When England beat Brazil in the Maracana

Tom Brogan
4 min readJan 20, 2021

England embarked upon a three-game tour of South America in June of 1984. They would play Uruguay and Chile, but their only win would be in this their first match.

Played on Sunday 10th June this game in front of around 60,000 spectators at Rio’s Maracana was a friendly in aid of the Brazilian football association’s 70th anniversary. The match was live on UK television, but only the second half. ITV showed Cillia Black’s hit show Surprise, Surprise and then the News while the first half played out.

England lined up as: Peter Shilton, Michael Duxbury, Kenny Sansom, Ray Wilkins, Dave Watson, Terry Fenwick, Bryan Robson ©, Mark Chamberlain, Mark Hateley, Tony Woodcock, John Barnes.

Portsmouth’s twenty-two-year-old striker Mark Hateley made his second appearance in an England shirt, having come on as a substitute against Russia at Wembley eight days previously.

Manager Bobby Robson, famed over the years for getting the names of his players wrong, repeatedly referred to Hateley in training as Tony. Tony being the name of his father who played for Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool in the ‘60s. ‘He can call me anything he likes in training now, just so long as he gets my surname right on the team sheet,’ Hateley said when he was named in the starting eleven.

England played in a 4–2–4 formation, with Hateley and Tony Woodcock the two strikers and Mark Chamberlain and Watford’s John Barnes on the wings, with Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins in the centre of midfield. The formation was seen initially as a bit of a risk.

Robson told the English journalists beforehand. ‘The wingers have got to be functional and effective and if they are not or if we are not controlling the midfield then I am prepared to bring either one or both of the youngsters off and send on substitutes Sammy Lee and David Armstrong.’

Norwich City’s Dave Watson and QPR’s Clive Allen, who came on as a substitute, would make their debuts in the fixture.

Missed by the live TV coverage was a magnificent solo goal by Barnes a minute before half-time. He received the ball from Hateley and as Woodcock pulled two Brazilians away Barnes ran in on goal, weaving past defenders and slotting the ball away.

Tom Brogan

Author of We Made Them Angry Scotland at the World Cup Spain 1982. Writing about films, music, football and television. https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/tombrogan