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  Page Last Updated 14 March 2022



215 vs. Scotland
217 vs. Switzerland

Saturday, 14 May 1938
End-of-Season Tour Friendly Match

Germany 3 England 6 [2-4]

Olympiastadion, Westend, Berlin
105,000; Kick-off: 5.00pm CET

Match Summary
Germany Party

England Party
Team Records

England - Cliff Bastin (a volleyed rebound after Jakob saved a Goulden shot 16), Jackie Robinson (headed home Bastin's corner, 26, low drive into the corner of the goal 49), Frank Broome (dribbled around Goldbrunner and slammed his shot past Jakob 28), Stanley Matthews (dribbled in from his own half 42), Len Goulden (a 25-yard volley from a Matthews cross that ripped the net from the crossbar 85)
Germany - Rudi Gellesch (scrambled home a corner from a Szepan pass 20), Jupp Gauchel (after Woodley attempted to clear from a corner 44), Hans Pesser (a misunderstanding between Woodley and Sproston let Pesser through 78)
Results 1930-39

England won the toss, Germany kicked-off.


Match Summary





Referee - John Langenus
Antwerp, Belgium

Linesmen - L.E. Gibbs, Bucks & Berks F.A., and not known

Sir Neville Henderson, the British Ambassador in Germany, had advised the team, through the FA Secretary, Stanley Rous, to give the Nazi salute for the betterment of Anglo-German relations, as a mark of respect, NOT nationalism. The Germans had already decided to respect the English national anthem. - England Expects: James Corbett, p.61-66

Watched by Nazi luminaries such as Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels. p.63

Adolf Hitler, up until the day before, was due to be in attendance, but he did not turn up on the day.

Germany Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 8th to 10th
Colours: Red shirts with lace-up collars, white shorts, black shorts
Capt: Fritz Szepan, 26th captaincy Selectors: Josef Herberger, 41 (28 March 1897), appointed 1936.
22nd match, W 13 - D 6 -  L 3 - F 58 - A 29.
Germany Lineup
  Jakob, Hans 29 16 June 1908 G VSS Jahn Regensburg 35 45 GA
  Janes, Paul 26 10 March 1912 RB Düsseldorfer TSV Fortuna 1895 34 0
  Münzenberg, Reinhold 29 25 January 1909 LB TSV Alemannia Aachen 1900 39 0
  Kupfer, Andreas 24 7 May 1914 RH 1. FC Schweinfurt 1905 31 0
  Goldbrunner, Ludwig 30 5 March 1908 CH FC Bayern M�nchen 31 0
  Kitzinger, Albin 26 1 February 1912 LH 1. FC Schweinfurt 1905 18 2
  Lehner, Ernst 25 7 November 1912 OR SSV Schwaben Augsburg 39 19
Gellesch, Rudolf 24 1 May 1914 IR FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 14 1
Gauchel, Josef 21 11 September 1916 CF TuS Neuendorf 6 7
  Szepan, Friedrich H. 30 2 September 1907 IL FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 30 6
Pesser, Johann E. 26 7 November 1911 OL SK Rapid Wien 1 1
also 8 appearances, 3 goals for Austria, 1935-37


reserves not known

team notes:

This is the most experienced team that England have faced so far.
2-3-5 Jakob -
Janes, Münzenberg -
Kupfer, Goldbrunner, Kitzinger -
Lehner,Gellesch, Gauchel, Szepan, Pesser.


Age 26.4 Appearances/Goals 25.3 3.0


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: Eddie Hapgood, twelfth captaincy. Selectors:
Trainer: Tom Whittaker
The fourteen-man FA International Selection Committee, on Saturday, 30 April 1938.
183rd match, W 117 - D 30 - L 36 - F 550 - A 212.
England Lineup (no numbers worn)
  Woodley, Victor R. 28 26 February 1910 G Chelsea FC 9 13 GA
  Sproston, Bert 22 22 June 1915 RB Leeds United AFC 6 0
  Hapgood, Edris A. 29 24 September 1908 LB Arsenal FC 21 0
  Willingham, C. Kenneth 25 1 December 1912 RH Huddersfield Town AFC 3 1
  Young, Alfred 32 4 November 1905 CH Huddersfield Town AFC 6 0
  Welsh, Donald 27 25 February 1911 LH Charlton Athletic FC 1 0
Matthews, Stanley 23 1 February 1915 OR Stoke City FC 8 6
Robinson, John 20 10 August 1917 IR Sheffield Wednesday FC 2 3
Broome, Frank H. 22 11 June 1915 CF Aston Villa FC 1 1
Goulden, Leonard A. 25 9 July 1912 IL West Ham United FC 6 2
Bastin, Clifford S. 26 14 March 1912 OL Arsenal FC 19 10


Arthur Bateman (Brentford AFC), Stan Cullis (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Willie Hall (Tottenham Hotspur FC, withdrawn) and Harry Clifton (Newcastle United FC). Ted Drake (Arsenal FC) replaced Hall on 6 May.
2-3-5 Woodley -
Sproston, Hapgood -
Willingham, Young, Welsh -
Matthews, Robinson, Broome, Goulden, Bastin


Age 25.4 Appearances/Goals 7.5 1.5



   When England play Germany in Berlin on May 14, the German Football Association will retain the whole of the gate receipts from the match, the English Association paying their own traveling, hotel, and other expenses.
   In 1939 or 1940 the Germans will pay a return visit to England, when the whole of the receipts will go to the English Football Association. These terms, it is stated in the English F.A. International Selection Committee's minutes issued yesterday, have been accepted by the German F.A.

    Match Report

This match is remembered as much for the England team's rending of the Nazi salute during pre-game ceremonies in Berlin's packed Olympiastadion as it is for the result, a thumping for the Nazi regime's sporting pride and joy.  It was Germany's last match before the World Cup 1938 Finals in France in June, and they were full of confidence on the strength of a 16-game unbeaten streak that had seen them go through 1937 with an opening draw and then 10 straight wins, albeit that record was inflated by the level of the opposition they faced.  Sepp Herberger had become their second coach in September 1936, replacing Otto Nerz, and the only losses Germany had incurred since he took charge came in his fourth and fifth matches in October 1936, to Scotland in Glasgow 2-0, and to the Irish Free State in Dublin 5-2.

Germany had become even stronger because the annexation of Austria in the Anschluss of 15 March 1938, just two months before the meeting with England, gave them the pick of the many fine players who had performed for Austria, perhaps Europe's strongest national side during the early 1930's and still a tremendous force, although Germany had beaten the Austrian Wunderteam 3-2 in the third place match at the World Cup 1934 Finals in Italy.  After the Anschluss led to Austria's withdrawal from the 1938 World Cup Finals the month before this match--Germany notifying FIFA that Austria no longer existed--FIFA offered England a bye into the competition, but England rejected the invitation.  According to Chris Nawrat and Steve Hutchings' The Sunday Times Illustrated History of Football, England were determined that Germany should not benefit from the Anschluss in this match and obtained an agreement that the German team would not include any Austrian players on the condition that Aston Villa would play a friendly match the next day against a combined German and Austrian team.  Nonetheless, one of the players Germany lined up for this match, Hans Pesser, who scored Germany's third goal, had been an Austrian international.

The Nazi rulers regarded the match as a wonderful opportunity for political propaganda, and the German team undertook preparations that were quite extraordinary for the time, two weeks of intensive training in the Black Forest.  In contrast, per their usual practice then, the England team, arriving just after the close of a typically exhausting league season, played without any special training sessions.  The English players were also far less experienced in international play than their German counterparts.  Only captain Eddie Hapgood and Cliff Bastin had made more than 10 international appearances.  Two, left half Don Welsh and center forward Frank Broome, were making their debuts, and inside right Jackie Robinson, who had made his debut a year earlier in an 8-0 victory over Finland, was earning only his second cap.  Inexperience counted little on this day, however; Broome scored once and Robinson twice.

Before the match, at the direction of the British Ambassador to Germany, Sir Neville Henderson, and with the support of Football Association Secretary Stanley Rous, who would serve as FIFA President from 1961 to 1974, the England players  joined in the Nazi raised-arm salute as the German national anthem was played and Nazi leaders Göring, Goebbels, Hess and von Ribbentrop watched.  Some accounts say the English players did so reluctantly, but others maintain the fuss did not arise until the British press made it an issue.  In any event, England then set about dismantling a very good German team, although sweltering heat eventually slowed them in the second half.

Left winger Cliff Bastin, England's most experienced forward and longest-serving player, opened the scoring with a well-placed volley at 16 minutes, but Germany pressed and equalized four minutes later through inside right Rudi Gellesch.  England then quickly took command of the match.  Germany needlessly gave away a corner from which Robinson gave England the lead again at 26 minutes.  Two minutes later Welsh sent a defense-piercing pass through to fellow debutant Broome for England's third goal.  The fourth came a few minutes before half-time from a wonderful solo effort by Stanley Matthews, who controlled a high ball superbly, beat three German defenders and fired past the German keeper.  But as the half ended goalkeeper Vic Woodley's failure to clear the ball properly allowed young German center forward Jupp Gauchel to narrow the gap to two goals.

Early in the second half, Robinson restored England's three-goal lead with a low drive that veteran German goalkeeper Hans Jakob did not expect.  Broome missed a great chance for his second goal when he got by left back Reinhold Münzenberg, but sent his shot straight at Jakob.  With less than 15 minutes left, Pesser reduced the gap once again when he seized on confusion between Woodley and right back Bert Sproston to score Germany's third.  But England were not to be denied their three-goal victory margin.  With 10 minutes left, the little inside left Len Goulden struck a tremendous  shot from 30 yards that went in just under the crossbar and tore the netting away from it.

The result surely demoralized the German team.  The next month in Paris, they managed only an opening round 1-1 extra-time draw against Switzerland and went out to the Swiss in the replay, 4-2.  A little more than a year later England and Germany were at war.

The career statistics of the players who took the pitch that day demonstrate the toll World War II took on their playing careers.  England played no official internationals in the seven years between May 24, 1939 and September 28, 1946.  Of this England team, only Stanley Matthews wore the England colours following the war, and he was never again the international goalscorer he had been before the war.  The Germans continued playing internationals through 1942, but, expelled from FIFA immediately after the war in 1946, did not resume international play until late1950.  Of this German team, only Andeas Kupfer played internationally after the war, and then only once, in West Germany's single 1950 match.


It was on 13 May 1938 that two convicted murderers were given reprieves from their death sentences by the Home Secretary. 32-year-old William Teasdale had strangled his wife, Ruby, in Clapham after she confronted him with his new fiancée at a cinema, the night before. 27-year-old Stanley Martin had beaten a police constable, John Potter, to death when he was disturbed after breaking into a cider factory at which he worked, at Whimple, near Exeter. Both were commuted to life sentences, though it was believed that Teasdale was released in the 1950s.

Source Notes

The annexation of Austria by Germany meant that there was a vacant slot for the 1938 World Cup Finals, which FIFA subsequently offered to the Football Association, who, once again, turned down the offer to appear in France, and instead, embarked on a continental tour.

We have relied on kicker sportmagazin's 100 Jahre deutscher Fußball (November, 1999) for Germany's player details rather than Keir Radnedge's The Complete Encyclopedia of Football (1998), which occasionally differs on club affiliations and caps and goals totals, because we believe reputable sources in the country that hosted the match are generally the most reliable.  Moreover, the club affiliations set forth in kicker sportmagazin are confirmed by those listed in the German team roster for the 1938 World Cup, played the month following this match, appearing in Ken Knight, John Kobylecky & Serge Van Hoof's A History of the World Cup Volume 1: The Jules Rimet Years 1930-1970 (1998).

For the same reason, we have used Deutscher Fussball-Bund records for the attendance and the sequence and times of the goals rather than editor Keir Radnedge's The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Soccer:  The Definitive Illustrated Guide to World Soccer (4th ed. 1997), which has the attendance as 103,000 and the goals as follows:  Bastin, 12 mins.; Gauchel, 20 mins.; Robinson, 26 mins.; Broome, 36 mins.; Matthews, 39 mins.; Gellesch, 42 mins.; Robinson, 50 mins.; Pesser, 70 mins; Len Goulden, 72 mins.  The Green Flag Team England official website and Niall Edworthy's England: The Official F.A. History (1997) put the attendance at 110,000, while Nick Gibbs' England: The Football Facts (1988) has it as 115,000 and Ron Hockings & Keir Radnedge's comprehensive Nations of Europe (1993) as 120,000. 

Original Newspapers