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England Postwar Lineups and Match Highlights
By Norman Giller, Football Author

Part 3:  1955-56 to 1959-60

Norman Giller, long-time football journalist and author of more than 60 football books, has generously sent us England lineups and match highlights from his recent Billy Wright biography, reviewed elsewhere on this website, and his book on England's managers, Don't Shoot the Manager (1994), with permission to reproduce them.

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No 72

Denmark, Copenhagen, 2.10.55. England won 5-1

Baynham   Hall   Byrne R   McGarry   Wright*   Dickinson        

Milburn   Revie3 (1 Pen)   Lofthouse1   Bradford1   Finney

Highlights: Luton goalkeeper Ron Baynham, Birmingham City right-back Jeff Hall and Bristol Rovers inside-left Geoff Bradford all made debuts. Bradford, a consistent force with Rovers in the Second Division and winning his only cap, scored the fifth and final goal eight minutes from the end after a hat-trick from Don Revie (including a penalty) and the usual goal from Lofthouse had floored the Danes. Hall and Byrne were to partner each other at full-back for seventeen successive matches, with only one defeat. This match was played on a Sunday in front of the King and Queen of Denmark to coincide with a British Trades Fair. So as not to weaken club sides for the previous day’s League programme, the squad was chosen on a one club, one man basis. In eight instances the players were paired off from the Saturday games so that their clubs were equally weakened. Don Revie had just started experimenting with his Hidegkuti-style deep-lying centre-forward role with Manchester City, but he played as an orthodox inside-right alongside Nat Lofthouse in this match and the pair of them together were always too much of a handful for the Danish defenders.

No 73

Wales, Ninian Park, 22.10.55. England lost 2-1 (own goal1)

Williams   Hall   Byrne R   McGarry   Wright*   Dickinson        

Matthews   Revie   Lofthouse   Wilshaw   Finney

Highlights: Wales conquered England for the first time since 1938 thanks to a headed winning goal from young Swansea winger Cliff Jones, whose Uncle Bryn had scored  one of the four goals that beat England seventeen years earlier. England’s high-powered attack floundered against a Welsh defence in which the Charles brothers, John and Mel, played side by side. The game was virtually settled in a two minutes spell just before half-time. Derek Tapscott took advantage of hesitancy in the England defence to shoot Wales into the lead, and then Cliff Jones made it 2-0 with a stunning header from a Roy Paul cross. The only time England got the ball into the net was when John Charles, trying to clear his lines in the fifty-first minute, turned the ball past brilliant Arsenal goalkeeper Jack Kelsey for a spectacular own goal.

No 74

Northern Ireland, Wembley,  2.11.55. England won 3-0

Baynham   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Dickinson        

Finney1   Haynes   Jezzard   Wilshaw2   Perry

Highlights: Fulham clubmates Johnny Haynes and Bedford Jezzard played alongside each other for the only time in an England international. Haynes, partnering Tom Finney on the right wing, played farther upfield than usual to confuse his marker, Danny Blanchflower, and it was mainly because of his probing passes that England won comfortably with two goals from Dennis Wilshaw and another from Finney. Jezzardís career was ended a year later by an ankle injury. South African-born Bill Perry came into the attack in place of his Blackpool team-mate Stanley Matthews, and Ronnie Clayton won the first of his thirty-five caps. This was Northern Ireland's first appearance at Wembley, and the only time they threatened to mark the occasion with a goal was when Charlie Tully had a point-blank shot superbly saved by goalkeeper Ron Baynham in the second half.

No 75

Spain, Wembley, 30.11.55. England won 4-1

Baynham   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Dickinson        

Finney1   Atyeo1   Lofthouse   Haynes   Perry2

Highlights: The Wembley floodlights were switched on for the first time in an international match fifteen minutes from the end of a game in which Spain were always in the dark. Finney missed from the penalty spot in the fifth minute, but then made amends by laying on one goal and scoring another. John Atyeo, the schoolteacher from Bristol City, put the finishing touch to a magnificent seven-man passing movement in the fifteenth minute, and sixty seconds later South African-born Bill Perry scored the first of his two goals. Finney and Perry made it 4-0 in the second-half before the Spaniards snatched a consolation goal ten minutes from the end.

No 76

Scotland, Hampden Park, 14.4.56. Drew 1-1

R. Matthews   Hall   Byrne R   Dickinson   Wright*   Edwards          

Finney   Taylor T   Lofthouse   Haynes1   Perry

Highlights: Johnny Haynes silenced the Hampden Roar with a last-minute equaliser, shooting the ball past goalkeeper Tommy Younger  after Manchester United team-mates Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor had created the opening. Reg Matthews, making his debut in front of a 134,000 crowd while a Third Division goalkeeper with Coventry City, pulled off a string of magnificent saves and  was only beaten on the hour by a mis-hit shot from Aberdeen’s Graham Leggat. The last-gasp equaliser from man-of-the-match Haynes stopped Scotland from registering their first victory over the Auld Enemy at Hampden Park since 1937. The incredible thing about this match was that England had to call the trainer on to treat goalkeeper Reg Matthews before a ball was kicked. Reg, used to playing in front of fewer than ten thousand spectators in the Third Division, was shaking with nerves as England left the dressing-room, and when he heard the roar from the 134,000 Scottish fans he almost passed out. The trainer gave Reg a whiff of smelling salts, and he quickly pulled himself together and gave an excellent debut performance. Reg, who later played for Chelsea, was nervy at the best of times and smoked like a trooper in the dressing-room.

No 77

Brazil, Wembley, 9.5.56. England won 4-2

R. Matthews   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards          

S. Matthews   Atyeo   Taylor T2   Haynes   Grainger2

Highlights: It was billed as the ‘Old World meets the New’ and Brazil arrived with many of the players who two years later were to win the World Cup in such dazzling fashion. England got off to a flying start under the Wembley Stadium floodlights with Tommy Taylor and Colin Grainger scoring inside the first five minutes. The Brazilians fought back to 2-2, and then John Atyeo and Roger Bryne each had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Gylmar. The penalty misses sandwiched a second goal by Taylor, made for him by a Stanley Matthews at his magical best against one of the all-time great left-backs, Nilton Santos. Matthews had been recalled by England at the age of forty-one, and he played like a twenty-one-year-old. There was a farcical second-half hold up following a dispute over a quickly taken free-kick by Johnny Haynes. The ball was caught by Nilton Santos and the Brazilians staged a walk-off protest when the referee awarded a penalty. By the time peace was restored it was no wonder that Atyeo failed with the spot-kick. Colin Grainger crowned a memorable debut with a second goal five minutes from the end of an extraordinary match. Cool and commanding at all times, Billy Wright kept his head when all about were losing theirs. He acted as a peacemaker when the talented but temperamental Brazilians threatened to walk off. It was a real captain’s performance, a mix  of diplomacy and sportsmanship. It was not only newcomers who were affected by nerves. Johnny Haynes asked Stanley Matthews for his autograph in the dressing-room before this match against Brazil. The Maestro’s hands were shaking so much that he could not hold the pen properly, and he asked Johnny to wait until after the game! Stanley was really wound up for this one because the Brazilians had stressed in the pre-match build-up that there was not a player in the world who could get the better of the great Nilton Santos. But as good a player as Santos was, he could not get near Stanley who was in untouchable form. At the end of the game Nilton was sporting enough to say, ‘Mister Matthews, you are the king.’

No 78

Sweden, Solna kommun, Stockholms län, 16.5.56. Drew 0-0

R. Matthews   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards          

Berry   Atyeo   Taylor T   Haynes   Grainger

Highlights: England were lucky to escape with a draw in a match ruined by a near-gale force wind. Goalkeeper Reg Matthews made three stunning saves to stop the Swedes from getting the victory their superior approach play deserved. It was the first goalless draw in which England had been involved since the game in Denmark in 1948. In conditions that would have sent a yachtsman racing for the shelter of any port, Wright managed to stop England from sinking with a cultured performance in the middle of the defence. The wind was so strong that it was almost impossible to measure a pass. Players would push a pass upfield for the forwards and invariably it would get caught by the wind and be taken for a goal-kick. It was a frustrating and fruitless game for everybody.

No 79

Finland, Helsinki, 20.5.56. England won 5-1

Wood   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards          

Astall1   Haynes1   Taylor T  (Lofthouse2)  Wilshaw1   Grainger          

Highlights: Nat Lofthouse came on as a substitute for the injured Tommy Taylor a minute before half-time, and for the twelfth time in an England shirt he scored two goals. It lifted his haul to twenty-nine goals, one more than the previous England record set by the great Steve Bloomer before the First World War. Gordon Astall, playing in place of the unavailable Stanley Matthews, scored on his debut. England were leading 3-0 when Taylor limped off following a collision with the Finnish goalkeeper. The record-breaking goal by Lotfhouse in the eighty-second minute was a freak effort, the ball rolling gently over the goal-line between two defenders who left the clearance duties to each other. 

No 80

West Germany, Berlin, 26.5.56. England won 3-1

R. Matthews   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards1        

Astall   Haynes1   Taylor T   Wilshaw   Grainger1

Highlights: This match is remembered as the finest ever played on the international stage by Duncan Edwards, who was fresh from helping Manchester United win the League championship. He strode the pitch like a colossus, scoring a scorcher of a goal from twenty yards in the twentieth minute and dominating the entire game both in defence and midfield. Nearly half the 100,000 crowd in the stadium designed by Adolf Hitler were soldiers from the British-occupied zone of Berlin. They staged a delighted pitch invasion when second-half goals from Johnny Haynes and Colin Grainger clinched victory. Fritz Walter, the outstanding German skipper, scored a fine individual goal for the team he had led to the World Cup two years earlier. The name of Duncan Edwards was on the lips of everybody who saw this match. He was phenomenal. There have been few individual performances to match what he produced in Germany that day. He tackled like a lion, attacked at every opportunity and topped it all off with a cracker of a goal. He was still only twenty, and was already a world-class player. Many of the thousands of British soldiers in the crowd surrounded him at the final whistle and carried him off. England had beaten the world champions in their own back yard.

No 81

Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, 6.10.56. Drew 1-1

R. Matthews   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*              Edwards

S. Matthews1   Revie   Taylor T   Wilshaw   Grainger

Highlights: A rare goal from Stanley Matthews (his eleventh and last in international football) after just two minutes gave England a dream start, but they were hustled out of their stride by a Northern Ireland team motivated by a dazzling performance from skipper Danny Blanchflower.  Jimmy McIlroy equalised after ten minutes when goalkeeper Reg Matthews palmed a long throw from Peter McParland into his path.  McIlroy was faced with an open goal five minutes from the end but hit a post. If he had found the net, it would have given Northern Ireland their first home win over England since 1927.  There was a lot of good-natured ribbing of Stanley Matthews over his goal. His last goal for England had been eight years earlier, also against Northern Ireland and also at Windsor Park. Jackie Blanchflower, Danny’s brother and always a quick wit, asked: ‘Why does he always pick on us?’ Danny himself came into the dressing-room after the match and told Stanley that he had been a schoolboy spectator in short trousers when he scored his last goal. ‘You’ll have a long beard by the time I score the next one,’ said Stanley, with that poker-faced humour of his. Danny had a magnificent match, and it was clear the Irish were getting a powerful team together for their World Cup challenge.

No 82

Wales, Wembley, 14.11.56. England won 3-1

Ditchburn   Hall   R Byrne  Clayton   Wright*   Dickinson

Matthews   Brooks1   Finney1   Haynes1   Grainger

Highlights: This Home Championship match was wrecked by an injury to Welsh goalkeeper Jack Kelsey, who was carried off after being knocked out diving at the feet of Tom Finney. The incident came while the Welsh supporters were celebrating an eighth minute goal from John Charles, who rose above Billy Wright’s challenge to head in an Ivor Allchurch corner. Right-back Alf Sherwood took over in the Welsh goal, and from then on England were dominant despite the stirring efforts of John Charles to turn the tide. Second-half goals from Johnny Haynes, debutant Johnny Brooks and the versatile Tom Finney at centre-forward gave England an undistinguished victory. This was England’s seventh successive win at Wembley. The subject of whether substitutes should be allowed  was again a major talking point. Wales started full of fire and were obviously going to give England a difficult afternoon, but then the injury to goalkeeper Jack Kelsey robbed them of their rhythm. They also had Mel Charles as a hobbling passenger for much of the match, and we were handicapped by injuries to Colin Grainger and Johnny Haynes. It would have made sense to at least allow substitute goalkeepers, but the powers-that-be refused to follow the lead of the Continental clubs who were using substitutes more and more. It would be another nine years before they at last saw sense and allowed substitutes.

No 83

Yugoslavia, Wembley, 28.11.56. England won 3-0

Ditchburn   Hall   R Byrne   Clayton   Wright*   Dickinson        

Matthews   Brooks1   Finney   Haynes (T Taylor2)   Blunstone

Highlights: Johnny Haynes was heavily tackled by Yugoslav right-back Belin in the thirtieth minute, and was unable to continue. It had been agreed beforehand that substitutes would be allowed in the case of injury and Tommy Taylor came on in place of the limping Fulham player. England had taken a thirteenth minute lead when Johnny Brooks fired the ball high into the net after taking a neat pass from Haynes. England dominated throughout the second half and Taylor scored twice, while his Manchester United team-mate Roger Byrne had a penalty saved by world-class Yugoslav goalkeeper Vladimir Beara. Stanley Matthews ran the Yugoslav left-back into such a state of confusion that he finally resorted to rugby tackling him in a bid to stop his dribbling runs. England would have had half a dozen goals but for the magnificent goalkeeping of Beara. The Yugoslavs had no idea how to contain Stanley Matthews, and after he had been rugby tackled he said, ‘For a minute I thought the game had been switched to Twickenham.’

No 84

Denmark, Molineux, 5.12.56. England won 5-2

Ditchburn   Hall   R Byrne   Clayton   Wright*   Dickinson

Matthews   Brooks   T Taylor3   Edwards2   Finney

Highlights: England’s World Cup campaign got under way with this convincing victory over Denmark on Billy Wright’s home ground of Molineux. The match was distinguished by a hat-trick from Tommy Taylor and two spectacular goals from his Manchester United team-mate Duncan Edwards, who played at inside-left in place of the injured Johnny Haynes. Edwards scored with two booming long-range shots, had another shot wondrously saved and nearly uprooted a post with another thunderbolt from a free-kick. England had been drawn in a three team group with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland, and this convincing performance underlined why they were rated among the favourites for the World Cup. It was as if Manchester United had taken over Molineux! Roger Byrne was the outstanding player in England’s defence, and up front Tommy Taylor and Duncan Edwards showed the power that had taken United to the top of the First Division in defence of their title. It was like a home match for Duncan, who had many of his family from Dudley watching from the stand.

No 85

Scotland, Wembley, 6.4.57. England won 2-1

Hodgkinson   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards1  

Matthews   Thompson T   Finney   Kevan1   Grainger

Highlights: Duncan Edwards snatched victory for England six minutes from the end with a blistering twenty-five yard shot that thumped into the net off a post. The Scots had got off to a flying start when Sheffield United goalkeeper Alan Hodgkinson had to pick the ball out of his net just a minute into his debut. He was beaten by a snap shot from Clyde winger Tommy Ring after he had intercepted a pass meant for Stanley Matthews. Derek Kevan, making his debut in place of Johnny Haynes, equalised in the sixty-second minute with a diving header from a Colin Grainger cross. Scottish fans were convinced they were robbed when Willie Fernie bundled the ball into the net after it had been dropped by Hodgkinson following a jolting Lawrie Reilly shoulder-charge. The Dutch referee ruled that the goalkeeper had both feet off the ground when contact was made. Tommy Docherty was the pick of the Scottish players, giving a powerhouse performance in midfield and completely shutting out his Preston team-mate Tommy Thompson, who was winning his first cap for six years. The winning goal was set up by Matthews, who beat two defenders before squaring the ball into the path of Edwards. He hit a fierce first-time shot wide of goalkeeper Tommy Younger.

No 86

Republic of Ireland, Wembley, 8.5.57. England won 5-1

Hodgkinson   Hall   R Byrne   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards          

Matthews   Atyeo2   T Taylor3   Haynes   Finney

Highlights: A second successive Tommy Taylor hat-trick – all his goals coming in the first-half - and two from John Atyeo crushed an outgunned Irish team in this second of England’s four World Cup qualifying matches.  This was, sadly, to be the last match in which Jeff Hall and Roger Byrne were to partner each other. Jeff contracted polio and died on April 4 1959. Born in Scunthorpe on September  7 1929, he started his career as an amateur with Bradford Park Avenue before becoming a regular in Birmingham City’s defence. He would have had, statistically, the best individual England record of any player but for the 2-1 defeat by Wales in 1955. In 17 matches he was on the beaten side only once. England won twelve of the games and drew four. Roger Byrne was his partner in every game.

No 87

Denmark, Copenhagen, 15.5.57. England won 4-1

Hodgkinson   Hall   R Byrne   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards  

Matthews     Atyeo1   T Taylor2   Haynes1   Finney

Highlights: This World Cup qualifier was to prove the international swansong of ‘Mr Football’ Stanley Matthews, who was retired from the world stage at the age of forty-two and twenty-two years after the first of his fifty-four caps. Denmark took the lead in the twenty-fifth minute, with Johnny Haynes equalising just before half-time. It was not until the final fifteen minutes that England got on top against a brave Danish team briefly reduced by injury to ten men. Tommy Taylor scored twice to take his haul in four matches to ten goals. Taylor’s double strike came either side of a seventy-fifth minute goal by John Atyeo, who rose at the far post to head in a Johnny Haynes centre. Even at forty-two, there were many who considered Stanley’s England career had been finished too early. Just his name on the team sheet would have given England a psychological advantage when they played in the 1958 World Cup finals.  

No 88

Republic of Ireland, Dalymount Park, 19.5.57. Drew 1-1

Hodgkinson   Hall   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards              

Finney   Atyeo1   Taylor T   Haynes   Pegg

Highlights: England, needing a point to qualify for the World Cup finals, were rocked and shocked by a third minute goal from Dublin-born winger Alf Ringstead. He crashed a loose ball wide of his Sheffield United team-mate Alan Hodgkinson to send the capacity crowd in Dalymount Park wild.  From then on England struggled to make any impact against an inspired Irish defence in which Bournemouth goalkeeper Tommy Godwin and Millwall centre-half Charlie Hurley were outstanding. The game was into its last minute when Tom Finney fired over a perfect cross for John Atyeo to head a superbly taken equaliser that gave relieved England a passport to Sweden. David Pegg, who came in for the injured Stanley Matthews, won his only cap before becoming one of the victims of the Munich air crash. Atyeo’s goal saved England a lot of embarrassment, and a hammering from the press. The selectors rewarded John by never selecting him again! He returned to Bristol where he created new goal scoring and appearance records for City before concentrating full-time on his teaching career. He eventually became a headmaster, which he had always been on the football pitch.

No 89

Wales, Ninian Park, 19.10.57. England won 4-0 (own goal1)

Hopkinson   Howe D   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards          

Douglas   Kevan   Taylor T   Haynes2   Finney1

Highlights: Wales were in trouble from the moment early in the game when left-back Mel Hopkins passed the ball wide of goalkeeper Jack Kelsey and into his own net.  Missing the powerful influence of the absent John Charles, Wales caved in to two goals from Johnny Haynes and a brilliant strike from Tom Finney. Goalkeeper Eddie Hopkinson, right-back Don Howe and outside-right Bryan Douglas  - the ‘new Matthews’ -  all made impressive debuts. There was another debutant. Middlesbrough’s Harold Shepherdson was having his first match as trainer, a job he would hold for sixteen years.

No 90 

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 6.11.57. England lost 3-2

Hopkinson   Howe D   Byrne R   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards1        

Douglas   Kevan   Taylor T   Haynes   A’Court1

Highlights: Skipper Danny Blanchflower and goalkeeper Harry Gregg were carried off shoulder high by celebrating Irish fans after this unexpected victory that ended England’s sixteen-match unbeaten run. Burnley schemer Jimmy McIlroy gave Ireland a first-half lead with a penalty shot that hit a post and then went into the net off the back of goalkeeper Hopkinson. The penalty had been conceded by Billy Wright with one of the few fouls he ever committed in an England shirt. Liverpool winger Alan A’Court, making his debut in place of the injured Tom Finney, equalised soon after half-time before McCrory and Simpson - with a goal hotly disputed by England - put the Irish 3-1 clear. Duncan Edwards pulled back a goal, but Ireland went on to their first victory over England since 1927 and the first on English soil since 1914. Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Harry Gregg, later to join Manchester United and survive the Munich air crash, had a game to remember, making at least half a dozen crucial saves. The third Irish goal looked at least two yards off-side and England’s defenders could not believe it when the linesman’s flag stayed down.

No 91

France, Wembley, 27.11.57. England won 4-0

Hopkinson   D Howe   R Byrne   Clayton   Wright*   Edwards          

Douglas   R Robson2   T Taylor2   Haynes  Finney

Highlights: Bryan Douglas had a storming game, and three of the four England goals came from his crosses. Bobby Robson, winning his first cap, scored two goals as did Tommy Taylor. Tragically, they were to be his last for England. The game was so one sided that it was almost reduced to French farce, with England hammering in twenty shots to none from France in the last twenty minutes. Only one of them produced a goal, Bobby Robson hitting the back of the net at the end of a seven-man movement to underline his arrival as a force in international football. Three months later England lost three of their major players, Roger Byrne, Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor, to the Munich air crash that devastated the Manchester United team.

No 92

Scotland, Hampden Park, 19.4.58. England won 4-0

Hopkinson   D Howe   Langley   Clayton   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas1   R Charlton1   Kevan2   Haynes   Finney

Highlights: Bobby Charlton, a Munich survivor, electrified the first of his 106 England appearances with a classical goal when he connected with a Tom Finney cross on the volley to send it flashing into the Scotland net from the edge of the penalty area. His wonder strike came in the sixty-second minute after Bryan Douglas had headed England into a first-half lead and then laid on the first of two goals for Derek Kevan. Fulham’s Jim Langley made a commendable debut in place of the sadly missed Roger Byrne, with Wolverhampton’s Bill Slater taking on the impossible job of following Duncan Edwards. The nearest Scotland came to scoring was when a Jackie Mudie header hit the bar midway through the second-half, by which time England were sitting on a cushion of three goals. Kevan wrapped it up for England fifteen minutes from the end after Johnny Haynes, Bobby Charlton and Bill Slater had cut open the Scottish defence with a procession of precise passes.

No 93

Portugal, Wembley, 7.5.58. England won 2-1

Hopkinson   D Howe            Langley   Clayton   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas   R Charlton2   Kevan   Haynes   Finney

Highlights: Two goals from Bobby Charlton  - the second, a scorching shot similar to that which rocked the Scots -  rescued England from the brink of defeat. Portugal created enough chances to have won the game, but their finishing was feeble. Jim Langley failed to score from the penalty spot, one of only two misses throughout his career. It was the fourth penalty miss in a row in an international match at Wembley..

No 94

Yugoslavia, Belgrade, 11.5.58. England lost 5-0

Hopkinson   Howe   Langley   Clayton   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas   Charlton R   Kevan   Haynes   Finney

Highlights: All the confidence and cohesion built up in the England team pre-Munich had disappeared, and they found this World Cup warm-up match in Belgrade too hot to handle in more ways than one. The game was played in a heat wave with temperatures in the high nineties, and three of the Yugoslav goals came in the last ten minutes with several of the England players close  to exhaustion. The match was a personal nightmare for Jim Langley, who was run ragged by three-goal right winger Petacavic. It was a particularly testing trip for Bobby Charlton. He was back in Belgrade where the Busby Babes had played their final match. The last leg of the flight had meant landing at and taking off  from Munich. It was a defeat that underlined just how much England had gone back since the Munich air crash. They were disjointed and totally lacking any sort of team pattern. If anything, the final scoreline flattered England and it did severe damage to their confidence with the World Cup finals so close.

No 95

USSR, Moscow, 18.5.58. Drew 1-1

McDonald   Howe D   Banks T   Clamp   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas   Robson R   Kevan1   Haynes   Finney

Highlights: For this final match before the World Cup finals, Eddie Clamp came in at right-half to make an all-Wolves half-back line with clubmates Billy Wright and Bill Slater. Colin McDonald took over in goal and Bolton’s tough-tackling Tommy Banks was called in at left-back. After the jolting defeat in Yugoslavia, England gave a much more disciplined performance in the new Lenin Stadium and a Derek Kevan goal just before half-time gave them a draw against a Russian side rated one of the best in Europe. England might have won but for the goalkeeping of the great ‘Man in Black’ Lev Yashin, and the intervention of the woodwork when first Tom Finney and then Derek Kevan struck shots against a post. The shock after the match was that Brian Clough, Middlesbrough’s untried goal master, was told he was not needed for the World Cup squad. Cloughie had scored 42 goals in League and Cup matches that season and was in red-hot form. Cloughie made no secret of his displeasure. It made no sense to most people that the selectors decided to leave behind not only Brian Clough, but also the vastly experienced Nat Lofthouse and the living legend Stanley Matthews. Lofty had been in devastating form in the FA Cup final against Manchester United when his two goals virtually won the trophy for Bolton. The selectors could also have considered the young Chelsea whizkid Jimmy Greaves. For some reason they chose to take only twenty players, when twenty-two were allowed in each squad. England arrived in Sweden just two days before the kick-off to the tournament and were hardly the best prepared team going into the finals.

No 96

USSR, World Cup, Gothenburg, 8.6.58. Drew 2-2

McDonald   Howe D   Banks T   Clamp   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas   Robson R   Kevan1   Haynes   Finney1

Highlights: Tom Finney coolly placed a penalty wide of Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin six minutes from the final whistle to give England a draw in their opening World Cup match against a Russian team much changed from the side they had played in Moscow the previous month. The Russians had led 2-0 with twenty minutes to go, and it looked all over for England until Bryan Douglas created a goal for Derek Kevan. After Finney had scored the equaliser from the penalty spot, a furious  Lev Yashin got hold of the referee and spun him around like a top. Incredibly, he was allowed to stay on the field. He was protesting over the award of the penalty because he considered the tackle had been made outside the box. In the closing moments a crushing tackle on Finney damaged his knee and put him out of the rest of the tournament.

No 97

Brazil, World Cup,  Gothenburg, 11.6.58. Drew 0-0

McDonald   Howe D   Banks T   Clamp   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas   Robson R   Kevan   Haynes   A’Court

Highlights: This was the only World Cup match in which eventual champions Brazil failed to score, and it was due mainly to the defensive tactics worked out by Walter Winterbottom’s assistant Bill Nicholson, who had watched their opening match against Austria. The Brazilians were not allowed to get into their smooth rhythm. The nearest they got to breaking down the disciplined England defence was when Vava rocked the crossbar with a shot from twenty yards. Bill Slater played a key role in what was a triumph for England, sticking close to their ball master Didi and not giving him room to produce his devastating passes. The result forced the Brazilians to re-think, and they were persuaded to call up two exceptional but untested individualists: Garrincha and Pele. The rest is World Cup history!  Slater finished the match with bruises on the inside of both knees where he had kept banging them together to stop Didi pulling off his favourite trick of threading the ball through an opponent’s legs – now known as the nutmeg.

No 98

Austria, World Cup, Borås, 15.6.58. Drew 2-2

McDonald   Howe D    Banks T   Clamp   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas   Robson R   Kevan1   Haynes1    A’Court

Highlights: England, needing to beat Austria to qualify for the quarter-finals, were trailing 1-0 at half-time to a thunderbolt of a  goal scored from thirty yards by left-half Koller. Johnny Haynes equalised ten minutes into the second half, and then the Austrians regained the lead following a corner. The ball was cleared to Koerner, who beat goalkeeper Colin McDonald with another long-range shot. Derek Kevan, whose bulldozing tactics had brought him severe criticism, pulled England level again ten minutes from the end after running on to a Johnny Haynes pass. Five minutes later they celebrated what they thought was a winning goal after Bobby Robson had breasted down the ball and shot all in one sweet movement. The referee ruled that Kevan had obstructed the goalkeeper. This draw meant England had to play off against Russia, their third meeting in a month. England were fuming over Bobby Robson’s disallowed goal. Derek Kevan’s challenge on the goalkeeper would have been perfectly acceptable in the English league. There was a different interpretation of the rules by Continental referees. Most experts were fully expecting Bobby Charlton to be called in for his World Cup debut for the deciding match against the Russians, but Walter Winterbottom and the selectors decided the pressure would be too great for him.

No 99

USSR, World Cup, Gothenburg, 17.6.58. England lost 1-0

McDonald   Howe D    Banks T   Clayton   Wright*   Slater           

Brabrook   Broadbent   Kevan  Haynes   A’Court

Highlights: Chelsea winger Peter Brabrook came in for his debut along with Wolves inside-forward Peter Broadbent, but Bobby Charlton was left kicking his heels on the touchline. Brabrook almost became an instant hero with a shot that struck the Russian post and then bounced into Yashin’s hands. In the second-half he had a goal disallowed before the Russians scored the winning goal when Ilyin’s shot went in off a post to put England out of the World Cup. When England arrived back in London, Walter Winterbottom was met at the airport by his young son, Alan, who asked the question on the lips of thousands of football fans: ‘Daddy, why didn’t you play Bobby Charlton?’

No 100

Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, 4.10.58. Drew 3-3

McDonald   D Howe   T Banks   Clayton   Wright*   McGuinness    

Brabrook   Broadbent   R Charlton2   Haynes   Finney1

Highlights: Northern Ireland and England concocted a thriller on a waterlogged, mudheap of a pitch. Bobby Charlton, playing at centre-forward, scored with two thunderbolt shots to add fuel to the arguments that he should have been let off the leash in the World Cup. The Irish bravely led three times through Cush, Peacock and Casey as they searched for their first victory over England in Belfast since 1927. Bobby Charlton’s two equalising goals sandwiched England's second goal by Tom Finney. This was a memorable milestone for the Preston Plumber. It was his thirtieth goal for England, a new all-time scoring record. Two Manchester United youngsters took the eye. Twenty-year-old Wilf McGuinness, another of the Busy Babes, won the first of what would surely have been many England caps but for a broken leg virtually ending his career in 1961.  Wilf, later to have an uncomfortable spell in charge at Old Trafford, would have been on the Munich flight but for staying behind in Manchester for a cartilage operation. The star of the match was Bobby Charlton, and it revived the question that had been asked so many times in Sweden, ‘Why oh why was he not selected for at least one game in the World Cup?’

No 101

USSR, Wembley, 22.10.58. England won 5-0

McDonald   D Howe   G Shaw   Clayton   Wright*   Slater           

Douglas   R Charlton1   Lofthouse1   Haynes3   Finney

Highlights: This was hollow revenge against the Russians for the defeat in the match that really mattered in the World Cup. Johnny Haynes, the pass master, turned goal snatcher with his one and only international hat-trick. Four of England’s goals came in the second-half as goalkeeper Belaev, deputising for the injured Lev Yashin, flapped under non-stop pressure from the lion-hearted Lofthouse, who had been recalled after two years in the international wilderness. He revealed a flash of his old power with a crashing left foot shot for the fifth goal despite a Russian defender having a handful of his shirt. Bobby Charlton’s goal came from the penalty spot. Ronnie Clayton, who was eventually to succeed Billy Wright as skipper, had an outstanding game with his driving performance from midfield, and Graham Shaw made a sound debut at left-back. The BBC television Sportsview team, led by Kenneth Wolstenholme, had been campaigning to have Johnny Haynes replaced. When they reported the match and Johnny’s hat-trick, they appeared in front of the cameras in sackcloth and ashes.  This was notable as Tom Finney’s seventy-sixth and final game for England. No better player ever wore the white shirt. He left the stage quietly when what he deserved was a farewell of fireworks and praise for all he had achieved for England. Tommy was as modest as they come, and he should have received better treatment from the selectors who just suddenly ignored him after an injury and a run of bad form.  

No 102

Wales, Villa Park, 26.11.58. Drew 2-2

McDonald   D Howe   G Shaw   Clayton   Wright*   Flowers           

Clapton   Broadbent2   Lofthouse   R Charlton   A’Court

Highlights: Like Johnny Haynes, Peter Broadbent was more a schemer than a scorer. But, standing in for the injured hat-trick hero, he twice netted equalising goals against a spirited Welsh team. Arsenal winger Danny Clapton was given the impossible job of following Tom Finney. He performed with spirit, but no player could stand comparison with the Preston footballing master. Wales had taken a fifteenth minute lead through Derek Tapscott, who gave Billy Wright a tough time at the heart of the defence. Broadbent neatly lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Jack Kelsey to make it 1-1 just before half-time. Despite the handicap of having injured skipper Dave Bowen as a passenger on the wing for much of the game, Wales continued to press forward in search of their first victory over England for twenty-three years. Ivor Allchurch restored their lead with a shot on the turn in the seventieth minute. England struck back for a second equaliser when Broadbent rose at the far post to head in a centre from Alan A’Court. This was the final England appearance for Nat Lofthouse. He finished with a record-equalling thirty international goals from just thirty-three matches. The Lion of Vienna used to terrorise goalkeepers in an era when the shoulder charge was still accepted as a legitimate weapon. Who can ever forget his treatment of Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg in the 1958 FA Cup final? A few years later, the shoulder charge that put Harry and the ball into the net would have brought Lofty an instant dismissal. For Bolton, it brought them their second decisive goal. It’s a different game now. 

No 103

Scotland, Wembley, 11.4.59. England won 1-0

Hopkinson   D Howe   G Shaw   Clayton   Wright*   Flowers

Douglas   Broadbent   R Charlton1   Haynes   Holden

Highlights: An historic day for Billy Wright when he became the first footballer in the world to win one hundred international caps. A closely fought game was won for England by an acrobatic header from Bobby Charlton after Bryan Douglas had sent over a precise centre in the sixty-second minute. At the final whistle, the England skipper was carried shoulder high to the Wembley dressing-room by his team-mates Don Howe and Ronnie Clayton. Johnny Haynes collected a painful memento of Billy's historic match when a fierce tackle by Dave Mackay left him with a broken little finger on his left hand, and Bryan Douglas limped through much of the game with damaged knee ligaments. Bolton winger Doug Holden won the first of his five caps, and played with pace and fire against a Scottish defence in no mood to concede an inch. Dundee goalkeeper Bill Brown was the man of the match, denying Bobby Charlton a hat-trick of goals with magnificent saves. It was a performance that convinced Tottenham manager Bill Nicholson that he should sign Brown for Spurs, and he became a key man in their double year of 1960-61. Carried in triumph the length of the Wembley pitch at the final whistle, Billy Wright was given the sort of ovation reserved only for true sporting gods.  His wife Joy, of Beverley Sisters fame, had given birth to their first daughter, Victoria, just six days earlier and had been allowed out of hospital to watch the game. The Scots did their best to spoil the party by playing their hearts out, but Bobby Charlton scored yet another crackerjack goal to underline that he was a young genius at the game.

No 104

Italy, Wembley, 6.5.59. Drew 2-2

Hopkinson   Howe   G Shaw   Clayton   Wright*   Flowers           

Bradley1   Broadbent   R Charlton1   Haynes   Holden

Highlights: England were reduced to ten men when Ron Flowers went off with a broken nose with England leading 2-0. The goals were scored in the first-half by Manchester United team-mates Bobby Charlton and Warren Bradley, a schoolmaster who was making his debut on the right wing. By the time Flowers returned to the defence seventeen minutes later the young, experimental Italian team had drawn level. The Italians were fielding the first all home-born team for twenty-five years following a ruling from FIFA that in future teams could not include players capped by another country. There was an embarrassing start to the game. When they stood to attention before the match the Italian players were astonished to hear the banned Mussolini-era national anthem being played. This had been replaced after the war. Every Italian restaurant in Britain must have been short of staff because Italy had thousands of supporters in the crowd, and they whistled and hooted as the anthem was played. But for some cracking saves by goalkeeper Eddie Hopkinson the Italian fans would have had a victory to cheer.

No 105

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, 13.5.59. England lost 2-0

Hopkinson   Howe D  Armfield   Clayton   Wright*   Flowers        

Deeley   Broadbent   Charlton R   Haynes   Holden

Highlights: England’s first match of a four-game summer tour was a minor test against the new world champions in front of 185,000 screaming fans in the Maracana Stadium in Rio. Bobby Charlton and Johnny Haynes rapped shots against the post after England had gone 2-0 down to early goals against a Brazilian team that featured both Didi and Pele in a rare appearance together. Blackpool’s Jimmy Armfield was given a chasing he will not forget by Julinho in what was a baptism of fire for the Blackpool defender. He was called in to partner Don Howe in an out-of-club position at left-back. Norman Deeley, small, direct Wolves winger, was the fifth player to wear the number seven shirt since the departure of the one and only Tom Finney. Goalkeeper Eddie Hopkinson saved two certain goals from Pele, but could do nothing to stop a thunderbolt from Julinho, who had been picked in preference to the great Garrincha. As Eddie Hopkinson lay on the ground after being beaten all ends up by Julinho’s shot, a posse of Brazilian radio commentators rushed on to the pitch to try to interview him. It is  just as well that they could not translate his direct comments delivered in Lancastrian tones! England were well and truly beaten by the world champions and did well to keep their score down to just two goals. Didi and Pele together was just about the most potent combination that any team in the world could put together. Ronnie Clayton clattered into Pele with a tackle that led to the king being carried off on a stretcher for treatment. He soon came back, but for the rest of the game Clayton’s life was made hell by the Brazilians fans who would not forgive him for hurting their idol. Shortly before he was carried off Pele missed a sitter right in front of an open goal. He was human, after all.

No 106

Peru, Lima, 17.5.59. England lost 4-1

Hopkinson   Howe D   Armfield   Clayton   Wright*   Flowers           

Deeley   Greaves1   Charlton R   Haynes   Holden

Highlights: Jimmy Greaves, nineteen-year-old idol of Chelsea, arrived on the international stage with a neatly taken second-half goal, drawing the goalkeeper off his line before slotting a left foot shot just inside a post. But it was the only bright moment in a miserable England performance. The Peruvians, leading 2-0 at half-time, were helped to four goals by mistakes from a strangely lethargic England defence which had no answer to the thrusting left wing runs of Seminario, who helped himself to a hat-trick.

No 107

Mexico, ciudad de México, 24.5.59. England lost 2-1

Hopkinson   Howe D   Armfield   Clayton   Wright*   McGuinness (Flowers) 

Holden (Bradley)   Greaves   Kevan1   Haynes   Charlton R

Highlights: England scored first through Derek Kevan, but were burned out within an hour of kicking off in high-altitude ciudad de México. Despite officially using substitutes for the first time they were run off their feet in the last 30 minutes. Jimmy Greaves swept the ball into the net just after half-time, but the referee ruled it off-side. Moments later Mexico snatched a second goal and from then on England were on the retreat as they struggled to breathe in Mexico’s thin air. Eddie Hopkinson performed wonders in the England goal, but he was often confused by the flight of the ball. Wilf McGuinness was the first player to be substituted after half an hour. He was affected by the heat and had to go to the dressing-room for an emergency intake of oxygen. Doug Holden was the next player hit by the heat, and he was replaced in the fifty-seventh minute by Warren Bradley. It was a match that Ronnie Clayton would never forget. He had been so badly burned while sunbathing that his back came up in a mass of blisters. They burst during the game, and in the dressing-room afterwards the Mexican doctor bathed the Blackburn skipper’s back with mentholated spirits. It was this more than anything that finally convinced the Football Association that they should follow Walter Winterbottom’s advice and always travel with a team doctor. It was hardly the best organised tour. Ron Flowers at one stage found himself sharing a hotel room with six complete strangers!

No 108

USA, Los Angeles, 28.5.59. England won 8-1

Hopkinson   D Howe   Armfield   Clayton   Wright*   Flowers2         

Bradley1   Greaves   Kevan1   Haynes1   R Charlton3

Highlights: This runaway victory in Billy Wright’s 105th and final match helped wipe out the memory of the 1-0 defeat by the United States in the 1950 World Cup finals, but at one stage it looked as if another embarrassment was on its way. The Americans had an early goal disallowed and then took the lead, and at 1-1 at half-time the football writers were preparing head-chopping stories that were hurriedly rewritten as Bobby Charlton led a second-half goal rush with a hat-trick. The pitch, rarely used for soccer, was gravel at one end and grass at the other. England scored seven of their goals while attacking the grassy end. Charlton’s first hat-trick for England on the way to an all-time record forty-nine goals included a penalty. The suspect American goalkeeper was beaten by four shots from outside the penalty area. The only forward who did not get his name on the scoresheet was one Jimmy Greaves! It was Billy Wright’s farewell game. His England career had started in front of a 57,000 crowd in Belfast in 1946. The finish came in front of just 13,000 fans at the Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. But what a journey he had between the two games, setting a then world record of 105 international appearances. He captained England 90 times and played 70 successive games, a record that still stands.  

No 109

Wales, Ninian Park, 17.10.59. Drew 1-1

Hopkinson   Howe       Allen A.     Clayton*     Smith T,    Flowers               

Connelly     Greaves1     Clough     Charlton R.   Holliday

Highlights: For the first time in 71 matches, England kicked off without the indomitable Billy Wright leading them out. Brian Clough at long last got the England chance his stack of goals with Middlesbrough deserved. Into the team with him from the England Under-23 squad came Tony Allen, John Connelly, Cloughie's clubmate Eddie Holliday and, taking the place of Wright, Birmingham centre-half Trevor Smith. It was a mix that did not work, and it was a first-half Jimmy Greaves goal that saved England from defeat against a Welsh team operating without either of the Charles brothers. The unfortunate Smith spent much of his debut limping with a calf muscle injury in what were pre-substitute days, and he could not prevent twenty-year-old Graham Moore from scoring a late equaliser for Wales. Driving wind and incessant rain made conditions intolerable, and Cloughie later described it as ‘one of the most frustrating games of my life.’ Jack Kelsey, the exceptional Arsenal goalkeeper, made a series of magnificent saves in a weather-wrecked game that rarely rose above the mediocre. Bobby Charlton, for England, and Phil Woosnam, for Wales, occasionally brightened the gloom with flashes of brilliance, but it was a match that would be quickly erased from the memory.

No 110

Sweden, Wembley, 28.10.59. England lost 3-2

Hopkinson   Howe        A Allen    Clayton*     Smith T.   Flowers                

Connelly1    Greaves     Clough      R Charlton1  Holliday

An unchanged team was given a second chance, but a defeat by Sweden signalled the end of the international road for Hopkinson, Smith and Cloughie. They carried the can for a pathetic performance that brought rare jeers from England supporters. The Swedes, World Cup runners-up to Brazil when host nation in 1958, played a smooth, walkabout game punctuated with sudden changes of pace that had England’s defenders exposed to the perils of panic. It all started promisingly for England when John Connelly put the finishing touch to a swift five-man movement, but this was one of the few memorable moments from England for the 72,000 Wembley spectators.  The Swedes rattled the England woodwork twice in the first-half as warning signs of what was to follow. Within 15 minutes of the second-half Sweden were 2-1 in the lead as they tore the England defence apart, and man-of-the-match Agne Simonsson made it 3-1 in the 75th minute. The skilful Swedish centre-forward made such an impression that the next day he was signed by Real Madrid. Jimmy Greaves cleverly created an opening for Bobby Charlton to make it 3-2, but there were plenty of witnesses to the fact that England had been flattened by the Swedes and flattered by the scoreline. It might easily have been a repeat of the six-goal drubbing received from Hungary six years earlier. The ‘dream team’ pairing of Greaves and Clough rarely got out of nightmare territory. Both were instinctive predators, and continually found themselves being drawn to the same place. There was room for only one of them, and it was Greaves who survived. Cloughie was thrown on the scrapheap, and it left him embittered that he was never given another chance. At one stage he had the embarrassment of falling and sitting on the ball close to the Swedish goal-line. ‘It was as if I was trying to hatch the bloody thing,’ he said later. 

No 111

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 18.11.59.  England won 2-1

Springett    Howe       Alien A.     Clayton*    Brown      Flowers

Connelly    Haynes     Baker1      Parry1      Holliday

Highlights: Joe Baker, the Englishman from Hibernian with the broad Scottish accent, and Bolton's Ray Parry were two of nine new caps tried in three matches. Baker gave England the lead with a brilliantly worked goal which was equalized with three minutes to go by Billy Bingham. The match was into its final seconds when Parry snatched the winner. West Ham centre-half Ken Brown gave a solid performance  in the middle of the England defence, but was quickly dumped as the selectors continued their hunt for a successor to Billy Wright. Ron Springett marked his impressive first game in the England goal with a first-half save from a Jimmy Mcllroy penalty.

No 112

Scotland, Hampden Park, 19.4.60. Drew 1-1

Springett    Armfield     Wilson       Clayton*     Slater   Flowers

Connelly     Broadbent   Baker        Parry        R Charlton1 

Highlights: Tottenham brought the club-or-country issue to boiling point by refusing to release their three Scots, Dave Mackay, Bill Brown and John White, for this match. The referee awarded fifty-five free-kicks and three penalties, two of which were missed. Bobby Charlton converted from the penalty spot, and failed to find the net with a second twice-taken penalty. Graham Leggat, partnered by lan St John and Denis Law, scored Scotland's goal following a suicidal back pass from Bill Slater. This gave Scotland a half-time lead over England for the first time since the war, but Charlton’s successful second-half penalty meant they had now gone since 1937 without beating the auld enemy on home territory. Ray Wilson, starting his distinguished England career at left-back, played on despite collecting a broken nose in the second minute, and Joe Baker battled on with a dislocated shoulder. Surely somebody would one day see the sense for substitutes, even if only for injured players?

No 113

Yugoslavia, Wembley, 11.5.60. Drew 3-3

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Clayton*     Swan    Flowers

Douglas1     Haynes1     Baker       Greaves1     Charlton R.

Highlights: England were trailing 3-2 with 90 seconds to go when Joe Baker crashed the ball against the bar, and Johnny Haynes swept in the rebound. Straight from the kick-off an England attack ended with Baker again heading against the bar but this time there was nobody able to turn the ball back into the goal. An England victory would have been an injustice to a Yugoslavian side that played some excellent football, with two-goal Galic continually turning the defence inside out. England led 2-1 after 48 minutes following neatly taken goals either side of half-time by Bryan Douglas and Jimmy Greaves after the Yugoslavs had taken a 30th minute lead. It was a tough debut for the latest candidate for the No. 5 shirt, Peter Swan of Sheffield Wednesday. He replaced Bill Slater, who heard that he was dropped just a few minutes before being told that he had been elected 'Footballer of the Year'. Swan was stranded as Yugoslavia equalised on the hour, and a clever back heel by Galic gave Kosctic the chance to make it 3-2 with 10 minutes to go. This set up the dramatic climax to one of the most exciting international matches witnessed at Wembley.

No 114

Spain, Madrid, 15.5.60. England lost 3-0

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers

Brabrook    Haynes*     Baker       Greaves     Charlton R. 

Highlights: Johnny Haynes took over from the dropped Ronnie Clayton as captain. The rain in Spain was mainly on the pitch and England got bogged down in a midfield that was a mass of mud. Alfredo di Stefano played a reluctant part in the Spanish victory. He wanted to save himself for Real Madrid's European Cup Final date with Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park four days later. Alfredo had a long-running argument on the touchline with the Spanish coaches as he begged to come off, but was he persuaded to play on and help Martinez clinch victory with two goals in the last ten minutes. Di Stefano and his colleagues Gento and del Sol then flew off to Glasgow to join the Real team that conjured one of the great performances of all time in their 7-3 victory over Eintracht. With Jimmy Armfield playing magnificently to control Gento, England gave as good as they got for the first hour, but one of the youngest teams ever picked by Walter Winterbottom and the selectors ran out of steam in the heavy conditions. Spain bossed the last third of the game, and tantalised and teased England with their keep-ball tactics before striking forward to snatch two goals in the last ten minutes.

No 115

Hungary, Budapest, 22.5.60. England lost 2-0

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Robson R.   Swan    Flowers 

Douglas     Haynes*     Baker       Viollett      Charlton R.

Highlights: England missed a sackful of goals because of feeble finishing, but the approach play was an encouraging sign of things to come. They might easily have had the ball in the Hungarian net at least three times in the first-half, but the chances were wasted. Florian Albert, Hungary's new eighteen-year-old centre-forward discovery, scored both goals in the second-half. Dennis Viollett, Manchester United's quick and clever inside-forward, won the first of two caps. With better luck, he might have marked his debut with two goals. It was England’s third and final close-season tour match and though they came home without a victory there was a feeling of optimism that better things were round the corner.

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