost no time after the interval to press their advantage; their lively and skilful forward play tormenting the English players, who had no answer to the tricky forwards. Jackson on the right and Morton on the left forced the England defenders wide to combat them, which allowed space in the centre for Dunn, Gallacher and James to create havoc. Alex Jackson increased the lead 20 minutes into the second half; James made the score 0-4 following a through pass from Hughie Gallacher and Jackson converted another cross from Morton with 5 minutes on the clock: 0-5. With a minute to go, Bob Kelly struck a free-kick past Jack Harkness to make the score England 1, Scotland 5.

The Glasgow Herald could not resist an opportunity to rub salt in the wounds: 'The success of the Scots was primarily another demonstration that Scottish skill, science and trickery will prevail against the less attractive and simpler methods of the English style...'

Remarkably enough, the 11 players who represented Scotland with such distinction were never again to play together as a team.  Only six of the Wembley Wizards made the next game against Wales the following October when Scotland won 4-2 at Ibrox.

John Harkness (Queen's Park), James Nelson (Cardiff City), Thomas Law (Chelsea), Jimmy Gibson (Aston Villa), Thomas Bradshaw (Bury), Jimmy McMullan (Man City, capt), Alex Jackson (Huddersfield), James Dunn (Hibernian), Hughie Gallacher (Newcastle), Alec James (Preston), Alan Morton (Rangers)
Scorers: Jackson 3, 65, 86, James 44, 67

Arthur Hufton, Fred Goodall (c), Herbert Jones, Willis Edwards, Thomas Wilson, Henry Healless, Joseph Hulme, Robert Kelly, Dixie Dean, Joseph Bradford, William Smith
Scorer: Kelly 89