Why England are wearing a special commemorative shirt before their friendly against Scotland

Both teams played an important part in making international football what it is today.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 12th September 2023

England are set to round off the international break with a friendly against Scotland on Tuesday night, 12 September, but this isn’t just any throwaway match — it marks a significant moment in sporting history and, with that in mind, they will be wearing a very special shirt before the game.

As already sported by captain Harry Kane in promotional pictures, the Three Lions will be wearing a unique pre-match jersey ahead of what is the 150th Anniversary Heritage Match against Scotland at Hampden Park.

With Scotland already wearing a design that pays tribute to their 150-year history this season, a shirt that sold out within hours of its release, England will also be giving a nod to their own heritage by donning a jersey bearing the original crest from the first-ever Scotland vs England meeting in 1872.

However, it isn’t just 150 years since the first teams ever met, the all-British game also happens to be paying tribute to the first international football match that was ever played.

Being hosted at Scotland’s home ground at Hampden Park on the Scottish Football Association’s significant anniversary, there was no more fitting way to celebrate the occasion than by replaying the world’s oldest international fixture and what will be the 116th meeting between the two teams.


The shirt was first worn during the nations’ recent visit to Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow — now home to the West of Scotland Cricket Club — i.e. the same place where that first international match was played out on 30 November 1872, which ended in a goalless draw.

But the best part of all is that limited edition versions of the shirt will also be auctioned to raise money for the FA’s official charity partner, the Alzheimer’s Society.


The one-off auction in support of Alzheimer’s Society is live NOW and will run until 8pm on Saturday, 30 September and these shirts are already certain to be deeply meaningful collectors’ items.

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The partnership with the Society is helping raise vital funds towards research that will help transform the future of dementia treatment. Diagnosis rates hit a five-year low during the pandemic and have stagnated ever since, leaving tens of thousands of people living with undiagnosed dementia. One in three people born today will go on to develop it in their lifetime, so it’s crucial that we raise awareness.

With Gareth Southgate‘s side playing out a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Ukraine in their Euro 2024 qualifier on Saturday, the Scots will be hoping they can manage to get one over on ‘The Auld Enemy’.


England has won 48 to Scotland’s 41 and while the visiting Lions have lost just one of their past dozen meetings with them (drawing just one of those), this match always promises a fierce rivalry and Steve Clarke’s team also boasts the current joint-top scorer in Manchester United’s Scott McTominay.

Here’s hoping this historic game will have more goals than it did 150 years ago. The game kicks off at 7:45pm on Channel 4 tonight.

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Featured Image — England/FA