England women's national football team
The England women's national football 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.
|Association||The Football Association|
|Head coach||Phil Neville|
|Most caps||Fara Williams (170)|
|Top scorer||Kelly Smith (46)|
|Current||5 2 (12 July 2019)|
|Highest||2 (March 2018)|
|Lowest||14 (June 2004)|
| Scotland 2–3 England |
(Greenock, Scotland; 18 November 1972)
| Hungary 0–13 England |
(Tapolca, Hungary; 27 October 2005)
| Norway 8–0 England |
(Moss, Norway; 4 June 2000)
|Appearances||5 (first in 1995)|
|Best result||Third place (2015)|
|Appearances||8 (first in 1984)|
|Best result||Runners-up (1984, 2009)|
England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup five times, reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions; in 1995, 2007, and 2011, finishing third in 2015 and fourth in 2019. They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009.
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 in 1969 as an attempt to organise the women's game. That same year, Harry Batt formed an independent English team that competed in the Fédération Internationale Européenne de Football Féminine (FIEFF) European Cup.:43 Batt's team also participated in two FIEFF World Cups held in Italy (1970) and Mexico (1971).
Following an UEFA recommendation in 1972 for national associations to incorporate the women's game, the Football Association (FA) rescinded its 50-year ban on women playing on English Football League grounds. 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, 100 years to the month after the first men's international. The team overturned a two-goal deficit to defeat their northern opponents 3–2, with Sylvia Gore scoring England's first international goal. 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.:94
1979–1993: Progress under ReaganEdit
Martin Reagan was appointed to replace Tranter in 1979.:100 England reached the final 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. 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.
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. Reagan was sacked after England's 6–1 quarter-final loss against Germany at UEFA Women's Euro 1991, 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.:103–104
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.:105 England managed to qualify for UEFA Women's Euro 1995, having previously missed out on the last three editions, but were beaten 6–2 on aggregate over two legs against Germany. Reaching the European semi-finals granted England a place at the World Cup for the first time. The team advanced from the group stage of the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, but lost out again to Germany 3–0 in the quarter-finals.
1998–2013: Development under PowellEdit
Hope Powell became the team's first full-time head coach in June 1998, succeeding her former coach Copeland. 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 stage. England automatically qualified as hosts in 2005, but again did not make it to the semi-finals.
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. After coming second in their group, they advanced into the quarter-finals to face the United States but lost 3–0.
In May 2009, central contracts were implemented to help players focus on full-time training without having to fit it around full-time employment. Three months later, at the European Championships in Finland, England marked their return to the recently expanded 12-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 stage on the way to the final. There they lost 6–2 to reigning champions Germany.
England reached their third World Cup in 2011, having won Group 5 and their play-off 5–2 over two legs against Switzerland. In Germany, they topped Group B – ahead of eventual winners Japan. 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.
2013–2017: Sampson eraEdit
Welshman 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. 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.
At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, England lost their opening group game to France but won their remaining group games against Mexico and Colombia, easing through to the last 16 to play 1995 champions Norway. A 2–1 win set up a meeting with hosts Canada in the quarter-finals. Despite facing not only a strong Canadian team but a capacity partisan crowd at BC Place in Vancouver, England progressed to the semifinals of the Women's World Cup for the first time in their history with another 2–1 win, which also marked the first semifinal appearance by any England senior team since the men reached the last four of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Playing reigning World Cup holders Japan in the semi-finals, England conceded a penalty kick, which Aya Miyama converted past Karen Bardsley. Japan then conceded a penalty as Yuki Ogimi clipped Steph Houghton 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. England eventually finished in third place by beating Germany 1–0 after extra time after a Williams penalty, their first time beating their archrivals in the women’s game. It marked the best finish for any England senior team since the men’s team famously won the 1966 World Cup as hosts.
England qualified for the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 in the Netherlands and won all three of their group games at the tournament. England beat France 1–0 in the quarter-finals before meeting hosts and eventual champions, the Netherlands. In the semi-finals, England conceded three goals without reply and were knocked out of the tournament.
In September 2017, Sampson was sacked from his role as manager by the FA after evidence of "inappropriate and unacceptable" behaviour was uncovered during his tenure at Bristol Academy. The FA in January 2019 agreed to pay a "significant" financial settlement to Sampson, on the week his claim for unfair dismissal was due to be heard in court. He was replaced by Phil Neville, who had played at Manchester United – including in their 1999 treble winning season – and Everton and been capped by the England men but had never before held a high-profile managing job.
2018–present: Neville's arrivalEdit
After being appointed manager, Neville's first games in charge were at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. In their first game, England defeated France 4–1, then drew 2–2 against Germany. They went into the final game against the United States with the opportunity to win the tournament, but lost 1–0. Second place was the highest England had finished at the SheBelieves Cup.
England continued with World Cup qualification in 2018. On 6 April they drew 0–0 against Wales. After the qualifying games in June, England and Wales were guaranteed the first two spots in qualifying Group 1, and England's 3–0 win against Wales in August 2018 saw them clinch the group and qualify for the World Cup finals.
In the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, England won group D, beating local rivals Scotland and archrival Argentina to qualify for the knockout phase, before beating Japan. England beat both Cameroon and then Norway 3–0 to advance to the semifinal against United States in Lyon – the team’s third straight major tournament semifinal. However, similar to the previous two tournaments, England once again failed to make the final, losing 2–1. Alex Morgan scored the winner after Ellen White had equalised following Christen Press' opening goal, while White had an equaliser ruled out by VAR and Houghton had a penalty saved by Alyssa Naeher.
FIFA World CupEdit
England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup five times (1995, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019) and failed to qualify for three competitions (1991, 1999, 2003). The England team reached the quarter-finals 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|
|1991||Did not qualify|
|1999||Did not qualify|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shoot-outs.
|FIFA Women's World Cup matches|
|1995||Group stage||6 June||Canada||W 3–2||Olympia Stadion, Helsingborg|
|8 June||Norway||L 0–2||Tingvallen, Karlstad|
|10 June||Nigeria||W 3–2|
|Quarter-finals||13 June||Germany||L 0–3||Arosvallen, Västerås|
|2007||Group stage||11 September||Japan||D 2–2||Hongkou Stadium, Shanghai|
|14 September||Germany||D 0–0|
|17 September||Argentina||W 6–1||Chengdu Sports Center, Chengdu|
|Quarter-finals||22 September||United States||L 0–3||Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium, Tianjin|
|2011||Group stage||27 June||Mexico||D 1–1||Volkswagen-Arena, Wolfsburg|
|1 July||New Zealand||W 2–1||Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, Dresden|
|5 July||Japan||W 2–0||Impuls Arena, Augsburg|
|Quarter-finals||9 July||France||D 1–1 (3–4 p)||BayArena, Leverkusen|
|2015||Group stage||9 June||France||L 0–1||Moncton Stadium, Moncton|
|13 June||Mexico||W 2–1|
|17 June||Colombia||W 2–1||Olympic Stadium, Montreal|
|Round of 16||22 June||Norway||W 2–1||TD Place, Ottawa|
|Quarter-finals||27 June||Canada||W 2–1||BC Place, Vancouver|
|Semi-finals||1 July||Japan||L 1–2||Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton|
|Third place play-off||4 July||Germany||W 1–0 (aet)|
|2019||Group stage||9 June||Scotland||W 2–1||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
|14 June||Argentina||W 1–0||Stade Océane, Le Havre|
|19 June||Japan||W 2–0||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
|Round of 16||23 June||Cameroon||W 3–0||Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes|
|Quarter-finals||27 June||Norway||W 3–0||Stade Océane, Le Havre|
|Semi-finals||2 July||United States||L 1–2||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Décines-Charpieu|
|Third place play-off||6 July||Sweden||L 1–2||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
UEFA European ChampionshipEdit
England first entered the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984, reaching the final that year and in 2009. The team have reached the semi-finals on three other occasions (1989, 1995, 2017), but failed to make it out of the group stage in three other editions (2001, 2005, 2013). England did not qualify in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1997.
|1989||Did not qualify|
|1997||Did not qualify|
|2021||Qualified as hosts|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shoot-outs.
- **Red border colour denotes tournament was held on home soil.
England does not participate in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, as the country does not have its own National Olympic Committee (NOC). 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. However, members of its team have played for the Great Britain women's Olympic football team at London 2012 having been granted automatic qualification as the host nation. The Home Nations once again agreed to a GB Women's team in time for Tokyo 2020 with England's result at the 2019 World Cup counting as the team's attempt to qualify. They qualified as one of the last three remaining European nations.
|1976 Pony Home Championship||Winners, group stage||1st||2||2||0||0||9||1|
|1969 Unofficial European Championship||Third place||3rd||2||1||0||1||5||4|
|1979 Unofficial European Championship||Semi-finals||4th||4||2||1||1||6||4|
|1981 Mundialito||Group stage||3rd||2||1||0||1||4||1|
|1990 North America Cup||Group stage||3rd||4||1||1||2||3||7|
|2002 Algarve Cup||Group stage||9th||4||1||0||3||8||12|
|2005 Algarve Cup||Group stage||8th||4||3||1||0||13||0|
|2007 Four Nations Tournament||Group stage||4th||3||0||2||1||3||0|
|2009 Cyprus Cup||Winners||1st||4||3||1||0||14||3|
|2010 Cyprus Cup||Group stage||5th||4||2||1||1||6||5|
|2010 Peace Queen Cup||Group stage||2nd||2||0||2||0||0||0|
|2011 Cyprus Cup||Group stage||5th||4||2||0||2||4||4|
|2012 Cyprus Cup||Group stage||4th||4||2||0||2||5||7|
|2013 Cyprus Cup||Winners||1st||4||3||1||0||12||7|
|2014 Cyprus Cup||Runners-up||2nd||4||3||0||1||7||2|
|2015 Cyprus Cup||Winners||1st||4||3||1||0||8||2|
|2016 SheBelieves Cup||Group stage||3rd||3||0||1||2||1||3|
|2017 SheBelieves Cup||Group stage||3rd||3||1||0||2||2||3|
|2018 SheBelieves Cup||Runners-up||2nd||3||1||1||1||6||4|
|2019 SheBelieves Cup||Winners||1st||3||2||1||0||7||3|
- 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 be outdated or incorrect, as the FA does not maintain an easily accessible database of historical statistics.
Caps and goals are updated as of 6 July 2019 after the match against Sweden.
Head coach: Phil Neville
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Karen Bardsley||14 October 1984||81||0||Manchester City|
|13||GK||Carly Telford||7 July 1987||21||0||Chelsea|
|21||GK||Mary Earps||7 March 1993||5||0||Manchester United|
|2||DF||Lucy Bronze||28 October 1991||75||8||Lyon|
|3||DF||Alex Greenwood||7 September 1993||41||3||Lyon|
|5||DF||Steph Houghton (captain)||23 April 1988||112||13||Manchester City|
|6||DF||Millie Bright||21 August 1993||32||0||Chelsea|
|12||DF||Demi Stokes||12 December 1991||54||1||Manchester City|
|14||DF||Leah Williamson||29 March 1997||8||0||Arsenal|
|15||DF||Abbie McManus||14 January 1993||16||0||Manchester United|
|17||DF||Rachel Daly||6 December 1991||27||3||Houston Dash|
|4||MF||Keira Walsh||8 April 1997||20||0||Manchester City|
|8||MF||Jill Scott||2 February 1987||143||25||Manchester City|
|16||MF||Jade Moore||22 October 1990||50||1||Reading|
|19||MF||Georgia Stanway||3 January 1999||13||1||Manchester City|
|20||MF||Karen Carney||1 August 1987||144||32||Retired|
|23||MF||Lucy Staniforth||2 October 1992||11||2||Birmingham City|
|7||FW||Nikita Parris||10 March 1994||41||13||Lyon|
|9||FW||Jodie Taylor||17 May 1986||46||18||Reign FC|
|10||FW||Fran Kirby||29 June 1993||45||13||Chelsea|
|11||FW||Toni Duggan||25 July 1991||75||22||Atlético Madrid|
|18||FW||Ellen White||9 May 1989||88||35||Manchester City|
|22||FW||Beth Mead||9 May 1995||19||5||Arsenal|
The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Ellie Roebuck||23 September 1999||2||0||Manchester City||v. Spain, 9 April 2019|
|GK||Sandy MacIver||18 June 1998||0||0||Clemson Tigers||2019 SheBelieves Cup PRE|
|GK||Siobhan Chamberlain||15 August 1983||50||0||Manchester United||v. Australia, 9 October 2018|
|DF||Gemma Bonner||13 July 1991||11||1||Manchester City||v. Spain, 9 April 2019|
|DF||Hannah Blundell||25 May 1994||3||0||Chelsea||Training camp, January 2019|
|DF||Gabrielle George||2 February 1997||2||0||Everton||Training camp, January 2019|
|MF||Isobel Christiansen||20 September 1991||31||6||Lyon||2019 SheBelieves Cup|
|MF||Jordan Nobbs (vice-captain)||8 December 1992||56||7||Arsenal||v. Sweden, 11 November 2018|
|MF||Fara Williams||25 January 1984||170||40||Reading||v. Australia, 9 October 2018|
|FW||Chioma Ubogagu||10 September 1992||3||1||Orlando Pride||v. Spain, 9 April 2019|
|FW||Lauren Hemp||7 August 2000||0||0||Manchester City||2019 SheBelieves Cup PRE|
|FW||Melissa Lawley||28 April 1994||11||1||Liverpool||Training camp, January 2019|
|FW||Chloe Kelly||15 January 1998||1||0||Everton||v. Austria, 8 November 2018|
|FW||Lauren Bruton||22 November 1992||1||0||Reading||v. Kazakhstan, 4 September 2018|
- PRE = Preliminary squad
- RET = Retired from international duty
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 170 times since 2001. She overtook previous record holder Rachel Yankey in August 2014, in a friendly against Sweden. 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.
Kelly Smith has scored the most goals for England, with 46 over a 20-year international career. She surpassed Karen Walker's record of 40 goals in September 2010, in a World Cup qualifying play-off against Switzerland.
Most capped playersEdit
Bold names denote a player still playing or available for selection.
Bold names denote a player still playing or available for selection.
|Carol Thomas (née McCune)||1976–1985|
Recent schedule and resultsEdit
- All times are listed in GMT except where noted.
|31 August 2018 WCQ G1||Wales||0–3||England||Newport, Wales|
|Stadium: Rodney Parade|
Referee: Katalin Kulcsár (Hungary)
|4 September 2018 WCQ G1||Kazakhstan||0–6||England||Pavlodar, Kazakhstan|
|Report||Mead 9' (pen.) 82'
Referee: Hristiana Guteva (Bulgaria)
|6 October 2018 Friendly||England||1–0||Brazil||Nottingham, England|
||Stadium: Meadow Lane|
Referee: Sandra Braz Bastos (Portugal)
|9 October 2018 Friendly||England||1–1||Australia||London, England|
|Kirby 21'||Report||Polkinghorne 84'||Stadium: Craven Cottage|
Referee: Florence Guillemin (France)
|8 November 2018 Friendly||Austria||0–3||England||Maria Enzersdorf, Austria|
|Stadium: Bundesstadion Südstadt|
|11 November 2018 Friendly||England||0–2||Sweden||Rotherham, England|
|13:30||Report||Stadium: New York Stadium|
Referee: Petra Pavlikova (Slovakia)
|27 February 2019 SheBelieves Cup||England||2–1||Brazil||Chester, Pennsylvania|
|16:00 EST||Report||Stadium: Talen Energy Stadium|
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (United States)
|2 March 2019 SheBelieves Cup||United States||2–2||England||Nashville, Tennessee|
|16:30 EST||Report||Stadium: Nissan Stadium|
Referee: Marianela Araya (Costa Rica)
|5 March 2019 SheBelieves Cup||Japan||0–3||England||Tampa, Florida|
|17:15 EST||Report||Stadium: Raymond James Stadium|
Referee: Christina Unkel (United States)
|5 April 2019 Friendly||England||0–1||Canada||Manchester, England|
|19:00||Report||Stadium: Academy Stadium|
Referee: Ivana Martincic (Croatia)
|9 April 2019 Friendly||England||2–1||Spain||Swindon, England|
|19:00||Report||Stadium: County Ground|
Referee: Stephanie Frappart (France)
|25 May 2019 Friendly||England||2–0||Denmark||Walsall, England|
|15:00||Report||Stadium: Bescot Stadium|
Referee: Desiree Grundbacher (Switzerland)
|1 June 2019 Friendly||England||0–1||New Zealand||Brighton and Hove, England|
|15:00||Report||Stadium: Falmer Stadium|
Referee: Monika Mularczyk (Poland)
|9 June 2019 2019 FIFA WWC GS||England||2–1||Scotland||Nice, France|
|18:00 CEST||Report||Stadium: Allianz Riviera|
Referee: Jana Adámková (Czech Republic)
|14 June 2019 2019 FIFA WWC GS||England||1–0||Argentina||Le Havre, France|
|21:00 CEST||Report||Stadium: Stade Océane|
Referee: Qin Liang (China)
|19 June 2019 2019 FIFA WWC GS||Japan||0–2||England||Nice, France|
||Stadium: Allianz Riviera|
Referee: Claudia Umpiérrez (Uruguay)
|23 June 2019 2019 FIFA WWC R16||England||3–0||Cameroon||Valenciennes, France|
|17:30 CEST||Report||Stadium: Stade du Hainaut|
Referee: Qin Liang (China PR)
|27 June 2019 2019 FIFA WWC QF||Norway||0–3||England||Le Havre, France|
||Report||Stadium: Stade Océane|
Referee: Lucila Venegas (Mexico)
|2 July 2019 2019 FIFA WWC SF||England||1–2||United States||Décines-Charpieu, France|
|21:00 CEST||Report||Stadium: Parc Olympique Lyonnais|
Referee: Edina Alves Batista (Brazil)
|6 July 2019 2019 FIFA WWC 3rd||England||1–2||Sweden||Nice, France|
|17:00 CEST||Report||Stadium: Allianz Riviera|
Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova (Russia)
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