european football championship 1972

The 1972 European Championship was the fourth UEFA European Championships, it was held in Belgium between 5 June and 10 June 1972. The tournament was won by West Germany who defeated USSR 3-0 in the final at the Heysel Stadium, Brussels to claim their first title.


Only Iceland of UEFA's then 33 members did not enter the qualification for the 1972 European Nations Cup.

The remaining 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four teams. The group winners advanced to a quarter-final round with all ties played on a two-legged basis. The four quarter-final winners would qualify for the tournament proper with one of those four countries chosen to host it.

Wales were drawn in Group 1 alongside Romania, Czechoslovakia and Finland. This was the first time Wales had played both Romania and Finland.

Uefa qualifying group 1

no.datescorescorers (wales)venue 
 7/10/1970Czechoslovakia 1-1 Finland Letenský stadion, PragueEC
 11/10/1970Romania 3-0 Finland Stadionul 23 August, BucharestEC
29211/11/1970Wales 0-0 Romania Ninian Park, CardiffECQ
29321/04/1971Wales 1-3 CzechoslovakiaR Davies (pen)Vetch Field, SwanseaECQ
 16/05/1971Czechoslovakia 1-0 Romania Letenský stadion, PragueEC
29726/05/1971Finland 0-1 WalesToshackOlympiastadion, HelsinkiECQ
 16/06/1971Finland 0-4 Czechoslovakia Olympiastadion, HelsinkiEC
 22/09/1971Finland 0-4 Romania Olympiastadion, HelsinkiEC
29813/10/1971Wales 3-0 FinlandDurban, Toshack, ReesVetch Field, SwanseaECQ
29927/10/1971Czechoslovakia 1-0 Wales Letenský Stadion, PragueECQ
 14/11/1971Romania 2-1 Czechoslovakia Stadionul 23 August, BucharestEC
30024/11/1971Romania 2-0 Wales Stadionul 23 August, BucharestECQ

Group standings

Wales and the 1972 European Championship

Wales were drawn in Group 1 alongside Romania, Czechoslovakia and Finland. This was the first time Wales had played both Romania and Finland.

The campaign got off to a reasonable start with a 0-0 draw at home to group favourites, Romania, but despite taking the lead in the second match against Czechoslovakia, a disastrous four minute spell saw the visitors score three times and inflict a 3-1 defeat on Dave Bowen's side.

Two wins against the part-time Fins meant Wales needed to win both remaining away matches to be in with a chance of qualification.

Unfortunately, the game in Prague coincided with the fourth round of the Football League Cup which at the time took precedence over international matches. Having had eight players withdraw from the squad, Wales' relatively inexperienced side suffered a 1-0 defeat which put paid to their qualification campaign.

English clubs refused to release their players fro Wales' final game in Bucharest. Four payers were made unavailable ahead of the squad announcement with a further eight players being forced to withdraw from the original squad.

Herbie Williams of Swansea won his third and final cap for Wales, six years after winning his first two caps. Six of the side who lost 2-0 in Romania had a total of 16 caps between them.

Players used during qualifying

Wales used 34 players during the campaign with no player featuring in every game. Thirteen players appeared just once during the qualifying campaign.

Leighton Phillips, Tom Walley and Arfon Griffiths won their first caps in the second game of the campaign against Czechoslovakia with Malcolm Page, Raymond Mielczarek and Wayne Jones winning making their debut in the next game away in Finland.

Brian Evans and Trevor Hockey won their first caps in the home match against Finland with Hockey become the first player to represent Wales on the basis of his parents' birthplace.

Mick Hill and Leighton James were handed their debuts against Czechoslovakia in Prague with Cyril Davies coming on as a second half substitute in the final game in Romania meaning Dave Bowen gave 11 players their debut during the campaign.

Ollie Burton    90 
Cyril Davies     45
Ron Davies 90   90
Wyn Davies90     
Steve Derrett  90   
Alan Durban9090909090 
Mike England90  90  
Brian Evans   9078 
Arfon Griffiths 45    
Terry Hennessey   9057 
Mick Hill    9045
Barrie Hole90     
Trevor Hockey   90 90
Glyn James 90    
Leighton James    9090
Wayne Jones  90   
Dick Krzywicki909090 12 
John Mahoney 45    
Raymond Mielczarek  90   
Tony Millington 9090459090
Graham Moore90     
Malcolm Page  90   
Leighton Phillips 90  9090
David Powell90     
Gil Reece  9090 90
Ron Rees909090 3390
John Roberts  9090  
Peter Rodrigues9090 909090
Gary Sprake90  45  
Rod Thomas9090 909090
John Toshack  9090  
Tom Walley 90    
Herbie Williams     90
Terry Yorath    90 


12 pts for a win / 1 pt for a draw