Mark Hateley in action for Pompey against Brighton in the 1983-84 season.Mark Hateley in action for Pompey against Brighton in the 1983-84 season.
Mark Hateley in action for Pompey against Brighton in the 1983-84 season.

Forty years ago today – the goal which completely transformed Portsmouth striker Mark Hateley’s life

He’s not the last Pompey player to appear for England; indeed, five men have since had the honour of pulling on the three lions while at Fratton Park.

He’s not the last Pompey player to score for England; instead, that honour belongs to Jermain Defoe in a 5-1 World Cup qualifying win over Kazakhstan at Wembley in October 2008.

He’s not even the last player from outside the top flight to score for England - David Nugent holding that particular record, employed by Preston when making a goalscoring sub appearance against San Marino in March 2007.

But, with the benefit of four decades of hindsight, there remains something truly special about Mark Hateley’s first goal for England.

On June 10 1984 - 40 years ago today - Hateley, Pompey’s top scorer as they finished 16th in the old Division 2, crowned his first England start with a goal in a 2-0 victory. But not just any victory, not just against any team, not just in any stadium.

No, this one was against Brazil, the most famous team in world sport, in the Maracana Stadium, Rio.

This one was a goal which sealed what remains, all these years on, England’s only ever victory in Brazil. There’s only been four in 27 games to cheer, and this was the second.

This was a goal which helped sentence Brazil to their first home defeat in more than 25 years.

This was the goal that earned Hateley a stunning £1m move from the lower mid-table reaches of the second tier of English football to AC Milan, one of Europe’s most famous clubs.

Imagine that today: a player from a mid-table Championship club scoring for England against Brazil - in the Maracana! - and within a fortnight signing for a club that had won 10 Serie A titles and two European Cups.

A life changed forever thanks to heading in a far post cross which goalkeeper Roberta Costa could only help across the line.

Of course, it was also a goal which has remained predominantly forgotten whenever footage of that friendly is screened; for the sole reason that John Barnes’ opener - a Brazilian-style slalom solo run past half the home team - was (and still is) one of the greatest ever scored by an England player.

A month earlier, on May 12 1984, Hateley had signed off his debut season at Pompey with his 22nd Division 2 goal in 38 appearances, in a 5-0 romp against relegated Swansea on the day Alan Biley fired a hat-trick.

Few, if any - ok, no-one - of the 7,359 inside Fratton Park that day (lest we forget, the hooligan-scarred mid-80s were a desperate period at times in terms of crowd figures) could have envisaged that by the time 1984-85 kicked off Hateley would have entered a different world.

A far cry from the summer of 1993 when a 21-year-old Hateley sparked a huge family row by dropping down into the second tier.

Frustrated by a lack of chances at top flight Coventry - where at times he was played on the wing - the striker turned down Graham Taylor at Watford to sign for Bobby Campbell’s newly-promoted Blues, for a club record £190,000.

In a 2015 interview for Played Up Pompey, Hateley revealed how he moved to the Blues against his dad’s wishes.

‘My dad didn’t speak to me for four months after I signed for Pompey,’ Hateley told Neil Allen.

‘We had an enormous argument, a proper fight, because I had decided to drop out of Division One with Coventry and into Division Two.

‘He obviously wanted the best for me and at that particular moment didn’t feel the move to Pompey was right. I was also playing for England under-21s, so to him it was all wrong.

‘The argument was a phone call, in fact a lot of phone calls, which ended up with the phone getting slammed down and basically an “I will show you” type of thing.’

In early November 1993, Hateley bagged six goals in five days at Fratton Park - recording back-to-back hat-tricks in wins over Cambridge (5-0) and Grimsby (4-0).

Fast forward 12 months, to late October 1984, and Hateley was scoring the winning goal on his Milan derby debut against Inter at the San Siro.

As I wrote earlier, Mark Hateley wasn’t the last non top flight senior England marksman. As well as Nugent, Steve Bull scored four goals for his country while at Wolves - the first of which, in a 2-0 win against Scotland at Hampden Park, came just a few weeks after he had helped his club win the Division 3 title (the equivalent of Colby Bishop scoring for England against Bosnia or Iceland last week!)

But even winning 13 England caps - including a start in the 1990 World Cup - didn’t really change Bull’s life. He just carried on doing what had earned him selection in the first place - scoring buckets of goals for Wolves.

Scoring for England didn’t really change Nugent’s life either. Yes, he also won a move in the wake of scoring against San Marino, joining Pompey in the summer of 2007. Yet he never won another international cap.

Scoring against Brazil directly led Hateley to a career at Milan, Monaco - where he won the French title in his first season after being signed by Arsene Wenger - and championships galore with Glasgow Rangers.

Scoring for England didn’t lead to Bull or Nugent living in the same apartment block as sporting royalty Ayrton Senna and Boris Becker, as Hateley did during his time in the south of France.

No, when I look back at the last four decades of the England national football team, I cannot think of another goal which so transformed the scorer’s life.

Certainly not Barnes’ remarkable solo effort in the same game 40 years ago today. Though he ended up winning 79 caps over a 12-year period, his international career was defined by one magical moment. Unsurprisingly, he never conjured up another goal like that for England. Truly, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Possibly David Platt’s last-minute volley against Belgium in Italia 90 might run Hateley’s life-changing moment close. Possibly Michael Owen’s 1998 World Cup stunner against Argentina, but he had been talked up as a future star for at least 12 months and it wasn’t his first senior England goal either. Owen had played a season in the Premier League spotlight; Hateley had been playing against Cambridge, Grimsby and Carlisle in front of a few thousand die-hards.

Hateley went on to win 32 senior England caps, including 20 starts, scoring nine goals.

He appeared at two major tournaments, though all the five games he featured in are hugely forgettable – starts against Portugal (0-1) and Morocco (0-0) at the 1986 World Cup and three sub outings in group losses to the Republic of Ireland (0-1), Netherlands(1-3) and USSR (1-3) at the Euros two years later.