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Results 1946-1950                          Page Last Updated 19 January 2021


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237 vs. Ireland

Saturday, 28 September 1946
Home International Championship 1946-47 (52nd) Match

 Ireland 2 England 7 [0-3]
Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, county Antrim
Kick-off (BST): 3.15pm (delayed because of crowd disturbance).
Attendance: 57,011 (a new stadium record);
Receipts: £5,950;
Peter Doherty won the toss England kicked off
[0-1] Raich Carter 1
from a defensive blunder
[0-2] Wilf Mannion 7
ran into an empty net from a Tommy Lawton cross
 [0-3] Wilf Mannion 28
rebound after Lawton's shot hit the bar

[1-5] Norman Lockhart 70

 slipped Wright and Scott to beat Swift from a Jimmy McAlinden cross

[2-7] Norman Lockhart 88
 flashed the ball past Swift
[0-4] Tom Finney 60
turned in a Bobby Langton goalline cross
[0-5] Wilf Mannion 61
following a Russell fault

[1-6] Tommy Lawton 80
from a Wilf Mannion pass
[1-7] Bobby Langton 83
following a long dribble
second half live on Radio Light Programme - Commentator: Raymond Glendenning


Officials        Ireland UK ruling on substitutes England
E. Webb


tbc tbc
Prematch entertainment provided by the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers Band
Ireland Team


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 39th to 41st
Colours: Green jerseys with white white winged collars, white shorts, blue socks with green tops.
"The smart rig worn by the Irish team and "Special victory" football used in the match were supplied by The Athletic Stores Ltd., of Wellington Place." - Belfast news-letter, Monday, 30 September 1946.
Capt: Peter Doherty Selection: ...by Committee on Thursday, 19 September 1946.
Ireland Lineup
  Russell, Alexander 23
253 days
18 January 1923 G Linfield FAC 1 7ᵍᵃ
only app 1946
2 Gorman, William C. 35
77 days
13 July 1911 RB Brentford FC, England 1 0
3 Aherne, Thomas 27
245 days
26 January 1919 LB Belfast Celtic FC 1 0
also has three appearances with Éire
4 Carey, John J.  27
217 days
23 February 1919 RHB Manchester United FC, England 1 0
also has ten appearances with Éire
5  Vernon, John J.   28
2 days
26 September 1918 CHB Belfast Celtic FC 1 0
6 Douglas, Joseph P. nk not known LHB Belfast Celtic FC 1 0
only app 1946
7 Cochrane, David A. 26
45 days
14 August 1920 OR Leeds United AFC, England 3 0
McAlinden, James 30
271 days
31 December 1917 IR Portsmouth FC, England 3 0
also has two appearances with Éire
9 McMorran, Edward J. 23
26 days
2 September 1923 CF Belfast Celtic FC 1 0
10 Doherty, Peter D. 33
115 days
5 June 1913 IL Derby County FC, England 11 2
Lockhart, Norman H. 22
208 days
4 March 1924 OL Linfield FAC 1 2
reserve: Jim Feeney (Linfield FAC)
team notes: West Bromwich Albion FC's Dave Walsh was the original chosen centre-forward, his place going to Eddie McMorran, after a knee injury in a club match forced his withdrawal.
2-3-5 Russell -
Gorman, Aherne -
Carey, Vernon, Douglas -
Cochrane, McAlinden, McMorran, Doherty, Lockhart.
Averages: Age 27 years 221 days¹⁰ Appearances/GoalsAppearances/Goals 2.3     0.1
England Team


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th to 5th
Colours: The 1946 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
1st match, W 1 - D 0 - L 0 - F 7 - A 2¹⁸


George Hardwick
1st capt, W 1 - D 0 - L 0 - F 7 - A 2¹³
Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 33 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
1st match, W 1 - D 0 - L 0 - F 7 - A 2¹³⁹
Masseuse: Walter Max 
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry on Wednesday, 18 September 1946,
 following the trial match between FA XI and Combined XI in Nottingham.
England Lineup
69   Swift, Frank V. 32
276 days
26 December 1913 G Manchester City FC 1 2ᵍᵃ
655 15th City player to represent England
656 2 Scott, Lawrence 29
158 days
23 April 1917 RB Arsenal FC 1 0
19th Arsenal player to represent England
657 3 Hardwick, George F.M. 26
238 days
2 February 1920 LB Middlesbrough FC 1 0
14th/15th Boro player to represent England
658 4 Wright, William A. 22
234 days
6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1 0
18th Wolves player to represent England
659 5 Franklin, Cornelius 24
247 days
24 January 1922 CHB

Stoke City FC

1 0
15th City player to represent England
660 6 Cockburn, Henry 25
14 days
14 September 1921 LHB

Manchester United FC

1 0
7th United player to represent England
661 7 Finney, Thomas 24
176 days
5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

1 1
12th North player to represent England
Carter, Horatio S. 32
281 days
21 December 1913 IR

Derby County FC

7 3
9 years & 168 days after his last app, 26th County player
Lawton, Thomas 26
357 days
6 October 1919 CF Chelsea FC 9 7
7 years & 127 days after his last app, 14th Chelsea player
662 10 Mannion, Wilfred J. 28
135 days
16 May 1918 IL

Middlesbrough FC

1 3
the 38th (first post-war) hattrick scored 14th/15th Boro player to represent England
663 11
Langton, Robert 28
20 days
8 September 1918 OL

Blackburn Rovers FC

1 1
34th Rovers player to represent England
reserves: Don Welsh (Charlton Athletic FC), Eddie Shimwell (Sheffield United FC).
Johnny Hancocks (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC) replaced Tom Finney.
team notes: Stanley Matthews (Stoke City FC) was selected for the starting eleven, but had to withdraw through injury and was replaced by Tom Finney from the reserves on 23 September.
records: Wilf Mannion is the first debutant to score a hat-trick since Jimmy Settle in February 1899. The eleventh to do so overall.
"The England team arrived in Belfast by boat from Liverpool [via Euston Station, London], and went at once to the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, which will be their headquarters until Saturday" - Belfast News-Letter, Friday, 27 September 1946.


Swift  -
Scott, Hardwick -
Wright, Franklin, Cockburn -
Finney, Carter, Lawton, Mannion, Langton.
Averages: Age 27 years 187 days Appearances/Goals 2.3 0.7

"W. Winterbottom may act as the F.A. team manager.
"Wing Commander W. Winterbottom, a former player with Manchester United and director of physical fitness at the Air Ministry during the war, has been appointed a member of the Football Association staff. His primary duties will concern the direction and extension of the coaching and instructional work of the English F.A. While he has not been appointed as England team manager, he will take charge of teams at the discretion of the International Selection Committee, and if so directed, will decide tactics.". -
Yorkshire Post, Tuesday, 9 July 1946

 "The Emergency Committee of the Irish Football Association held a special meeting in Belfast to consider a letter from the Football Association stating that their International Committee wanted assurance that only players born in Northern Ireland would be selected for the international match against England at Windsor Park on Saturday, September 28. The I.F.A. Committee did not announce their decision, but it is understood that they are to inform the Football Association that they see no reason why such an assurance should be given. The information given to the Press was: "We have drafted a reply which is being sent to the Football Association. A copy will be issued to the Press on Thursday afternoon. At the Liverpool Conference of 1923 the IFA was given international status and the Eire Association dominion status. Under this agreement the IFA had the right to select any Irish-born player attached to an English or Scottish club and the Eire Association was only permitted to call upon Eire-born players". -
Belfast News-Letter, Wednesday, 18 September 1946

    Match Report by Mike Payne

A RECORD 57,000 people attended the first official full Home International football match since 1939 and the huge swirling crowd threatened to cancel the game as the spectators spilled on to the pitch.  Thankfully, common sense and good humour prevailed and order was restored in time for the kick-off.

The match got off to a sensational start with England taking the lead in the first minute.  George Hardwick sent the ball into the Irish penalty area and after Ahearne had made a weak attempt at a clearance, Raich Carter pounced to open the scoring.

Although Ireland tried desperately to recover they could not stop the eager England forwards.  In the seventh minute it was 2-0.  Henry Cockburn found Tommy Lawton with a lovely pass and the centre-forward fond some space brilliantly to set up and easy goal for Wilf Mannion.  Middlesbrough's Mannion scored again before half-time after Lawton's ferocious shot rebounded off the crossbar and England went in with a commanding lead.

Carter and Mannion continued to perform brilliantly after the break to completely destroy Ireland's already shattered defences.  Time and again their fine passing set up more goal chances.  Within 15 minutes England had scored two more goals through Tom Finney and Mannion, who thus completed his hat-trick.

Finney was doing just as he pleased on the right wing and by this time Mannion and Carter were walking through the demoralised Irish ranks.  Lockhart gavethe eerily silent crowd something to cheer with a goal from the left, but Lawton and then Bobby Langton underlined England's superiority with goals six and seven.  Just before the end Lockhart gave the Irish another consolation goal but it was a very dejected set of green-shirted footballers who left the field at the final whistle.

England's display had been very impressive and Carter's link up with Finney was outstanding, much better than at anytime with Stanley Matthews; Mannion's performance was also memorable.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

Raich Carter scored in the first minute of what was a memorable match for Middlesbrough team-mates Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick.  Mannion illuminated his debut with a hat-trick, and Hardwick was made skipper in his first official international. He was to make thirteen successive appearances for England, all as captain. There was a record Windsor Park crowd of 57,000 for this first Home International match since 1939. England were 3-0 up at half-time. This was England's first game under the stewardship of Walter Winterbottom, a former Manchester United centre-half who was a university-educated intellectual whose depth of knowledge about the tactics and techniques of the game were unequalled. He was shackled and stifled by a team selection system that put all the responsibility on his shoulders but most of the power in the hands of amateur selectors. Winterbottom was lucky if he got his players together a day before an international match, and often they would arrive just a few hours before the kick-off. It was nothing unusual for England team-mates to meet each other for the first time in the dressing-room shortly before going out to play.

    ....elsewhere on this day

Football League Division One:-
   Aston Villa 5 Brentford 2
   Bolton Wanderers 1 Grimsby Town 2
   Chelsea 2 Charlton Athletic 2
   Derby County 1 Blackpool 2
   Huddersfield Town 1 Everton  0
  Liverpool 2 Leeds United 0
  Manchester United 3 Arsenal 2
  Preston North End 1 Stoke City 3
  Sheffield United 2 Middlesbrough 1
  Sunderland 1 Blackburn Rovers 0
  Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 Portsmouth 1

Source Notes

Original newspaper reports
Rothman's Yearbooks
Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats (for programme image too)
Northern Ireland's Footballing History
  Agnew, Paul, Finney: A Football Legend
Giller, Norman, Billy Wright: A Hero for All Seasons

Horsnell, Bryan & Douglas Lamming, Forgotten Caps: England Football Internationals of Two World Wars
Lamming, Douglas, An English Football Internationlists' Who's Who
Lawton, Tommy, My Twenty Years of Soccer
Miller, David, Stanley Matthews: The Authorized Biography
Payne, Mike, England: The Complete Post-War Record
Varley, Nick, Golden Boy: A Biography of Wilf Mannion
cg & py