Friday, October 23, 2015

23 October 1921 - The Three Lions Roar, Then Turn Into Kittens

On 23 October 1921, England and Ireland opened the British Home Championship, with England winning 2-0. It was their only win of their tournament.

The 1921 tournament was only the second time it had been played since the end of World War I. England, who had recently surpassed Scotland as the most successful side in the competition, had fared poorly in the 1920 edition, finishing third behind Wales and Scotland, and were looking to reclaim the trophy.

They started off well, topping Ireland with goals from Burnley inside forward Bob Kelly and Aston Villa striker Billy Walker. But England's scoring touch deserted them and, after a subsequent scoreless draw with Wales and a 3-0 loss to Scotland, they again finished third. Ireland finished fourth with three losses in three matches.

England's two scorers went on to make history of their own, however. Kelly left Burnley for Sunderland in 1925 for the then-British record transfer fee of £6,550. Walker remained with Villa for his entire career and found the net a total of 244 times in all competitions to make him their record goalscorer.

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