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211 vs. Finland
213 vs. Wales

Saturday, 23 October 1937
Home International Championship 1937-38 (50th) Match

Ireland 1 England 5 [0-2]

Match Summary
Ireland Party

England Party

Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, county Antrim
Attendance: 36,000;
Kick-off: tbc GMT

England - George Mills (allowed to go on from an offside position to score 10, a well-placed low drive from a Crayston pass 20, rebound after Goulden's shot had hit the post 55), Willie Hall (close-range shot from a Brook pass 58), Eric Brook (from a pass by Mills 75).
Ireland - Alex Stevenson (89).
Results 1930-39

? won the toss, ? kicked-off.


Match Summary





Referee - Willie Webb

Linesmen - not known

The international match fee for each player is now £8.

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

Ireland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 34th to 35th
Colours: Green jerseys with white white winged collars, white shorts.
Capt: x Selectors: Team Selection by Committee, on Monday, 18 October 1937;
Ireland Lineup
  Breen, Thomas 25 15 June 1912 G Manchester United FC, England 6 20 GA
2 Hayes, William E. 21 7 November 1915 RB Huddersfield Town AFC, England 1 0
3 Cook, William 28 20 January 1909 LB Everton FC, England 10 0
4 Mitchell, William 26 22 November 1910 RH Chelsea FC, England 14 0
5 Jones, John 30 3 April 1907 CH Glenavon FC 23 0
6 Browne, Robert J. 25 9 February 1912 LH Leeds United AFC, England 3 0
7 Kernaghan, Norman 20 29 July 1917 OR Belfast Celtic FC 3 2
8 Stevenson, Alexander E. 25 9 August 1912 IR Everton FC, England 10 4
9 Martin, David K. 23 1 February 1914 CF Nottingham Forest FC, England 8 3
10 Doherty, Peter D. 24 5 June 1913 IL Manchester City FC, England 7 0
11 Madden, Owen 20 5 December 1916 OL Norwich City FC, England 1 0


reserves not known
2-3-5 Breen -
Hayes, Cook -
Mitchell, Jones, Browne -
Kernaghan, Stevenson, Martin, Doherty, Madden


Age 24.3 Appearances/Goals 7.8 0.7


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 5th to 4th
Colours: The 1935 home uniform - White collared jerseys, navy blue shorts, black socks topped with two white hoops
Capt: Sam Barkas, first captaincy, replacing Alf Young Selectors:
In charge: W.C. Cuff
The fourteen-man FA International Selection Committee, following the trial match, on Wednesday, 13 October 1937.
179th match, W 114 - D 30 - L 35 - F 537 - A 203.
England Lineup
  Woodley, Victor R. 27 26 February 1910 G Chelsea FC 5 4 GA
2 Sproston, Bert 22 22 June 1915 RB Leeds United AFC 2 0
3 Barkas, Samuel 27 29 December 1909 LB Manchester City FC 3 0
4 Crayston, W. John 27 9 October 1910 RH Arsenal FC 6 0
5 Cullis, Stanley 20 25 October 1916 CH Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1 0
6 Copping, Wilfred 30 17 August 1907 LH Arsenal FC 14 0
7 Geldard, Albert 23 11 April 1914 OR Everton FC 4 0
8 Hall, G. William 25 12 March 1912 IR Tottenham Hotspur FC 2 1
Mills, George R. 28 29 December 1908 CF Chelsea FC 1 3
10 Goulden, Leonard A. 25 9 July 1912 IL West Ham United FC 3 1
11 Brook, Eric F. 29 27 November 1907 OL Manchester City FC 17 10


Bill Scott (Brentford FC) and originally Stan Cullis (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), replaced by Leicester City FC's Septimus Smith

team notes:

Reserve Stan Cullis earned his debut after original centre-half and captain, Huddersfield Town AFC's Alf Young, dropped out because of an ankle injury. Sam Barkas was appointed as the replacement captain on 22 October.
George Mills is the first player to score a hat-trick on his debut since Jimmy Settle did so in February 1899.
2-3-5 Woodley -
Sproston, Barkas -
Crayston, Young, Copping -
Geldard, Hall, Mills, Goulden, Brook.


Age 25.7 Appearances/Goals 5.3 0.9


    Match Report

England were generally expected to beat Ireland in the opening match of the international tournament at Windsor Park, Belfast, on Saturday, and they did so by five goals to one. Ireland were outclassed in every department of the game, and at no time looked like challenging England's supremacy...

Mills nearly scored in the opening minutes with a shot that Breen saved magnificently, but he was luckier when in the 10th minute he was allowed to go on from what seemed an off-side position to score for England. Crayston then gave a good pass to Mills who, passing Jones, shot a second goal with a well-placed drive...

...However, a third goal to England soon came, Mills scoring after Goulden had hit the upright with a hard drive. A fourth goal followed quickly. Mills passed to Goulden, the ball went from him to Copping, and then to Brook, who returned it for Hall to beat Breen from close range...

...But he could not prevent England adding a fifth goal, scored by Brook from a pass by Mills. Just before the end Stevenson scored for Ireland. - The Times - Monday 25th October, 1937


   The Council of the English Football Association, at their meeting in London yesterday [4 October 1937], embarked upon a new departure when they agreed that teams in the Ireland v. England international match at Belfast on October 23 should be numbered.
   Mr R. Graham, secretary of the S.F.A., when asked last night regarding the Scottish position on the numbering of international players, expressed the opinion that the S.F.A. would not consider the matter unless they were approached by some of the other national bodies.

   The decision to number the England team suggests a change of policy.
   The "Mail" understands that it is almost certain that all England teams in future will be numbered providing their opponents agree.
   Mr W. Pickford, in an exclusive interview after the Council meeting, said:- "This is the first time an England international team has been numbered and I personally am in favour of the numbering of players in all matches. Of course, I cannot speak for the Council, but I am sure that many of the members see eye to eye with me. In a 70,000 crowd, I am certain that there are hundreds of people who like the guidance of numbers in helping to identify players." -
5 October 1937

Although Stanley Rous, in May of this year, stated that the touring members of the England Party would be numbered, we believe the final sentence of the Ireland match report sums up the anomaly.... "For the first time in international matches between home countries the teams of both sides were numbered."
- 24 October 1937

Source Notes

Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats
Original Newspaper Reports
Rothman's Yearbooks
FA Yearbooks 1950-60