Any self-respecting Brighton fan will let you know that The Goldstone Ground (RIP) played host to a smattering of internationals down its 95-year history.
In 1948, Luxembourg beat Afghanistian 6-0 in an Olympic Football Tournament match, while in 1977 England U21s beat Norway by the same score, with host striker Peter Ward bagging a hat-trick. Aston Villa’s John Deehan (2) and Manchester City’s Peter Barnes completed the rout.
In 1989, England ‘B’ took on Italy ‘B’; a match which would include many players who would feature in the following year’s World Cup. 16,125 watched on a cold night in November Tony Adams equalise Giovani Stroppa’s opener.
But one international appears to have snuck in under the radar…
16th April 1910 – The Goldstone Ground, Hove
England Amateurs 10
Wilson (4), Steer (4), Chapman, Berry
Few in-depth records exist about the match, and no match reports appear to have been unearthed.
It was, strictly, England Amateurs against a French full national side. At that time, there was a distinction made between professionals and amateurs. However, while the match is not given full international status in England (nor are any England Amateur matches), the amateur side was considered strong enough for other countries – including France, Belgium and Germany – to consider them full internationals in their records.
In all, England Amateurs played France eight times, winning seven and losing one, scoring 61 goals, conceding four. France’s heaviest-ever home defeat was to England Amateurs in Paris, the hosts losing 15-0 in 1906.
As an afore-mentioned self-respecting Brighton fan, the most interesting point I found in all this is that the 10-1 match against France was played at The Goldstone Ground 104 years ago, and was therefore the first international to be played there.