For nearly a century, Wembley Stadium in London, England, has staged major sporting events. There have been some fantastic soccer matches played at England’s national stadium. Recent years has also seen the NFL cross the pond with some of their top teams playing on the hallowed Wembley turf. Here’s a look back at Wembley’s biggest games.
The 1966 World Cup Final
The most important soccer game that can be played is the final of the World Cup. 54 years ago, the tournament was held in England for the first and only time. The whole nation wanted England to be triumphant and lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the first time in their history.
The England side made it through the group stages and knock-out games to reach the final. They took on West Germany and the nation came to a standstill as the game was played. The final went into extra time but thanks to striker Geoff Hurst scoring three goals, England achieved their dream with a 4-2 victory. The match remains the most important one ever played at Wembley.
New York Giants 13 Miami Dolphins 10
If you hope to back some winners, check out the NFL betting lines.There would have been plenty of betting activity when the NFL decided to start staging matches in England. TV coverage had made the game popular in the UK, so the NFL circus made its way to Wembley.
The first history making match took place on 28 October, 2007. Little did the fans realize that in the New York Giants, they were seeing the team that would win the Super Bowl that season.
They had a 5-2 record going into this game, having recovered from losing their first two matches. An easy win for the Giants was expected as the Dolphins had lost all of their first seven games. It was 13-0 to the Giants at half-time but the Dolphins staged a great comeback in the second half. The Giants held on for a 13-10 win with the fans on the edge of their seats.
Southampton 1 Manchester United 0
The FA Cup is a legendary club competition that has been held since 1872. It sees the top league and non-league teams all wanting to reach the final at Wembley. 1976 saw second division Southampton make it to the FA Cup Final.
Few expected them to beat First Division Manchester United. However, this is a cup that regularly provides shock results. Southampton caused another one beating United 1-0 to cause a stunning upset that people still talk of to this day.
New England Patriots 45 St Louis Rams 7
It wasn’t such a close affair in 2012 at the New England Patriots made their way to Wembley Stadium. The Patriots won AFC East that year but when this match took place on 28 October 2012, they were 4-3 for the season. Their opponents were 3-4 but all but one match had been won by ten points or less.
The first quarter ended with the scores level at 7-7 but this wasn’t going to be a close game. The Patriots won the next two quarters, scoring 31 points without reply. They went on to win by 38 points, quarterback Tom Brady showing signs of the performances that would see his team become a top team in the years to come.
The Championship Play-Off
This is described as the richest game in the world. The Championship is the second tier in English football and all of its teams yearn to win promotion to the Premier League. It’s not just because they will be playing teams such as Liverpool and Manchester United, but the millions of pounds Premier League teams receive.
This year saw Fulham face Brentford and it was estimated that £170 million was at stake in this game. Fulham were the club that won a thrilling final that went into extra time to win promotions and get access to all that money.
Cincinnati Bengals 10 Los Angeles Rams 24
By 2019, the Rams had moved to Los Angeles and had played two games in England. However, both of those had taken place at the Twickenham rugby union ground. The NFL fixtures in England hadn’t been played at Wembley since October 2018, the following year saw them return to England’s top stadium.
On 27 October, the Rams headed to Wembley looking for their first win at the ground. They were 4-3 for the season but had lost three of their last four matches. The Bengals were having a nightmare season and had lost all seven of their games. The Rams made that season even worse for the Bengals winning by 14 points and finally, they could say they’d won a match at one of the greatest sports venues in the world.
Founder and editor of Footiecentral. A voracious reader who loves reading anything and everything related to the history of football. He’s an ardent supporter of Manchester United and rarely misses a match.