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Wembley date set for Scots

SCOTLAND will travel to Wembley next August to take on the Auld Enemy for the first time since the famous 1-0 win against England in 1999, it was confirmed last night.

The Tartan Army take over Trafalgar Square in 1999  Photograph: Empics
The Tartan Army take over Trafalgar Square in 1999 Photograph: Empics

After a 14-year absence, the oldest rivalry in the international football calendar will be renewed on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The match, which will see Scotland visit the revamped Wembley for the first time, will rekindle a duel that began in 1872 but has lain dormant since Don Hutchison's header secured a 1-0 second-leg victory as Scotland narrowly lost out in a Euro 2000 play-off.

Although the match will take place on the troublesome August friendly date, the choice of opponents should mean there are few call-offs from a Scotland side that will face important World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Macedonia the following month.

Manager Craig Levein said: "For any Scotland supporter, player or coach, Scotland versus England is the ultimate contest: it really is as good as it gets.

"I am thrilled that we have reached agreement with the FA to play at Wembley as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations and I am sure the supporters will be there in their tens of thousands.

"Our match against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium in London last year was a tremendous spectacle and I was overwhelmed by the support we had that day.

"This is an even more mouth-watering prospect for all concerned and the players will be desperate to record another famous victory at Wembley. It will also be the best test possible before we resume our World Cup qualifying campaign."

England coach Roy Hodgson spoke of the honour he will feel in taking an England team into this fixture. He said: "I am privileged to be manager of England at Euro 2012 and it will be another huge honour to lead our nation out against our oldest rivals.

"For us, England v Scotland is one of the finest fixtures in international football and I know what this game means to both sets of supporters. It will be a fitting part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations and the supporters, the team and my coaching staff all look forward to welcoming Scotland to Wembley Stadium next year."

England and Scotland met in the first official international match ever played, at the ground of the West of Scotland Cricket Club at Partick, on Saturday, November 30 1872. In the previous month The FA committee had formally agreed to send a representative team "in order to further the interests of the Association in Scotland". In front of a crowd of nearly 4000, the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

The teams have now met on 110 occasions, with England winning 45 times and Scotland 41 with 24 draws. In addition to that 1999 match, Scotland have had no shortage of good memories from their visits to the old Wembley.

The side known as the Wembley Wizards were 5-1 winners in 1928, the reigning world champions were put to the sword 3-2 in 1967, and a 2-1 Home International Championship win in 1977 led to a mass pitch invasion.

By contrast, an England side defeated Scotland 9-3, also at Wembley, to clinch the British Championship trophy in 1961.

Ticket details for the Tartan Army will follow in due course.

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