Norway have long played second fiddle to most other European countries but it was on this day in soccer history in 1981 that they shocked England in a FIFA World Cup qualifier and inspired Norwegian radio commentator Bjørge Lillelien to summed it up with "Your boys took a hell of a beating."
At the time of the match, Norway only had pride to play for. They did not have any chance of advancing to the 1982 quadrennial tournament and lost their first qualifying match to England less than a year earlier 6-1.
Few gave Norway any chance of winning the match. A good result would be just to keep it close.
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With a stacked lineup that included Ray Clemence, Kevin Keegan, Trevor Francis, Bryan Robson and Glenn Hoddle, the historical script appeared to be playing out when England took the lead after 15 minutes in the match.
In all the previous five meetings, Norway was outscored by the Three Lions 2-24 with England scoring a minimum of four goals in each match. The outlook was not positive for those at Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo.
But the Scandanavians battled back and took the lead before halftime on strikes by Roger Albertsen, who was shown in replays to have not re-directed Tom Lund’s ball and so was incorrectly credited with the goal, and Hallvar Thoresen. Lund and the new star Thoresen had missed out on the first match at Wembley.
England pushed for the equalizer and winner but could not find it allowing Lillelien to put utter his memorable words in ecstasy as Norway celebrated.
“Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden! Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher - can you hear me, Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!”
1919 – Gottfried Dienst, Swiss football referee (d. 1998)
1968 – Clive Mendonca, English footballer
1976 – Aki Riihilahti, Finnish footballer
1979 – Wayne Carlisle, Northern Irish footballer
1983 – Cleveland Taylor, English footballer
1984 – Brad Guzan, American footballer
1985 – Luka Modrić, Croatian footballer
1987 – Alexandre Song, Cameroonian footballer
2006 – Matt Gadsby, English footballer (b. 1979)