England Football Online
Results 1946-1950                       Page Last Updated 30 March 2023


204 vs. Belgium
'B' 01 vs. Switzerland
233 vs. Switzerland
previous match (119 days)
234 vs. Portugal
  next match (27 days)

236 vs. Wales
255 vs. Belgium
Sunday, 21 September 1947
Belgian F.A. Golden Jubilee Celebration Match

Belgium 2 England 5 [1-3]
Players lost since last match
Herbert Banks (mid-1947) 72
Gordon Wright (5 June) 62
Percy Fairclough (22 June) 89
John Sutcliffe (7 July) 79

Stade du Heysel, Plateau du Heysel, Bruxelles
Kick-off (CET & BST): 4.00pm
unknown kicked-off
[1-3] Jef Mermans 33
 deflected in by Hardwick's legs
[0-1] Tommy Lawton header 1 0:12
header from Stan Matthews 'putting over a' cross
[0-2] Stan Mortensen header 15
scored from a Tommy Lawton header, from a Matthews pass
[0-3] Tom Finney header 19
headed in a Stan Matthews free-kick 'the goalkeeper allowed the slippery ball to jump out of his hands'
[2-3] Torreke Lemberecht header 55
 nicely placed header scraped under the bar

Belgian FA state that de Cleyn scored their second, as does Clifford Webb

[2-4] Tommy Lawton header 60

another header from a Stan Matthews free-kick
[2-5] Tom Finney header 63
header from Stan Matthews 'run from near midfield beat five men and lobbed the goalkeeper'.
no TV or Radio coverage


Officials from Scotland          Belgium FIFA ruling on substitutes England
M. Martin
Angus Hotel, Blairgowrie, announced 17 September
"Before the Boy Scout Band, which played the pre-match music, had had time to park their instruments, England had one in the net. I made it exactly 12 seconds from kick-off" - Clifford Webb, The Daily Herald, Monday, 22 September 1947.

The FIFA ruling of allowing a substitute to replace an injured player prior to the 44th minute, and a goalkeeper at any time, is in place.
M. Andrew Watt
H. William G. Livingstone
Belgium Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 48th
Colours Probably red jerseys, red shorts, red socks 
Captain Bert de Cleyn Manager William Joseph Gormlie (b.mid-1911 in Toxteth Park, England)
Belgium Lineup
  Daenen, François 28
27 days
25 August 1919 G Royal Tilleur FC 10 25ᵍᵃ
2 Aernaudts, Léon 29
42 days
10 August 1918 RB Royal Berchem Sport 5 0
3 Pannaye, Joseph 25
54 days
29 July 1922 LB Royal Tilleur FC 13 0
final app 1944-47
4 Coppens, Hendrik 28
326 days
30 October 1918 RHB Royal FC Malinois 10 3
5 Henriet, Jules 29
220 days
13 February 1918 CHB Royal Charleroi SC 6 0
6 Massay, Fernand 27
275 days
20 December 1919 LHB Royal Standard de Liege 4 0
Lemberecht, Victor 23
129 days
15 May 1924 OR Royal FC Malinois 12 3
Mermans, Joseph 25
217 days
16 February 1922 IR RSC Anderlecht 5 1
9 de Cleyn, Albert 30
85 days
28 June 1917 CF Royal FC Malinois 10 8
10 Anoul, Léopold R.J.V. 25
51 days
19 August 1922 IL Royal Standard de Liege 4 3
11 Thirifays, René 26
348 days
8 October 1920 OL ROC de Charleroi-Marchienne 6 1
unused substitutes: Rie Meert, Joseph Hoble, Adolf de Buck, Antoine Puttaert.

team notes:

Although dubbed as a Jubilee match, the Belgian FA actually celebrated their fiftieth anniversary two years previously, in 1945.
2-3-5 Daenen -
Aernoudts, Pannaye -
Coppens, Henriet, Massay -
Lemberecht, Mermans, Decleyn, Anoul, Thirifays.
Averages: Age 27 years 95 days Appearances/Goals 7.7 1.5
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours The 1946 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
P 9th of eighteen, W 7 - D 1 - L 1 - F 38 - A 8.

George Hardwick Manager Walter Winterbottom, 34 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
9th of 13, W 7 - D 1 - L 1 - F 38 - A 8. P 9th of 139, W 7 - D 1 - L 1 - F 38 - A 8.
  Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, on Thursday, 11 September.
England Lineup
  one change to the previous match (Ward>Lowe) league position (11 September)  
  Swift, Frank V. 33
269 days
26 December 1913 G Manchester City FC (FL 11th) 9 8ᵍᵃ
2 Scott, Lawrence 30
151 days
23 April 1917 RB Arsenal FC (FL TOP) 9 0
3 Hardwick, George F.M. 27
231 days
2 February 1920 LB Middlesbrough FC (FL 4th) 9 0
668 4 Ward, V. Timothy 30
5 days
16 September 1917 RHB Derby County FC (FL 6th) 1 0
27th County player to represent England
5 Franklin, Cornelius 25
240 days
24 January 1922 CHB Stoke City FC (FL 18th) 9 0
6 Wright, William A. 23
227 days
6 February 1924 LHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 5th) 9 0
Matthews, Stanley 32
232 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC (FL 3rd) 21 9
Mortensen, Stanley H. 26
118 days
26 May 1921 IR Blackpool FC (FL 3rd) 2 5
Lawton, Thomas 27
350 days
6 October 1919 CF Chelsea FC (FL 15th) 17 18
the 140th (7th post-war) brace scored
10 Mannion, Wilfred J. 29
128 days
16 May 1918 IL Middlesbrough FC (FL 4th) 9 7
Finney, Thomas 25
169 days
5 April 1922 OL Preston North End FC (FL 2nd) 7 7
the 141st (8th post-war) brace scored
unused substitutes: Willie Watson (Sunderland AFC (FL 17th)).
records: Frank Swift broke the goalkeeping clean sheet record by a single minute, extending the record from 377 to 378 minutes, when Jef Mermans scored in the 33rd minute.
2-3-5 Swift  -
Scott, Hardwick -
Ward, Franklin, Wright -
Matthews, Mortensen, Lawton, Mannion, Finney.
Averages: Age 28 years 161 days Appearances/Goals 9.3 3.7
oldest post-war team so far most experienced post-war team so far
        Match Report by Mike Payne

Most of Belgium's political VIPs were amongst the spectators in the Heysel Stadium to witness a fine performance by an England side inspired by the magic of Stanley Matthews.
Rain threatened at the start but it took England only one minute to take the lead. A lovely move, in which all the forwards featured, ended with Tommy Lawton scoring from Matthews' pass.
By now the rain was lashing down but more delightful play soon gave England their second goal. Again Matthews was involved. His cross was headed down into some space by Lawton and Stan Mortensen burst through to beat Daenen with a good shot.

That goal had come after 15 minutes and. almost at once, Matthews set up another goal. This time his cross to the far post was met by Tom Finney, who made it 3-0.

Belgium hit back before half-time when Mermans put in a fine header that was well saved by Frank Swift. The inside-right was not to be denied though and shortly afterwards he took a pass from De Cleyn and shot home via a deflection off George Hardwick's legs. The goal ended an eventful first 45 minutes.

After the berak the rain stopped and the sun came out. It spurred Belgium on and ten minutes into the second half, they really opened up the game with a second goal. Swift was drawn badly out of position and Lemberecht was able to head into an empty net.

The Belgians then threw everything at England trying desperately to find an equaliser. But Matthews had other ideas. A superb dribble, in which he beat man after man, ended with him setting up Finney with the easiest of chances for the goal that settled the issue.

Before the end, England underlined their superiority with a fifth goal. The incredible Matthews again made the running before Lawton headed past the goalkeeper.


        Match Report by Norman Giller

Many observers considered this the finest match Stanley Matthews ever played for England. The "Wizard of Dribble" laid on all five goals and at the final whistle got a standing ovation from the Belgian crowd. Stanley started the slaughter after just 35 seconds when he crossed for Tommy Lawton to score with one of his typical headers.  It was raining cats and dogs and goals as England raced 3-0 clear before the Belgians pulled one back just before half-time. Belgium began to get a grip on the game as the sun came out in the second-half, and they made it 3-2 before Matthews took over again, laying on decisive goals for first Tom Finney and - finishing as he had started - crossing the ball for Lawton to head his second goal and England's fifth. Derby County right-half Tim Ward made his debut, with Billy playing in the number six shirt. The game was played at the Heysel Stadium, the scene of the tragic crowd disaster during the 1985 European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus. The ground had been used as a park for German tanks during the war and the pitch had been re-laid. It started to cut up in the downpour. The Belgian defenders were slipping and sliding all over the place as Stanley ran rings round them. It was an astonishing performance by the Maestro. Five Belgians tried to get the ball off him when he set up the fourth goal. He beat each one of them, then dribbled round another for a second time before passing to Tom Finney, who had the simple task of placing the ball into the net for his second goal that had Matthews written all over it. Even by Stanley's standards, this was something very special.

        Match Report as reported in the F.A. Yearbook 1948-49, page 22

The International season opened with a victory at the Heysel Stadium at Brussels, September 21, 1947, over Belgium by five goals to two. In this match, as in so many others, Stanley Matthews at outside-right proved himself the player of the year; though he scored none of them, he 'made' all England's goals. In pouring rain England started with a perfect forward movement from the kick-off and scored within the first minute of the game. Lawton kicked the goal from a splendid pass from Matthews. A quarter of an hour later Matthews performed one of his famous runs and centred to Lawton who headed to Mortensen for the last-named to score. Very shortly afterwards Matthews placed a free kick in a perfect position for Finney to score again. A quarter of an hour from half-time Mermans, the Belgian inside-right, scored from a pass from is centre-forward, the ball being deflected into the net by Hardwick's legs.
In the second half the weather and the Belgian team both improved, and the next goal went to Belgium in ten minutes, being scored with a header by Lemberecht. At 3—2 the game became livelier but, in spite of Belgium's great efforts to level the score, Matthews soon made another of his dribbling runs, beating player after player down the field and giving Finney another easy chance to score the fourth goal. The last goal was scored with Lawton's head, after still another magnificent run by Matthews.

Domestic Football Results (20 September 1947)
All twelve England players on duty were absent from their club's first-division fixture on the previous day
The Football League Division One:
Arsenal 3 Stoke City 0
Arsenal were without Lawrie Scott
Stoke were without Neil Franklin
Blackpool 0 Sunderland 1
Blackpool were without Stan Matthews & Stan Mortensen
Sunderland were without Willie Watson
Chelsea 3 Everton 1
Chelsea were without Tommy Lawton
Derby County 1 Aston Villa 3
Derby were without Tim Ward
Huddersfield Town 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Wolves were without Billy Wright
Manchester City 0
Manchester United 1
City were without Frank Swift
Middlesbrough 1 Portsmouth 2
Middlesbrough were without George Hardwick & Wilf Mannion
Sheffield United 3 Preston North End 1
Preston were without Tom Finney

      In Other News....
It was on 22 September 1947 that the Post Office issued details of how they would provide relief on tobacco duty for pensioners who were habitual smokers or snuff takers. Tokens would be accepted as part-payments by tobacconists. It was in response to an increase in the tax of 43%. 1.4 million pensioners received the tokens, rising to 2.6 million when it was repealed, ten years later.
        Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record

Norman Giller, Football Author
Drew Herbertson, Scottish FA historian