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  Page Last Updated 22 March 2022



223 vs. Scotland
225 vs. Yugoslavia

Saturday, 13 May 1939
End-of-Season Tour Friendly Match

Italy 2 England 2 [0-1]

Stadio Civico San Siro, Parco Sempione, Milano
Attendance: 70,000 (new Italian record); Receipts: at least £14,000 (also an Italian record);
Kick-off: 5.00pm CET, 4.00pm BST
Second Half live on National Radio: Commentator: Ivan Sharpe

England - Tommy Lawton (headed in a Matthew's corner 19), Willie Hall (shot and beat the unsighted keeper 77)
Italy - Amedeo Biavati (a run rounding Mercer and Hapgood and cutting in to send in a hard-rising shot 47), Silvio Piola (Biavati crossed, Piola controlled the ball with his hand into the net 63)
Match Summary
Italy Party

England Party
Results 1930-39

Italy won the toss, England kicked-off.


Match Summary





Referee - Dr. Peco Joseph Bauwens
52 (24 December 1886), Germany

Linesmen - not known

In the midst of the obvious path to war, Stanley Rous visited Robert Vansittart, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office to seek advice regarding the forthcoming summer tour of Europe. "When?" asked Vansittart. "End of May!" was the reply. "In that case it will be all right" responded Vansittart, "It is August which will be the danger month." - Football Worlds: Stanley Rous, p.104.

Once more, the Fascist salute was given by the England team, before and after the match. Watched by Signor Mussolini's sons, Vittorio and Bruno, and his nephew Vito.

Italy Team

Current World Champions Colours: Blue v-necked shirts, white shorts.


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Capt: Giuseppe Meazza Selectors: Vittorio Pozzo, 53 (2 March 1886), Italy.
from 29 June to 3 July 1912, 9 March to 2 June 1924 and since 1 December 1929.
Italy Lineup (no numbers worn)
  Olivieri, Aldo 28 2 October 1910 G FC Torino 16 15 GA
  Foni, Alfredo 28 20 January 1911 RB Juventus FC 13 0
  Rava, Pietro 23 21 January 1916 LB Juventus FC 19 0
  Depetrini, Teobaldo 26 12 March 1913 RH Juventus FC 3 0
  Andriolo Frodella, Miguel Á. 26 6 September 1912
Born in Uruguay
CH Bologna 1909 FC 19 1
  Locatelli, Ugo 23 5 February 1916 LH Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 15 0
Biavati, Amedeo 24 4 April 1915 OR Bologna 1909 FC 7 3
  Serantoni, Pietro 32 11 December 1906 IR AS Roma 17 0
Piola, Silvio 25 29 September 1913 CF SS Lazio 21 21
  Meazza, Giuseppe 24 23 August 1910 IL Ambrosiana-Internazionale FC 49 33
  Colaussi, Gino 25 4 March 1914 OL US Triestina 20 10


reserves not known
2-3-5 Olivieri -
Foni, Rava -
Andriolo, Locatelli -
Biavati, Serantoni, Piola, Meazza, Colaussi.


Age 25.8 Appearances/Goals 18.1 6.2


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, twentieth captaincy. Selectors:
In charge: B.A. Glanvill
Trainer: Tom Whittaker
The fourteen-man FA International Selection Committee, Party selected on Thursday, 6 April, the team selected on Friday, 12 May 1939.
191st match, W 122 - D 31 - L 38 - F 575 - A 223.
England Lineup
  Woodley, Victor R. 29 26 February 1910 G Chelsea FC 17 22 GA
2 Male, George C. 29 8 May 1910 RB Arsenal FC 17 0
3 Hapgood, Edris A. 30 24 September 1908 LB Arsenal FC 29 0
4 Willingham, C. Kenneth 26 1 December 1912 RH Huddersfield Town AFC 11 1
5 Cullis, Stanley 22 25 October 1916 CH Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 10 0
6 Mercer, Joseph 24 9 August 1914 LH Everton FC 3 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 24 1 February 1915 OR Stoke City FC 16 8
8 Hall, G. William 27 12 March 1912 IR Tottenham Hotspur FC 9 9
9 Lawton, Thomas 19 6 October 1919 CF Everton FC 6 6
10 Goulden, Leonard A. 26 9 July 1912 IL West Ham United FC 12 3
11 Broome, Frank H. 23 11 June 1915 IR Aston Villa FC 5 2


Bill Morris (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, injured), Wilf Copping (Leeds United AFC), Leslie Smith (Brentford FC), Don Welsh (Charlton Athletic FC). Bob Hesford (Huddersfield Town AFC) was a stay-at-home reserve.
2-3-5 Woodley -
Male, Hapgood -
Willingham, Cullis, Mercer -
Matthews, Hall, Lawton, Goulden, Broome.


Age 25.4 Appearances/Goals 12.3 2.5


    Match Report

MILAN, May 13.--England, playing the first match of their Continental tour, drew with Italy in Milan this afternoon, each side scoring two goals. This was the third time the countries have met and, apart from a certain amount of doubt about Italy's second goal, the game was played in a most friendly and sporting atmosphere. A crowd of 60,000 people watched the match.

Rain, which had fallen steadily for hours before the kick-off, cast a distinct gloom over the Italians, as the soft condition of the ground was all in favour of the English style of play. This was particularly noticeable in the first half...

At the nineteenth minute Foni, under severe pressure, conceded a corner on the right. Matthews took the kick, and Olivieri, who appeared to be unsighted, was beaten by a header from Lawton...

The second half began with England attacking, but the Italians fought back strongly, and within two minutes they equalized. Biavati, gathering a pass from De Petrini, made ground down the wing, beat Mercer and Hapgood, and gave Woodley no sort of a chance with a hard, rising shot. This success filled the Italians with just the confidence they needed, and 16 minutes later they took the lead. Biavati centred the ball from the right, and Colaussi, closely marked by Male and Hapgood, went for it. The ball ran through to Piola, who hooked it into the net. English players protested that Piola had knocked the ball down with his hand to control it, but the referee, after consulting a linesman, allowed the goal to stand. Italy now dropped back on the defensive and packed their goal, but 13 minutes from the end Hall found an opening for a shot which beat Olivieri, who was apparently unsighted again.--Reuter. - The Times - Monday 15th May, 1939


English sides continue to do well on the Continent. Arsenal, playing the second match of their Scandinavian tour, easily beat Noorkoeping by eight goals to two on Saturday, before a record crowd of 20,000 people, while Wolverhampton Wanderers won by five goals to none against a combined Danish international side in Copenhagen. Leeds United also were successful, beating a combined Oslo side by two goals to none. Bolton Wanderers beat Bergen by four goals to none.--Reuter. - The Times - Monday 15th May, 1939

Arsenal were without Hapgood (the captain) and Male, who were playing against Italy in Milan, whilst Leeds were without Wilf Copping, who was a reserve against Italy, and Wolves were without Cullis, who was also playing against Italy, and Morris, who was a reserve.

Following a goalless draw in the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup Final between Rangers and Third Lanark at Hampden Park, Glasgow, Rangers were awarded the trophy on a 7-4 corner count.


It was on 14 May 1939 that 16-year-old housemaid, Winifred Higgs died when St Cyprian's School for boys at Eastbourne burnt down in the early hours. All of the pupils escaped, but the cook and housemaids were on the top floor. The cook made it onto the roof where she was rescued by firemen, and the maids escaped down the fire escape, where Miss Higgs fell onto a flat roof and died from her injuries.

Source Notes

Original newspaper reports
Rothman's yearbooks