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  Page Last Updated 2 March 2022



194 vs. Wales
196 vs. Ireland

Wednesday, 14 November 1934
Football Association Friendly Match

England 3 Italy 2 [3-0]

Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, Islington, County of London
Attendance: 56,044;
Kick-off: 2.30pm GMT

Match Summary
England Party

Italy Party

England - Eric Brook (penalty saved 1)
England - Eric Brook (headed the ball at full pelt from a Britton free-kick 9, left-footed direct free-kick from thirty yards 12), Ted Drake (a fearsome rebound 14).
Italy - Giuseppe Meazza (fifteen yard shot 59, a free-kick in off the upright 62).
Results 1930-39

England won the toss, Italy kicked-off.


Match Summary





Referee - Otto Olsen
Linesmen -
Mr L.E. Gibbs, Berks & Bucks FA, and J. De Rensis, Genova, Italy.

Prince Arthur of Connaught had both teams presented to him before the match; the Italian Ambassador, Count Grandi, also attended.

"The Italian team left their hotel and walked down Whitehall to the Cenotaph, on which a large wreath was placed on behalf of the Italian FA. After laying the laurel wreath, which was four feet in diameter, on the Cenotaph, the Italian footballers stood bareheaded and raised their arms in the Fascist salute for two minutes as a tribute to the British dead."

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd
Colours: The 1923 uniform - White collared jerseys, navy blue or black shorts, black socks topped with two white hoops
Capt: Eddie Hapgood, first captaincy. Selectors:
In charge: Henry J. Huband
The fourteen-man FA International Selection Committee, following the inter-league match, on Monday, 5 November 1934.
162nd match, W 104 - D 29 - L 29 - F 489 - A 182.
England Lineup
  Moss, Frank 25 5 November 1909 G Arsenal FC 4 5 GA
  Male, C. George 24 8 May 1910 RB Arsenal FC 1 0
  Hapgood, Edris A., injured 26 24 September 1908 LB Arsenal FC 9 0
  Britton, Clifford S. 25 27 August 1909 RH Everton FC 2 0
  Barker, John W. 28 27 February 1906 CH Derby County FC 2 0
  Copping, Wilfred 27 17 August 1907 LH Arsenal FC 7 0
  Matthews, Stanley 19 1 February 1915 OR Stoke City FC 2 1
  Bowden, E. Raymond 25 13 September 1909 IR Arsenal FC 2 0
Drake, Edward J. 22 16 August 1912 CF Arsenal FC 1 1
  Bastin, Clifford S. 22 14 March 1912 IL Arsenal FC 9 4
Brook, Eric F. 26 27 November 1907 OL Manchester City FC 10 7


Tom Gardner (Aston Villa FC) and Raich Carter (Sunderland AFC).

team notes:

The original right-back and Captain, Tommy Cooper withdrew because of an ankle injury, he was replaced with Male on 12 November. Fred Tilson was also the original centre-forward, he too was replaced, by George Hunt on 13 November, but because of a groin injury, was replaced by Ted Drake, on 14 November.
Eric Brook's twelfth minute free-kick goal was his third, and England's seventh.


Moss -
Male, Hapgood -
Britton, Barker, Copping -
Matthews, Drake, Bowden, Bastin, Brook.


Age 24.5 Appearances/Goals 4.5 1.0


Italy Team

Current World Champions Colours: "wore royal blue shirts and white shorts".


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Capt: Attilio Ferraris, first captaincy. Selectors: Vittorio Pozzo, 48 (2 March 1886),
43rd match, W 26 - D 8 - L 9 - F 97 - A 54.
from 29 June to 3 July 1912, 9 March to 2 June 1924 and since 1 December 1929.
Italy Lineup
  Ceresoli, Carlo 24 14 June 1910 G Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 2 3 GA
  Monzeglio, Eraldo 28 5 May 1906 RB Bologna 1909 FC 18 0
  Allemandi, Luigi 31 8 November 1903 LB Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 15 0
  Ferraris, Attilio 30 26 March 1904 RH SS Lazio 26 0
  Monti, Luis Felipe, injured off early 33 15 May 1901
born in Argentina
CH Juventus FC 16 1
also 16 appearances, 5 goals for Argentina 1924-31.
  Bertolini, Luigi 30 13 September 1904 LH Juventus FC 24 0
  Guaita, Enrique 24 15 July 1910
born in Argentina
OR AS Roma 7 3
also 3 appearances, 1 goal for Argentina 1933.
  Serantoni, Pietro 27 16 November 1906 IR Juventus FC 4 0
Meazza, Giuseppe 24 23 August 1910 CF Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 28 24
  Ferrari, Giovanni 26 6 December 1907 IL Juventus FC 24 9
  Orsi, Raimundo Bibiani 32 2 December 1901
born in Argentina
OL Juventus FC 33 13
also 12 appearances, 3 goals for Argentina 1924-28.


Mario Gianna (Bologna FC), Cenzi, Alejandro Scopelli (AS Roma) and Riccardo Faccio (Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC).

team notes:

The fifteen-man Party was selected on 7 November following trial games in Turin.
Luis Monti retired after dislocating his knee, or broke his foot, or both.
Regarding the injury to Monti, Commandatore Pozzo said:- "That is the cause of our defeat. For a few minutes after he was injured he stayed on the field trying to play, first as right-half and then as an outside-right. The rest of the team were unaware that he was hurt, and during those few minutes two of your three goals were scored. The other players left things to Monti, and he, of course, was unable to play his part."
2-5-3 Ceresoli -
Monzeglio, Allemandi -
Ferraris, Monti, Bertolini -
Guaita, Serantoni, Meazza, Ferrari, Orsi


Age 28.1 Appearances/Goals 16.9 4.4


    Match Report

England and Italy had drawn, 1-1, 18 months earlier in Rome in their only previous meeting.  The return match was billed as a contest for world supremacy, the most important of the century.  Italy were playing their first game since winning the second World Cup five months earlier in Rome.  They had been beaten only four times in the 34 matches they had played since maestro Vittorio Pozzo took over in late 1929 after two brief earlier stints as national team coach for the Olympic Games of 1912 and 1924.  Remaining aloof from FIFA and its World Cup competition, England were still widely regarded as the world's best team.  Predictably, the game settled nothing, although it is still remembered as "The Battle of Highbury."

The Italians were at full strength, retaining their three controversial South American "oriundi," "Luisito" Monti, Raimondo Orsi and "Enrico" Guaita, and making only two changes in their World Cup-winning team. Carlo Ceresoli, who missed the World Cup through injury but would become the first-choice goalkeeper for the year following it, replaced veteran Giuseppe Combi, who had retired, and inside forward Pietro Serantoni, who would become a regular in the team and play in the 1938 World Cup final match, replaced Angelo Schiavio.

England fielded a team largely inexperienced at international level.  The selectors had given six players their debuts against Wales in England's last match in late September and now stuck with four of them--right-half Cliff Britton of Everton, centre-half Jack Barker of Derby County, outside right Stanley Matthews of Stoke City and inside right Ray Bowden of Arsenal--while giving debuts to two more--right back George Male and centre-forward Ted Drake.  Six players were thus winning their first or second appearances, including the entire right side of the formation.  None of England’s players had more than nine caps entering the match.  Rather appropriately, since the match was played on their club side’s ground, seven Arsenal players took the pitch for England, a still-standing record for one club. Among them were two making their England debuts, Male, who was given a late call to join his Arsenal partner, Eddie Hapgood, at fullback after the withdrawal of injured Tom "Snowy" Cooper of Derby County, and Drake, who was selected late following the injury withdrawals of original centre-forward choice Sam Tilson of Manchester City and Tilson's initial replacement, George Hunt of Tottenham Hotspur.

Italy played almost the entire match with 10 men. Centre-half Monti had a foot bone broken in a challenge from Drake and left the game after two minutes. Convinced the injury was deliberately inflicted, Italy retaliated, and the first half became a blood bath. The Italians went three goals down over the 10 minutes during Monti's exit, although several England players were injured. The most seriously hurt were Hapgood, making his debut as England captain, who had to leave the pitch for 15 minutes with a broken nose courtesy of a Guaita elbow, and Eric Brook, who suffered a broken arm. Ray Bowden incurred an ankle injury, Jack Barker had to have his hand strapped, Drake got a leg cut, George Male had a broken hand and some other England players suffered severe bruising.

In the first minute of play, Ceresoli brought down Drake in the penalty area but stopped Brook’s ensuing penalty kick with a magnificent save. Within a few minutes Brook made amends, opening the scoring with a header from Cliff Britton's free kick and adding a second goal with a left-footed shot from a free kick just outside the penalty area.  But for Ceresoli's brilliant penalty kick save, Brook would have had a first-half hat-trick. Drake netted England's third goal while Hapgood was receiving treatment off the pitch. Following an attack down the right flank, the Arsenal centre-forward hooked the ball into the net.

After the half-time interval, Italy settled down to play football and, although shy a man, scored twice through brilliant centre-forward "Peppino" Meazza, whose career total of 33 goals for Italy during the 1930's has been exceeded only by Luigi Riva, who scored 35 in the 1960's and 1970's.  Meazza's goals came four minutes apart in very heavy rain, the first resulting from Guaita’s skill and the second on a header from Attilio Ferraris' free kick. Only good fortune--Meazza also hit the crossbar--and superb goalkeeping from Frank Moss, in his last international appearance, kept England's lead intact.

Although the match had not settled which was the superior team, Italy's display in the second half, accomplished while short a man, had at the very least served notice that English claims to world footballing superiority were open to legitimate question. 

"THE MENACE OF INTERNATIONAL SPORT" - The Dundee Courier, 15 November 1934

   "The much boosted international football match between England and Italy was played in London yesterday. England won, but there will be little rejoicing over the result.
   "The game has been described by the English players as "not a match but a battle," and when we read that the English captain had his nose broken and a number of other players were more or less badly injured the question of whether such matches should be permitted arises in acute form.
   "It is evident that the rules of the game as played on the Continent bear little resemblance to the laws that govern football in this country. A similar situation arose when France took part in rugby internationals with the four countries of Britain. The rugby authorities, anxious to promote the game on the Continent, continued for several years to arrange matches with France, but the Frenchmen, interpreting the rules differently, failed to come into line, and the fixtures were ultimately cancelled, and British teams declined to play against France.
   "The same attitude will have to be adopted in association football or the consequences may be greater than the Football Association imagine. These Continental teams, backed by the uncontrolled enthusiasm of their countrymen, have no regard for the safety of their opponents. They adopt tactics which would not be tolerated here, and when, as is usual, the referee is a foreigner, with a foreigner's ideas of how the game may be played, there is no effective curb on the passions of the players.
   "It is a remarkable commentary on the importance of the game, from the Italian point of view, that business in Rome was practically at a standstill while a broadcast of the match was in progress, and that Mussolini himself was in a state of high excitement while awaiting the result.
   "If an international game has to be played in such an atmosphere the sooner the English Football Association decides to confine its activities to developing and fostering the game within its own sphere the better it will be not only for football but for the peaceful relations between nations. The bitterness of feeling that is creeping into all forms of international sport is something which all true sportsmen deplore."

   Football League

Division Three (North) Cup first round match played on 14 November 1934:

Fryer (Wallbanks)
6,190 (Racecourse Ground, Wrexham)

Oblivious to what was going on at Highbury, these two local rivals had their own close encounter. It was over three months later, when Chester won the replay 1-0 at Sealand Road.


It was on 14 November 1934 that the inquest into the death of 26-year-old Doctor Roger Richmond, three months earlier, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, concluded that it was a tragic accident. He had fractured his skull after falling through a glass skylight over the out-patients' department from the bottom of a fire escape, whilst talking to a nurse, who also fell through the glass roof and broke her leg.

Source Notes

Player details for Italy are taken primarily from the official Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio website and Libreria dello Sport, Maglie Azzurre: Nomi, cifre e date delle nazionali italiane (Datasport, Milan, 1996).

The official FIGC website has Eraldo Monzeglio's birthdate as 5 May 1906, while Maglie Azzure has it as 5 June 1906.

The official FIGC website has Luigi Bertolini's birthdate as 13 September 1904 while Maglie Azzure has it as 13 November 1904.

The official matchday programme, information of which was kindly provided by Rob Clark.
Original newspaper reports