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

Part 4:  1960-61 to 1964-65

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. 


No 116

Northern Ireland, Belfast, 8.10.60. England won 5-2

Springett    Armfield     McNeil      R Robson   Swan     Flowers

Douglas1     Greaves2    R Smith1    Haynes*     R Charlton1

Highlights: This victory over a strong Northern Ireland team marked the start of one of the most impressive sequences of results in England football history. Bobby Smith scored with his second kick in international football after Johnny Haynes had rolled a short free-kick into his path. Bobby Robson and Haynes, soon to be Fulham clubmates, were impressive midfield partners in a 4-2-4 formation, and the front four men - Douglas, Greaves, Smith and Bobby Charlton - looked as potent a force as England had fielded for ten years. Middlesbrough's powerfully built Mick McNeil replaced injured Ray Wilson at left-back, and looked comfortable in an England shirt. Two late England goals produced a final scoreline that was unkind to an Irish team in which Danny Blanchflower and Jimmy McIlroy were outstanding. The twinning of Greaves and Smith was a sign of great things to come for both England and Tottenham.

No 117

Luxemburg, Luxemburg, 19.10.60. England won 9-0

Springett    Armfield     McNeil      Robson R.   Swan     Flowers

Douglas     Greaves3    Smith R.2    Haynes*1    Charlton R.3

Highlights: Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Charlton helped themselves to hat-tricks in this World Cup qualifying match against outclassed Luxemburg. Bobby Smith notched two, but the goal of the game was a thundering shot from skipper Johnny Haynes. Walter Winterbottom announced that he had got the selectors to agree that they should make as few changes as possible as he put his faith in a settled team on the way to the 1962 World Cup finals in Chile..

No 118

Spain, Wembley, 26.10.60. England won 4-2

Springett    Armfield     McNeil      Robson R.   Swan   Flowers

Douglas1     Greaves1    Smith R.2    Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: As in Madrid five months earlier, torrential rain turned the pitch into a miniature lake, but this time it was England who kept their feet better against an exceptional Spanish team that included their big shots di Stefano, del Sol, Suarez and Gento. England started and finished their victory romp with classic goals, the first from Jimmy Greaves and the second from Bobby Smith, who delicately chipped the ball over the goalkeeper's head from 20 yards to break the Spanish spirit after they had twice battled back to equalize. One of the outstanding features of the game – as in Madrid - was the duel between Armfield and Gento, with the Blackpool full-back emerging triumphant against one of the greatest wingers of all time. Remembering how Spain had tried to humble them in Madrid with keep-ball passing, England gave the Spaniards a taste of their own medicine and had the Wembley spectators roaring as they stitched together dozens of passes.

No 119

Wales, Wembley, 23.11.60. England won 5-1

Hodgkinson Armfieid     McNeil      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers

Douglas     Greaves2    Smith R.1    Haynes*1    Charlton R.1

Highlights: Jinking Jimmy Greaves scored the first of his two goals in the second minute and Wales were never allowed to recover from this jolting start. The five-goal haul took England's total to twenty-three in four matches. Injury to Ron Springett forced Walter Winterbottom’s first team change for four matches, and the recalled Alan Hodgkinson gave a sound display at the back of an England defence that was rarely under pressure. England were comfortable with their 4-2-4 formation, which worked so well because of the midfield understanding of Johnny Haynes and Bobby Robson.

No 120

Scotland, Wembley, 15.4.61. England won 9-3

Springett    Armfield     McNeil      Robson R.1   Swan    Flowers

Douglas'     Greaves3    Smith R.2    Haynes*2    Charlton R.

Highlights: This was the peak performance by Walter Winterbottom's new team. Bobby Robson started the ball rolling with a 20-yard shot that left goalkeeper Frank Haffey flapping at empty air in the 9th minute. Greaves struck twice, putting the finishing touches to moves masterminded by Haynes. The Scots, including players of the quality of Billy McNeill, Dave Mackay and lan St John, pulled back to 3-2 early in the second-half before they were sunk under a storm of five goals in eleven minutes. Haffey was picked on by the Scots as the scapegoat for the defeat, and he was cruelly dubbed 'Slap-Haffey'. But neutral observers considered this an exceptional display by England in general and Haynes in particular. He pulled the Scottish defence apart with a procession of precise passes, and was chaired off the pitch by team-mates at the end of the nine-goal slaughter. Hat-trick hero Greaves (12) and Smith (7) had scored nineteen goals between them in five matches at the start of a partnership that was later to flourish for ‘Super Spurs’ who (minus Greaves) were on their way to becoming the first team of the 20th Century to complete the League and FA Cup double.

No 121

Mexico, Wembley, 10.5.61. England won 8-0

Springett    Armfield     McNeil      Robson R.1   Swan      Flowers1

Douglas2     Kevan       Hitchens1    Haynes*     Charlton R.3

Highlights: Bobby Smith was injured and Jimmy Greaves suspended by Chelsea (for refusing to go on a club tour to Israel on the eve of his move to AC Milan), but the goal floodgates were still kicked open by England. Gerry Hitchens made a sensational start to his England career, scoring with his first shot after just 90 seconds. Bobby Charlton, a blond bombshell on the left wing, hammered his first international hat-trick as England took their goals tally to an astonishing forty in six matches. Derek Kevan played in place of Greaves, and missed three gilt-edged scoring opportunities. The question on many lips was, ‘How many goals would whizkid Jimmy Greaves have helped himself to against the overwhelmed Mexican defence?’

No 122

Portugal, Lisbon, 21.5.61. Drew 1-1

Springett    Armfield    McNeil      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers1

Douglas     Greaves     Smith R.     Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: A mix-up between goalkeeper Ron Springett and Bobby Robson let Portugal in for the first goal of the match just after half-time in a World Cup qualifier played in extreme heat. Ron Flowers crashed in the vital equalizer nine minutes from the end with a free-kick that took a slight deflection on the way into the net. The Portuguese side was adorned with eight players from the exceptional Benfica team, including magnificent goalkeeper Costa Pereira who pulled off a series of stunning saves to prevent England from getting the victory their more enterprising play deserved. Skipper Johnny Haynes was once against the main inspiration with his precise passes from a midfield command post.

No 123

Italy, Rome, 24.5.61. England won 3-2

Springett    Armfield     McNeil      Robson R.   Swan     Flowers

Douglas     Greaves1     Hitchens2    Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: The Italians, parading the gifted Argentinean-born Omar Sivori as the ace in their pack, took control after the shock of going behind to an early goal by Gerry Hitchens. Sivori equalized with a flashing shot after side-stepping a challenge, and Italy's domination was rewarded with a second goal that convinced Sivori victory was complete and he started playing to the crowd. But his exhibitionism proved premature. Jimmy Greaves raced 40 yards to lay on an equalizer for Hitchens, whose performance persuaded Inter Milan that they should buy him. Greaves, due to join AC Milan, capped a magnificent performance when five minutes from the end he raced on to a Haynes pass and steered the ball wide of Italy's substitute goalkeeper. He had come on for Button, who was carried off after a brave dive at the feet of Haynes had left him with a broken nose. Haynes led the England players on a lap of honour at the end as the 100,000 crowd whistled and hooted both them and their own players. It was a famous victory to rank alongside the 1948 triumph in Turin.

No 124

Austria, Vienna, 27.5.61. England lost 3-1

Springett    Armfield     Angus       Miller       Swan       Flowers

Douglas     Greaves1     Hitchens     Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: England's run of eight matches without defeat (W7 Dl LO F44 A11) ended in the Prater Stadium. The Austrians played a clever retreating defensive game and concentrated on hitting England with quick counter-attacks. Jimmy Greaves equalized their early goal, but the England defence - in which Burnley team-mates John Angus and Brian Miller were winning their only caps - lacked its usual understanding and they conceded two late goals against an innovative Austrian attack. The demand of playing three games in seven days proved too much for an England team that wilted after matching the Austrians for the first hour.  

No 125

Luxemburg, Highbury, 28.9.61. England won 4-1

Springett    Armfield*    McNeil      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers

Douglas     Fantham     Pointer1     Vioilett1      Charlton R.2

Highlights: With Greaves and Hitchens otherwise engaged in Italy and Haynes injured, Johnny Fantham, Ray Pointer and Dennis Vioilett teamed up together for the first time in this World Cup qualifier. It was a combination that struggled to get into gear against the part-timers of Luxemburg, who had been swamped 9-0 in the first meeting. The Highbury crowd continually booed and slow-handclapped England, but they were finally silenced by two long-range goals from Charlton - one from his left foot and the other from his right. The following month the same Luxemburg team caused one of the greatest of all upsets in the World Cup qualifying rounds when they beat Portugal 4-2.

No 126

Wales, Ninian Park, 14.10.61. Drew 1-1

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers

Connelly     Douglas1     Pointer      Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: Bryan Douglas, having switched from the wing to the role of inside forward between Burnley team-mates John Connelly and Ray Pointer, scored the 44th minute goal that gave England a draw in what Welsh idol John Charles described as 'the toughest international match in which I've played.’ England's walking wounded at the end included Pointer (concussion), Flowers (gashed face) and Armfield (pulled muscle). Wales took a 30th minute lead with a strange goal. Centre-half Peter Swan tangled with Caerdydd City centre-forward David Ward, and as he challenged for the ball his boot came off. In the confusion that followed Graham Williams steered the loose ball into the England net to send the 62,000 Ninian Park crowd into ecstasy. There was more muscle than method in a goalless second-half in which England produced little quality play to boost confidence before their upcoming crucial World Cup qualifier against Portugal.

No 127

Portugal, Wembley, 25.10.61. England won 2-0

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers

Connelly1    Douglas     Pointer1      Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: Portugal needed to win to qualify for the World Cup finals ahead of England, but their hopes died as John Connelly and Ray Pointer scored a goal each inside the first 10 minutes. Eusebio, the new shooting star of Benfica, rattled the England woodwork with two shots in the closing stages. The near 100,000 crowd produced what were record Wembley receipts of £52,500. England had booked their tickets to the World Cup finals in Chile, but they had lost much of the power and rhythm that had made them such an impressive force six months earlier, and the selectors again started to tinker with the team. Jimmy Greaves, having a miserable time with AC Milan in Italy, was notable by his absence.

No 128

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 22.11.61. Drew 1-1

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers

Douglas     Byrne       Crawford    Haynes*     Charlton R.1     

Highlights: The selectors tried yet another attack combination, this time pairing Ipswich centre-forward Ray Crawford with Johnny 'Budgie' Byrne, who was making a name for himself in the Third Division with Crystal Palace. They were never comfortable with each other against an Irish team in which Danny Blanchflower was in imperious form. The game was decorated with a goal each from Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Mcllroy, and the Irish could claim to have been unlucky only to get a draw. England’s forwards too often played like passing strangers, and there was little sign of the confidence with which the team had started the year.

No 129

Wembley, 4.4.62. England won 3-1       

Springett    Armfield    Wilson      Anderson    Swan   Flowers1     

Connelly    Hunt1      Crawford1    Haynes*     Charlton R.                    

Highlights: England avenged the defeat in Vienna of the previous year thanks mainly to the midfield domination of Johnny Haynes, who kept picking holes in the massed Austrian defence with low, angled passes. Five goal chances fell to the feet of Liverpool striker Roger Hunt, who was making his debut along with Sunderland's rugged Stan Anderson. Hunt was able to score from only one of the opportunities, and the London press started the Greaves v. Hunt debate that was to last throughout their careers. It is worth pointing out here that Jimmy and Roger have nothing but the highest respect for each other and that the 'bitter rivalry' between them was manufactured by the media 

No 130                                                                                                           

Scotland, Hampden Park, 14.4.62. England lost 2-0                                      

Springett    Armfield    Wilson      Anderson    Swan       Flowers                                

Douglas     Greaves     Smith R.     Haynes*     Chariton R.                                    

Highlights: For the first time in fifteen games, England failed to score and this was as much due to the tight Scottish defence as the misfiring of the England attack that had new Tottenham team-mates Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Smith back in harness. The Scots were determined to avenge their 9-3 hammering of 1961, and 'SlimJim Baxter, Pat Crerand and John White gave them midfield control, while Denis Law and lan St John were a couple of buzzsaws in attack. A Davie Wilson goal in the 13th minute and a penalty by Eric Caldow in the closing moments gave Scotland their first home victory over England since 1937.  Johnny Haynes claimed a goal when his shot bounced down off the underside of the bar, but the referee waved play on. For the first time for thirty-five years England had failed to win a match in the Home Championship. All the flair, the panache and the confidence of a year ago seemed to have disintegrated.

No 131

Switzerland, Wembley, 9.5.62. England won 3-1

Springett    Armfield   Wilson      Robson R.   Swan       Flowers

Connelly1    Greaves     Hitchens1    Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: Only a series of stunning saves by Ron Springett saved England from defeat after they had swept to a 3-1 lead in the first half hour with goals from Ron Flowers, Gerry Hitchens and John Connelly. Hitchens and Greaves smacked shots against the woodwork, but England became caught in the clutches of complacency and the Swiss staged a second-half revival that brought the best out of Springett. The major concern for England - with the World Cup finals looming - was that the ‘Dynamic Duo’ of Johnny Haynes and Bobby Robson had lost their powers of command. Suddenly, the shadow of the selectors’ axe hung over Robson, who had given a procession of brilliant performances during the peak moments of his 20-cap career. Now a new young player was challenging for his place. His name: Bobby Moore.

No 132                                                                                                                              

Lima, 20.5.62. England won 4-0

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Moore      Norman     Flowers

Douglas     Greaves3    Hitchens     Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: The final warm-up match before the 1962 World Cup finals was notable for a hat-trick from Jimmy Greaves and the cool, commanding debut performance of twenty-one-year-old West Ham wing-half Bobby Moore. Ron Flowers gave England the lead from the penalty spot before Greaves scored his three goals. Jimmy also put a shot against a post and Johnny Haynes hit the crossbar. Ron Springett saved a spot-kick to become the first England goalkeeper to make two penalty saves. Tottenham centre-half Maurice Norman made his bow at the heart of the defence after Peter Swan had pulled out with tonsillitis.

No 133

Hungary, World Cup, Rancagua, 31.5.62. England lost 2-1

Springett    Armfield    Wilson      Moore      Norman     Flowers                     

Douglas     Greaves     Hitchens     Haynes*     Charlton R. 

Highlights: A depressing start to the World Cup. Ron Springett was deceived by the flight of a harmless-looking 15-yard shot from Tichy in the 20th minute, and from then on England were struggling to get into the game on a wet, slippery surface that made every step a challenge. Fifteen minutes into the second-half a goal-bound Greaves shot was handled on the line, and Ron Flowers scored from the penalty spot. Flowers was then reluctantly responsible for Hungary's winning goal. He slipped on the soaked turf and left Florian Albert free to race away and score with a low shot. The form England had flourished 13 months earlier in the 9-3 slaughter of Scotland seemed light years away.

No 134

Argentina, World Cup, Rancagua, 2.6.62. England won 3-1

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Moore      Norman     Flowers1                        

Douglas     Greaves1     Peacock     Haynes*     Charlton R.1

Highlights: Alan Peacock, evading the brutal attentions of Argentine captain Ruben Navarro, thought he had started his international career with an early goal when he headed a Charlton cross wide of the goalkeeper. But Navarro managed to push the ball out with his hand. Ice-cool Flowers scored from the spot for the third successive match. Charlton then crashed in one of his specials, and midway through the second half Jimmy Greaves made it 3-0 after the goalkeeper had failed to hold a Douglas cross. A defensive muddle let Sanfillipo in for a late consolation goal. Suddenly, the confidence started to return to a team that had been down in the dumps because of 1) their form and 2) a training camp situated in the middle of nowhere that depressed several of the players.

No 135

World Cup, Rancagua, 7.6.62. Drew 0-0

Springett    Armfield    Wilson      Moore      Norman     Flowers                    

Douglas     Greaves     Peacock     Haynes*     Charlton R.

Highlights: This was without question the most boring, sterile match England had ever contested. They needed only a draw to qualify for the quarter-finals ahead of Argentina, and as Bulgaria showed no inclination to win the match England were content to sit back and make sure they made no mistakes. The result was that the ball hardly left the midfield area and neither goalkeeper was tested. A crowd of barely 6,000 watched the non-event, most of them Argentineans willing the Bulgarians to win, because it would have meant their team progressing through to the quarter-finals. But the Bulgarians did not manage a single serious goal attempt, and England were little better. It did little to raise hopes for the next match against defending world champions Brazil.

No 136

Brazil, World Cup, Vina del Mar, 10.6.62. England lost 3-1

Springett    Armfield     Wilson      Moore      Norman     Flowers                 

Douglas     Greaves     Hitchens1    Haynes*     Charlton R. 

Highlights: England's World Cup life was snuffed out by a Brazilian team minus injured Pele but with 'Little Bird' Garrincha at his bewildering best. The ball-conjuring winger put Brazil in the lead 13 minutes before half-time when he moved like a whippet to head in a Zagallo comer. England hit back with an equalizer six minutes later, Gerry Hitchens sweeping the ball home after a Jimmy Greaves header had hit the bar. Garrincha decided the match early in the second-half. His powerful free-kick from 25 yards was too hot to handle for Springett, and as he pushed the ball out Vava followed up to head it into the net. Then Garrincha, the man with two left feet, sent a viciously swerving shot curling out of Springett's reach and into the roof of the net. England played with pride and passion, but were simply outclassed by a team with all the talents.

No 137                                                                                                            

France, Hillsborough, 3.10.62. Drew 1-1

Springett    Armfield*   Wilson      Moore      Norman     Flowers1              

Hellawell    Crowe       Charnley    Greaves     Hinton

Highlights: Walter Winterbottom was working out his notice, Johnny Haynes was recovering from injuries received in a car smash and Bobby Charlton was still not fit after a hernia operation. Mike Hellawell, Chris Crowe, Ray Chamley and Alan Hinton were brought together in an experimental forward line that never looked like clicking in this European championship qualifying match. A Ron Flowers penalty saved England from defeat against a French team skippered by the old fox Raymond Kopa. Maurice Norman was booed every time he touched the ball on the home ground of Peter Swan, the man he had replaced at centre-half.

No 138                                                                                                          

Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, 20.10.62. England won 3-1

Springett    Armfield*    Wilson      Moore       Labone      Flowers

Hellawell    Hill F.        Peacock     Greaves1     O’Grady2 

Highlights: Mike O'Grady, twenty-year-old Huddersfield winger and the fifth son of an Irishman, was the latest player tried at outside-left. He must have shaken the skeletons of his ancestors as he sank Northern Ireland with two goals. Jimmy Greaves, another player with deep Irish roots, also scored in a match that featured the debut at centre-half of Brian Labone.

No 139

Wales, Wembley, 22.11.62. England won 4-0

Springett    Armfield*    ShawG.     Moore      Labone      Flowers 

Connelty1    Hill F.       Peacock2     Greaves1    Tambling 

Highlights: Walter Winterbottom's final match. Alf Ramsey watched from the stand in readiness to take over. There was a crowd of only 27,500 - the lowest to date for a Wembley international - to see England romp to a comfortable victory. Chelsea striker Bobby Tambling made his debut in the No. 11 shirt. Alan Peacock scored two goals, John Connelly one and Greaves netted the last goal of Winterbottom's reign. In the dressing-room after the match skipper Jimmy Armfield presented Walter with a set of crystal cut-glass goblets on behalf of the players. The toast was ‘Walter Winterbottom, master manager.’ He might have done even better had the amateur selectors left him alone to manage without interference. 

During his sixteen years in charge, Winterbottom’s record was: P129 W78 D33 L28 F383 A196. 
The fifteen most-capped players during his reign were Billy Wright (105), Tom Finney (7), Johnny Haynes (56), Jimmy Dickinson (48), Bobby Charlton (39), Ron Flowers (39), Stanley Matthews (36), Ronnie Clayton (35), Roger Byrne (33), Bryan Douglas (33), Nat Lofthouse (33), Alf Ramsey (32), Jimmy Armfield (32), Ron Springett (28), Neil Franklin (27). Franklin would have doubled his caps collection but for dropping out in 1950 to play in the outlawed Colombian league. He was desperately missed by Winterbottom during the disastrous 1950 World Cup campaign.  What might England have achieved in the 1958 finals but for the Munich air disaster that robbed the team of Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor and the irreplaceable Duncan Edwards?  Winterbottom was not the luckiest of managers.

No 140

France, Paris, 27.2.63. England lost 5-2

Springett  Armfield*   Henry   Moore  Labone  Flowers           

Connelly  Tambling1     Smith1    Greaves  Charlton R. 

Highlights: Alf Ramsey's first match - a European championship qualifier - was a personal nightmare for goalkeeper Ron Springett. He was responsible for three of the French goals, his most costly error coming after England had pulled back from 3-0 to 3-2 with goals from Bobby Tambling and the recalled Bobby Smith. Springett, a man of character and charm,  did not try to make any excuses, but Ramsey pointed out that he had been kicked in the ribs when conceding the first goal. He was also troubled by the floodlights in the Parc des Princes stadium. Ron Henry, Tottenham's skilful left-back, had an uncomfortable night against flying French winger Wisnieski in his one and only England appearance. Interestingly, just two of the team - Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton - would survive to play a part in the 1966 World Cup final. Ron Springett was second string goalkeeper in the '66 squad, and was later involved in a unique swap deal with his goalkeeping brother Peter .... Ron going to Sheffield Wednesday, with Peter going in exchange to QPR.

No 141

Scotland, Wembley, 6.4.63. England lost 2-1

Banks   Armfield*  Byrne G.  Moore   Norman   Flowers         

Douglas1   Greaves  Smith   Melia   Charlton R.           

Highlights: Both teams were down to ten men within five minutes following a collision between Bobby Smith and Scottish skipper Eric Caldow, who was carried off with a triple fracture of the leg. By the time Smith limped back on with his bruised knee bandaged 'Slim' Jim Baxter had twice beaten England's new goalkeeper Gordon Banks, first after a misplaced pass by Armfield and then from the penalty spot. Bryan Douglas scored ten minutes from the end, but the Scots deserved a victory that was masterminded by Baxter who memorably walked off with the match ball tucked up inside his jersey. This stunningly skilled showman had owned the pitch, so why not the ball? Liverpool team-mates Gerry Byrne and Jimmy Melia made their debuts. It was the first match played at the ‘new’ Wembley with a £500,000 roof that ran right round the stadium like a giant lip. A 98,000 crowd paid then record receipts of £76,000. Ramsey had kicked off with two defeats. Could this be the man to lead England to the World Cup?

No 142

Brazil, Wembley, 8.5.63. Drew 1-1

Banks   Armfield*  Wilson  Milne  Norman        Moore 

Douglas1  Greaves   Smith  Eastham  Charlton R.          

Highlights: There was no Pele, but Pepe popped up with a first-half 'banana' free-kick from 25 yards that deceived Gordon Banks and swung into the roof of the England net. Douglas scrambled a late equalizer against the world champions. Gordon Milne was the first defensive 'ball winning' midfield player selected by Ramsey, a role that would ultimately go to Nobby Stiles. George Eastham followed his father, George senior, as an England international, and they were the first father and son to win England caps. Gordon Banks said later, 'Alf gave me a rollocking at half-time for falling for what he called Pepe's three-card trick. But from Alf's position on the touchline he could not have known how much bend Pepe put on the ball. I swear that if it had not gone into the net it would have done a circular tour of the stadium!'

No 143

Czechoslovakia, Bratislava, 20.5.63. England won 4-2

Banks     Shellito     Wilson   Milne   Norman  Moore* 

Paine    Greaves2    Smith1  Eastham   Charlton R.1           

Highlights: The first victory under the Ramsey baton, and what an impressive scalp.  Czechoslovakia had been runners-up in the 1962 World Cup final and included European footballer of the year Josef Masopust in their midfield. Greaves (2), Smith and Charlton scored the goals, and Ken Shellito and Terry Paine made impressive debuts. A knee injury would virtually end Shellito's career within the year. He was a beautifully balanced player who could match the speed of sprinting wingers. His early retirement would be a blow ro Chelsea and England, but George Cohen was - so to speak - waiting in the wings to make the No 2 shirt his personal property. Bobby Moore captained England for the first time in place of the injured Armfield. He would go on to skipper England 90 times, equaling the record set by one of his boyhood heroes Billy Wright (who had been his manager at England Under-23 level)..

No 144

East Germany, Leipzig, 2.6.63. England won 2-1

Banks   Armfield*  Wilson  Milne  Norman  Moore      

Paine    Hunt1  Smith    Eastham  Charlton R.1 

Highlights: Roger Hunt, playing in place of tonsillitis-victim Greaves, scored a spectacular equalizer from thirty yards after Banks had conceded a soft goal midway through the first-half. Bobby Charlton netted the second-half winner after a series of goalmouth misses against an outpowered East German team. An England victory in Germany would have had most managers singing their own praises, but Alf Ramsey proved he was a perfectionist expecting the highest standards when he said: 'Our passing was erratic and careless and lacking in imagination. We can, and will, do much much better.' But he stored in the back of his mind that England could function - and win - without Jimmy Greaves.

No 145

Switzerland, Basle, 5.6.63. England won 8-1

Springett   Armfield*  Wilson    Kay1   Moore  Flowers         

Douglas1    Greaves   Byrne J.2   Melia1  Charlton R.3 

Highlights: A hat-trick from Bobby Charlton and two goals from Johnny Byrne helped England bury the Swiss under an avalanche of goals. Everton midfield dynamo Tony Kay scored in his only international appearance before the careers of both he and his former Sheffield Wednesday team-mate Peter Swan were wrecked  by a bribery scandal. The sporting Swiss fans gave England a standing ovation at the end, and even poker-faced Alf Ramsey struggled to keep a smile off his face as he said, 'That was much more like it. We played with the urgency and purpose that was missing from the performance in Leipzig. All in all, this has been a most satisfactory summer tour. But there is much work still to be done.' The only surprises was that goal thief Greaves - at the peak of his powers, and six times the leading First Division marksman - failed to get on the scoresheet. But he played an assist role in four of the goals.

No 146

Wales, Ninian Park, 12.10.63. England won 4-0

Banks   Armfield*  Wilson    Milne   Norman     Moore

Paine    Greaves1   Smith2   Eastham   Charlton R.1 

Highlights: The double act of Greaves and Smith was unstoppable. Greaves made a goal in the fifth minute for Smith who then returned the compliment before the irrepressible Greaves laid on a second goal for his beefy Tottenham team-mate. Bobby Charlton finished off the Welsh with his thirty-first goal for England, beating the record that he had held jointly with Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney. 'Preston Plumber' Finney was a guest spectator, and said: 'Bobby will go on to score many goals for England. The record could not be held by a better player nor a nicer man. He is a credit to the game.' One true gentleman recognizing another. Bobby Charlton wore the number 11 shirt, but followed Ramsey's orders and was more withdrawn than usual ... a sign of things to come.

No 147

Rest of World, Wembley, 23.10.63. England won 2-1

Banks   Armfield*  Wilson  Milne  Norman Moore       

Paine1 Greaves1 Smith  Eastham  Charlton R.

Rest of the World: Yashin   Santos D   Schnellinger   Pluskal   Popluhar  Masopust

Kopa   Law1  Di Stefano  Eusebio   Gento   (Subs: Soskic,  Eyzaguirre,  Baxter,  Seeler,   Puskas)

Highlights: Jinking Jimmy Greaves was the star turn on the Wembley stage in this prestige match to celebrate the Centenary of the Football Association. He might have had a first-half hat-trick but for the magnificent goalkeeping of Russia's 'Man in Black' Lev Yashin. Terry Paine gave England a first-half lead, which was cancelled out by Denis Law, and it was Greavsie who conjured the winner with just three minutes left of a memorable match. There was a wonderful moment in the first-half that captured the spirit in which the game was played. Yashin had been giving an amazing exhibition of shot stopping, and on the half hour artful dodger Greaves tried for a sixth time to beat him. He fired in a power drive that most goalkeepers would have tried to either tuck away around a post or over the bar. But the unpredictable Russian met it with a boxer's punch that sent the ball screaming back to the halfway line. Greaves and Yashin then fell into each other's arms laughing as they congratulated each other. Greavsie then at last got the better of Yashin with what he has since described as the 'greatest goal I never scored!' He threaded his way past four of the world's finest defenders before slipping the ball wide of the oncoming Yashin, but it was disallowed because the referee had - unheard by most people in the stadium - whistled for a foul against Greaves at the start of his scintillating run. What ever happened to the advantage rule, ref?

No 148

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 20.11.63. England won 8-3

Banks   Armfield*  Thomson     Milne    Norman  Moore          

Paine3 Greaves4   Smith1  Eastham  Charlton R.

Highlights: Greaves (4) and Terry Paine (3) lit up this first match under the Wembley floodlights, and Bobby Smith scored once in what was to be his final international appearance. Smith (12)  and Greaves (19) between them collected thirty-one goals in just thirteen matches together. Wolves left-back Bobby Thomson made a sound debut at the age of nineteen. It was England's sixth win in succession under Ramsey, and a mood of optimism was beginning to build with the World Cup finals bound for the birthplace of the game in 1966. Irish goalkeeper Harry Gregg, a Munich survivor, said: 'Jimmy Greaves is a genius. I have never faced a more complete finisher. He tells me he has an Irish grandmother, Katie O'Riley. We should have snapped him up!'

No 149

Scotland, Hampden Park, 11.4.64. England lost 1-0

Banks   Armfield*   Wilson  Milne  Norman  Moore     

Paine    Hunt     Byrne J.   Eastham  Charlton R. 

Highlights: Roger Hunt and Johnny Byrne deputized for injured Greaves and Smith on a wet and stormy afternoon at Hampden. Alan Gilzean, who was to take over from Smith as partner to Greaves at Spurs, scored the only goal of the match after Gordon Banks had misjudged a seventy-second minute corner-kick from Davie Wilson that got held up in the near-gale force wind. A crowd of 133,245 witnessed a third Scottish victory in a row over the Auld Enemy, the first time this had happened for eighty years. Gordon Banks said of the goal:  'This was my first match at Hampden, and I had often heard stories that whenever there is a strong wind it gets locked in the Hampden bowl and plays all sorts of tricks with the ball. On this day, there was a gale of wet wind swirling around the game and it was a nightmare trying to decide whether to come off my line for crosses and centres in case the ball suddenly changed course. Davie Wilson fired a corner kick high into the six-yard box. It was a goalkeeper's ball all the way and I shouted 'mine' as I left my line to collect it. But suddenly the ball was trapped by the wind and stopped as if it had brakes on it. I was left clutching thin air as Alan Gilzean stole in front of me and nodded the ball into the net with what was his specialty flick header. As the ball went into the net I swear the Hampden Roar could have been heard way down over Hadrian's Wall.' 

No 150

Uruguay, Wembley, 6.5.64. England won 2-1

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Milne   Norman Moore*         

Paine Greaves  Byrne J.2  Eastham  Charlton R. 

Highlights: George Cohen came in at right-back for the injured Jimmy Armfield, and partnered Ray Wilson for the first time. Ramsey's 1966 World Cup defence was taking shape. Johnny Byrne scored both England goals in an uninspiring match. A week earlier the Uruguayans had been involved in a brawl of a match with Northern Ireland in Belfast, and Alf Ramsey warned his players that on no account should they be drawn into any feuds. The result was a tame game decided by the decisive finishing of Byrne, nicknamed 'Budgie' because he was a non-stop talker both on and off the pitch. 'They were the two most satisfying goals I have ever scored,' said chirpy Byrne, who was a beautifully balanced player who used skill rather than strength to bamboozle defences.

No 151

Portugal, Lisbon, 17.5.64. England won 4-3

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Milne   Norman  Moore*        

Thompson  Greaves   Byrne J.3  Eastham  Charlton R.1 

Highlights: Johnny Byrne completed a memorable hat-trick in the final moments with a beautifully disguised chip shot from the edge of the penalty area that went over the heads of three defenders and the goalkeeper and into the net. Portugal, who had led twice through the towering Torres – a 6ft 7in centre-forward – and his Benfica side-kick Eusebio, could not believe it.  Liverpool dribbler Peter Thompson won his first of sixteen caps as he tried to prove to Ramsey that wingers were a necessary evil. The match was staged to mark the golden anniversary of the Portuguese Football Association, and it was 17 years after England's 10-0 victory in the same picturesque setting of Portugal's National Stadium.

No 152

Republic of Ireland, Dublin, 24.5.64. England won 3-1

Waiters   Cohen   Wilson   Milne   Flowers       Moore*           

Thompson  Greaves1   Byrne J.1  Eastham1    Charlton R. 

Highlights: Goals from George Eastham and Johnny Byrne gave England a 2-1 half-time lead and Jimmy Greaves wrapped it up in the fifty-fifth minute when he put the finishing touch to a classic five-man move down the right wing involving Milne, Thompson, Byrne and Eastham. Manchester United skipper Noel Cantwell switched from left-back to the middle of the Irish defence in a bid to control Byrne, who was at his brilliant best as he tormented his markers with subtle touches and clever changes of pace.  It was not lost on the spectators jammed into Dalymount Park in Dublin that their defence was being tormented by a player with strong Irish ancestry. Tony Waiters, a lifeguard on the Blackpool beach when he was not guarding the Blackpool goal, played the first of his five England games at the back of the England defence.

No 153

USA, New York, 27.5.64. England won 10-0

Banks   Cohen  Thomson    Bailey   Norman     Flowers*         

Paine2  Hunt4  Pickering3   Eastham (Charlton R.1)    Thompson 

Highlights: Everton centre-forward Fred Pickering started his international career with a hat-trick and Roger Hunt scored four goals as England ran riot against an overwhelmed United States team. Mike Bailey, driving captain of Charlton before his move to Wolves, had a comfortable debut and would have won many more caps but for breaking a leg a few months later. Alf Ramsey had been right-back in the England team humbled 1-0 by the United States in the 1950 World Cup finals, and it was suggested to him after the match that this runaway victory had been something of a consolation. He gave the football writer putting the question one of his infamous cold-eyed stars and said: 'Nothing will ever be a consolation for that.' Clearly, an old wound that would never go away.

No 154

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, 30.5.64. England lost 5-1

Waiters   Cohen   Wilson   Milne  Norman  Moore*    

Thompson  Greaves1  Byrne J.  Eastham  Charlton R. 

Highlights: Alf Ramsey preferred Tony Waiters to Gordon Banks in goal for this ‘Little World Cup’ tournament match against the world champions. Greaves equalized a first-half goal that Pele created for Rinaldo, and then midway through the second-half Pele took over and pulverized England with a purple patch that produced three goals in five minutes. Twice he earned free-kicks just outside the penalty area while dancing through the England defence juggling the ball like a circus performer.  Waiters was completely deceived by swerving free-kicks from Rinaldo and Julinho, and then Pele contributed a magical goal of his own, pushing the ball through the legs of first Bobby Moore and then Maurice Norman before sending a long-range shot screaming into the net. Diaz scored goal number five after Pele had again confused the England defence two minutes from the end. Jimmy Greaves summed up the feelings of the England players when he said: 'Pele is on another bloody planet.'

No 155

Portugal, Sao Paulo, 4.6.64. Drew 1-1

Banks   Thomson  Wilson  Flowers       Norman   Moore*       

Paine    Greaves   Byrne J.   Hunt1  Thompson 

Highlights: Portugal were down to ten men when centre-forward Jose Torres was sent off for attempting to hit the referee shortly after Roger Hunt had equalized a goal by Peres. Jimmy Greaves and Johnny Byrne hit the woodwork, and Byrne had a goal  disallowed but England failed to take advantage of having an extra man. Had Torres landed with his attempted punch he could have faced a life ban from football. The trouble erupted after the referee disallowed a quite obviously off-side goal by Coluna. Portuguese players hounded the referee for a full five minutes, with Torres punished for being the ring leader. England had what looked a winner from Johnny Byrne turned down five minutes from the end  and a bad-tempered match ended with a 1-1 scoreline that was a fair reflection of the play that was too often polluted by the threat of violence. 

No 156

Argentina, Rio de Janeiro, 6.6.64. England lost 1-0

Banks   Thomson  Wilson  Milne  Norman  Moore*     

Thompson  Greaves      Byrne J.  Eastham  Charlton R. 

Highlights: England held Argentina for an hour until Rojas scored in a breakaway raid seconds after the usually so reliable Greaves had missed a clear chance at the opposite end of the pitch. The Argentineans, with skipper Antonio Rattin in commanding form, then played strolling possession football to frustrate England and to clinch victory in the ‘Little World Cup’ tournament. Argentina won the tournament with three wins from three matches, including victory over Brazil in a vicious game that was war masquerading as sport. England returned home convinced that Argentina would be the biggest mountain between them and the 1966 World Cup. They were particularly impressed by Rattin, who butter-smooth player who bossed the midfield with style and panache.  He had a moment of madness when he disputed a decision by the referee. A hint of things to come!

No 157

Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, 3.10.64. England won 4-3

Banks   Cohen  Thomson  Milne  Norman  Moore*      

Paine    Greaves3  Pickering1  Charlton R.  Thompson 

Highlights: Master poacher Jimmy Greaves scored a first-half hat-trick as England rushed to a 4-0 half-time lead, but the second-half belonged to George Best and Ireland. The young Manchester United winger tied the defenders into knots, and inspired the Irish into a fight back that had England hanging on to a one goal lead at the final whistle. Alf Ramsey gave his team a rocket after the match for becoming complacent. If it had not been for a string of superb saves by Banks, Northern Ireland's second half revival movement would have been rewarded with a remarkable victory. 'If we struggle to hold on to a 4-0 lead,' Ramsey said afterwards, 'what's going to happen if we go a goal down? We must start being more disciplined.'

No 158

Belgium, Wembley, 21.10.64. Drew 2-2

Waiters   Cohen  Thomson  Milne  Norman  Moore*   

Thompson  Greaves      Pickering1  Venables    Hinton1 

Highlights: Ramsey experimented with a new left wing partnership of Terry Venables and Alan Hinton against a Belgian side that included eight players from their league champions Anderlecht. It was Hinton whose shot was deflected into the net for an equalizing goal in the seventieth minute. For Venables, selection completed a unique collection of England caps at all levels – schools, youth, amateur, Under-23 and full. Belgian playmaker Jurion was the first captain to skipper a side at Wembley wearing spectacles. If there had been any justice, the superbly organized Belgians would have become the third overseas side to beat England at Wembley. They had the best player on the pitch in Paul Van Himst, an artist of an attacking footballer who was always a thought and a deed ahead of the England defenders.

No 159

Wales, Wembley, 18.11.64. England won 2-1

Waiters  Cohen  Thomson  Bailey  Flowers*     Young 

Thompson  Hunt  Wignall2   Byrne J.  Hinton 

Highlights: Mike Bailey, Ron Flowers and Gerry Young formed a makeshift half-back line because of injuries. There was also an experimental inside-forward trio, with Frank Wignall the spearhead to Roger Hunt and Johnny Byrne. Nottingham Forest centre-forward Wignall scored both England goals before Cliff Jones netted for Wales. There were only 40,000 spectators at Wembley, and the game lacked atmosphere and direction.

No 160

Holland, Amsterdam 9.12.64. Drew 1-1

Waiters  Cohen  Thomson  Mullery  Norman  Flowers*           

Thompson  Greaves1   Wignall   Venables  Charlton R. 

Highlights: Alan Mullery made his debut in midfield alongside Terry Venables, a partnership that they would soon renew at Tottenham. They combined to create a goal for another Spurs star, Jimmy Greaves, who scored four minutes from the end to force a draw in this match to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Dutch FA. England played the game at exhibition pace as if they did not want to spoil the Dutch party. Maurice Norman, the big ox of a centre-half who had been like a man mountain in the middle of the Tottenham and England defences, broke a leg in a meaningless club friendly against Hungary and his distinguished career for club and country was over. Enter Jack Charlton.

No 161

Scotland, Wembley, 10.4.65. Drew 2-2

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles  Charlton J.  Moore*      

Thompson  Greaves1   Bridges  Byrne J.  Charlton R.1

Highlights: England did well to salvage a draw from a game in which they were reduced to only nine fit players. Ray Wilson went off at half-time with torn rib muscles, and Johnny Byrne – dropping back to replace Wilson in defence – became a limping passenger with a knee injury that virtually finished his international career. Ramsey blooded Barry Bridges, Nobby Stiles and Jack Charlton (with brother Bobby on the left wing). This was the first time that England's 1966 World Cup defence paraded together. Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves gave England a commanding 2-0 lead inside the first thirty-five minutes. Denis Law scored for Scotland five minutes before half-time with a viciously swerving shot, and Ian St John equalized midway through the second-half after Cohen had cleared a Davie Wilson shot off the line.  England had won the Home Championship but most neutral observers thought Alf Ramsey was being uncharacteristically overconfident when he started forecasting that England would – not might – would win the World Cup.

No 162

Hungary, Wembley, 5.5.65. England won 1-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles   Charlton J.  Moore*     

Paine    Greaves1  Bridges  Eastham  Connelly 

Highlights: Alf Ramsey's international playing career had ended the last time the Hungarians visited Wembley for their famous 6-3 victory in 1953. His long-awaited revenge was given to him by a well-constructed Jimmy Greaves goal in the sixteenth minute. Bobby Charlton failed a late fitness test and John Connelly was recalled for the first time since Ramsey's desperate first match against France. England's attacking moves were often disjointed and lacking imagination, but the most heartening sight for Ramsey was seeing the defence comfortably cope with a Hungarian forward line that was not a patch on their predecessors of 1953. Skipper Bobby Moore was exceptional at the heart of the defence. 

No 163

Yugoslavia, Belgrade, 9.5.65. Drew 1-1

Banks   Cohen  Wilson     Stiles   Charlton J.  Moore*  

Paine    Greaves   Bridges1  Ball    Connelly 

Highlights: Ramsey's jigsaw came closer to completion when Alan Ball made his debut, showing the energy and enthusiasm that was to make him such a vital member of the 1966 World Cup squad. Barry Bridges, Chelsea's jet-paced centre-forward, headed England's equaliser after the Yugoslavs had taken a fifteenth minute lead. England were the first foreign side to avoid defeat in Yugoslavia in a full international. "It is the proudest moment of my life," said Ballie in his Clitheroe Kid high-pitch voice after Ramsey had selected him. "I have dreamed of playing for my country ever since I first kicked a ball. There can be no greater honour. I would willingly play for nothing." And he meant it. No prouder player ever pulled on the white shirt of England.

No 164

West Germany, Nuremberg 12.5.65. England won 1-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Flowers  Charlton J.  Moore* 

Paine1 Ball  Jones  Eastham  Temple 

Highlights: Derek Temple, Everton's flying winger, was called into England's injury-weakened side for what was his only cap. It was his surging run and cross that laid on the winning goal for Terry Paine in the thirty-seventh minute. Alf Ramsey experimented with a variation of a 4-3-3 formation, with Mick Jones leading the attack for the first time. This was the tenth meeting between the Germans and England and Germany were still seeking their first victory. A bit of old Fleet Street comment here in a way of explanation. There was a small group of football writers on the national newspapers (Brian Glanville, Geoffrey Green, David Miller, Clive Toye, Ken Jones and Brian James chief among them) who battled with their sports editors to get teams laid out in the newspapers in the new style of play. For instance, this team should read: Banks; Cohen Charlton, Moore, Wilson; Ball, Eastham Flowers; Paine, Jones, Temple. But the old school sports editors would not stand for it. 'Our readers will not accept the player in the number three shirt coming fifth in the line-up,' they would argue. So right up until recent times the player in the number three shirt would appear third in the line-up, even though there would be a back four of a right back, two central defenders and a left-back; and the number four or six player would invariably play in midfield. So most newspapers and their readers were stuck in the sand of the old days of 2-3-5, and it was a very slow process before fans were educated in the understanding of the new systems. Not Fleet Street's finest hour. In this highlights history of the post-war England matches we have stuck with the 1-11 lineup for the sake of continuity.

No 165

Sweden, Gothenburg, 16.5.65. England won 2-1

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles   Charlton J.  Moore*    

Paine    Ball1    Jones    Eastham  Connelly1

Highlights: Alan Ball scored his first goal in international football and John Connelly snatched a seventy-fifth minute winner in a game in which the mudheap of a pitch got the better of most of the players. Nobby Stiles lost his contact lenses and a special lubricant had to be flown in from London on match day so that he could wear a spare pair. He and Ball dominated the midfield with their combination of high energy and fierce competitive spirit that would in today's non-contact game have generated a rash of red cards. The Swedish goal came following a rare mistake by Bobby Moore when he lost control of the ball in the treacherous conditions. England has finished their summer tour without defeat, and more people started to come round to the Ramsey conviction that England really could win the World Cup.