mike england - fact file

1966 -1975        defender


Born on 2nd December 1941 in Greenfield, near Holywell, North Wales.

Height : -  1.83 m  (6' 2")

Weight : -  72.27 kgs    (13st 2lbs)


Mike England was a commanding centre-half who won most things in the air and also crafted a reputation as a ball playing defender, with a good range of passes, who developed a great understanding with Phil Beal during a successful period in the club's history.

Born two miles outside Holywell in North Wales, England went to Basingwerk Secondary Modern School.  When Mike began playing in Wales, he started off as a schoolboy winger and inside forward in the same team as Southampton forward Ron Davies, but had converted into one of the back four by the time Blackburn Rovers became interested in him and signed him at the age of 15.  In his first eight league games for Rovers, he played in five different positions, including one match at inside-left !! Tall, strongly built and with long legs, the games he played in his seven years for Rovers saw him quickly impress followers of the game and none more so than Bill Nicholson, whenever he put in a very good performance against Spurs.  England's international debut came in 1962, against Northern Ireland and he played alongside Cliff Jones and Mel Hopkins, with Danny Blanchflower and Terry Neill on other side.
At the time, Mike was also the youngest captain Wales had appointed, aged just 22 years and 135 days, for a Home International against Northern Ireland on 15th April 1964 at the Vetch Field, Swansea.

The signing of Mike England from recently relegated Blackburn Rovers was a British record for a defender at the time, signing the day before the 1966-67 season started.  The Welshman came in to replace Maurice Norman and played 50 consecutive games after being introduced at the start of the 1966-67 season, his first game against Leeds United in the first game of the season was played in a heatwave as Spurs won 3-1.  His debut season ended as an ever-present in the league and with a FA Cup winners medal, after he marked Chelsea centre-forward Tony Hateley out of the game.  Noted as a fine header of the ball, England won most of the aerial challenges and his Wembley performance won him a place in the hearts of the fans for many years to come. 

The giant Welshman was an almost ever present through his Spurs career, with only the odd game missed through injury, but he amassed 397 appearances for Tottenham at centre-half.  Tall and strappingly built, England was also very good with his feet.  A fine timer of a tackle and a very good passer of the ball, Mike brought a lot more to the team than just height.  In addition to all this, he was handed the responsibility for finding the heads of Alan Gilzean or Martin Chivers from free-kicks deep inside his own half, something he was very adept at doing.  Conversely, he was often the one on the end of long-throws from Chivers or Gilzean, as his height and power made him a dangerous presence from set-pieces.

Unfortunately, an ankle injury picked up at the end of the semi-final against Bristol City saw him ruled out of the League Cup final against Aston Villa in 1971, with Peter Collins standing in at centre-half, but Mike was back at his best for the UEFA Cup win in 1972 over Wolves and the 1973 victory against Norwich City in the League Cup final. 

Mike also scored a towering header in the 1973 UEFA Cup final first leg to give Spurs an early lead against Feyenoord, but it was his presence that worried Dutch defender Joop van Daele to put the ball into his own net and to put Tottenham 2-0 ahead. 

He suddenly announced his retirement after a series of ankle problems, in March 1975, although he played a further season with Cardiff City (helping them to promotion to the Second Division) and then in the US league for a couple of seasons, becoming captain of the Seattle Sounders in 1976.  In the same year, Mike was selected to represent Team America against Brazil and England in the American Bicentennial Soccer Cup tournament.  While at Seattle, England played with Geoff Hurst, former Spurs winger Jimmy Robertson, Roger Cross (to become Gerry Francis' assistant manager at THFC) and Harry Redknapp, who was later to become manager of Spurs.

While in America, he ran an antique shop in Seattle and coached football at the local Lakeside High School.

Mike returned home to Wales and became a popular and successful manager of the national team from 1979 to 1987, when the Welsh side came close to qualifying for the finals of major tournaments and his efforts were rewarded with a MBE for his services to Welsh football.

The sudden nature of his departure and the club's inability to replace him with a similarly dominating centre-half for many years left the fans yearning for England's presence and while he is revered by many Tottenham supporters, he has shunned a return to the ground where he made his name and his reputation as one of the best defenders the club ever had.

Married to Gwen and had children Wayne, Darren and Gabrielle.

Last heard of managing a nursing home in Wales.



Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
Blackburn Rovers 1959 - ??  165 21
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 19th August 1966 95,000 20th August 1966 v Leeds United (First Division) (home)  won 3-1 397 19
Cardiff City 1975 Free ??  40 1
Seattle Sounders ?? ?? ??  106 6
Cleveland Force 1975 ?? ??  11 0

Career Record
Blackburn Rovers
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
?? Other appearances; goals
300 League appearances; 14 goals
32 FA Cup appearances; 2 goals
30 League Cup appearances; 0 goals
35 European appearances; 3 goals
Cardiff City
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
?? Other appearances; goals
Seattle Sounders (USA)
106 League appearances; 6 goals
Cleveland Force (USA)
11 Indoor League appearances; 0 goals

Wales international
44 full caps;  4 goals
Debut : -   v Northern Ireland  1962 (Cardiff).
11 Under-21 caps; ?? goals
UEFA Cup winners medal 1971-72 (THFC)
UEFA Cup runners-up medal 1973-74 (THFC)
FA Cup winners medal 1966-67 (THFC)
League Cup Winners Medal 1972-73 (THFC)
Selected to play for
Great Britain  (American Bicentennial Soccer Cup 1976)


Mike England 's last game for Spurs against Leicester City was his 300th career League appearance.




Enjoys playing cricket and could have gone to Glamorganshire, as an offer to join them was rejected in favour of a career in football.
When at Blackburn Rovers, he played cricket in the East Lancs club and for the Lancashire second XI.
Having joined Tottenham, Mike turned out for the Broxbourne Cricket Club.

A keen golfer, playing off a handicap of 7.

Had an involvement in a timber business in Blackburn.

Lived in Broxbourne with his wife Gwen and two sons, Darren (5) and Wayne (4).


Lived in Broxbourne with his wife Gwen and 7 year old Darren, 6 year old Wayne and 16 month old daughter Gabrielle.


Mike rated the 1973 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw at Wembley v England as his highlight of playing for his country.

For Spurs, the 1967 FA Cup final, 1973 League Cup final and 1972 UEFA Cup win were his Spurs highlights.

Went to Basingwerk Secondary Modern School and the school had his photo on a wall there.

Lived in Broxbourne.

Had share in a timber business in Blackburn.

Did some radio commentary during the 1974 World Cup.


Mike England played for Wales in the Rest of UK v Wales, in a specially arranged game for the Coronation of the Prince of Wales. Pat Jennings was on opposition with Alan Mullery.



What they said about Mike England
the fee he commanded when leaving Blackburn Rovers ...  week ending 01.10.1966 (Football League Review)

"Taken from the Spurs programme commenting on a Wembley programme for England v Wales in 1964 regarding Mike England.

The programmes said, "(The) Blackburn defender will command aone of the biggest ever fees if he left Rovers."

Spurs paid the big fee and said, "There was nothing risky about that prediction !""

? ...  .. ()




What Mike England said about ...
... one of his Welsh players ...  .. ()

"He's perfectly fit, apart from his physical fitness."

... ? ...  .. ()






Season League FA Cup League Cup European Cup-Winners Cup UEFA Cup
1966-67 42 (1) 8 - - -
1967-68 31 (3) 5 - 2 -
1968-69 36 (3) 4 (1) 5 - -
1969-70 36 (1) 4 1 - -
1970-71 22 (1) - 6 - -
1971-72 38 (2) 5 7 - 11 (1)
1972-73 31 (1) 3 (1) 10 - 10
1973-74 - - - - -
1974-75 - - - - -

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