20/11/1963 London England 3-8 Johnny Crossan, Sammy Wilson (2)
Harry Gregg, Jimmy Magill, John Parke, Martin Harvey, Terry Neill, Billy McCullough, Billy Bingham, Billy Humphries, Sammy Wilson, Johnny Crossan, Jimmy Hill
This was the first Wembley international ever to be played entirely under floodlights, and England celebrated the occasion with an enormous win. After a slow start to the Alf Ramsey era, England now had six wins in a row, and this was another magnificent performance. Ireland’s typically brave and wholehearted performance was reflected in the fact that they scored the last goal of the game, but England at times ripped them apart. The right-sided duo of Paine and Greaves, who scored seven goals between them, were especially deadly. It was Milne and Eastham, though, in the midfield of England’s 4-2-4, who were the catalyst for most of the home side’s good work.
England were ahead inside two minutes. Moore fed Charlton who jinked past two men, then held the ball up awaiting the run of Paine, who then scored confidently. Greaves soon hit a post, but Ireland had good chances to equalise – Wilson being foiled first by a Banks save, then by a Thomson tackle. Once Greaves had got on the end of a flowing forward movement to skip past Gregg and make it two, there was only going to be one winner. Within minutes, he had scored again, trapping the ball, then slotting the ball in impudently. Paine, at the near post, then touched home an Eastham cross for 4-0. When Crossan dived to head Magill’s cross past Banks though, it produced probably the loudest cheer of the half.
After the break, England immediately continued where they had left off. Paine set up Smith to head the fifth, but Wilson scored from Harvey’s through-ball to make it 5-2. Greaves completed his hat-trick with a thumping shot into the roof of the net. Not to be outdone, Paine took only a further minute to score his own third, a netbuster from an angle after good work from Eastham and Armfield. Another wonderful team move was finished by the left foot of Greaves for England’s eighth, before Wilson had the final say, forcing the ball home at the second attempt, following a corner.