Founded five years earlier, the Welsh team had lost their first seven matches, scoring only four goals total while conceding twenty-eight. Their worst loss was a 9-0 defeat to Scotland in 1878. They had played England only twice, losing 1-2 in 1879 and 2-3 in 1880, both times in Wales.
They changed the venue for the next match, meeting England before a crowd of 4,200 at the Alexandria Meadows in Blackburn. At the time, all but three of the Welsh players were with Welsh clubs, with the other three based in England. The hero of the day was John Vaughn, from Welsh club Ruabon Druids, who scored the day's only goal in the 34th minute.
Wales did not have to wait long for their next win, beating Ireland 7-1 two games later. Vaughan, meanwhile, went on to earn a total of eleven caps, but scored only one more goal.