England Football Online
Page Last Updated 8 February 2021
240 Party vs. Italy

241 Party vs. Denmark
Wednesday, 19 May 1948
End-of-Season Tour 'B' Friendly Match

Switzerland B 1 England 5
Match Summary
Switzerland B Party
England Party

Team Records
The England Party for the tour of the Continent  May 1948
Player Birthdate Age Pos Club App G Capt
Aston, John 3 September 1921 26 LB Manchester United FC 6 0 0
Cockburn, Henry 14 September 1921 26 LHB Manchester United FC 5 0 0
Ditchburn, Edwin G. 24 October 1921 26 G Tottenham Hotspur FC 0 0ᵍᵃ 0
Ditchburn was a stay-at-home reserve
Finney, Thomas 5 April 1922 26 OR Preston North End FC 12 11 0
Franklin, Cornelius 24 January 1922 26 CHB Stoke City FC 14 0 0
Howe, John R. 7 October 1915 32 LB Derby County FC 1 0 0
Langton, Robert 8 September 1918 29 OL Preston North End FC 9 1 0
Lawton, Thomas 6 October 1919 28 CF Notts County FC 22 22 0
Mannion, Wilfred J. 16 May 1918 30 IL Middlesbrough FC 13 8 0
Matthews, Stanley 1 February 1915 33 OR Blackpool FC 25 9 0
Mortensen, Stanley H. 26 May 1921 26 IR Blackpool FC 7 11 0
Nicholson, William E. 26 January 1919 29 RHB Tottenham Hotspur FC 0 0 0
Pearson, Stanley C. 11 January 1919 29 IF Manchester United FC 1 0 0
Ramsey, Alfred E. 22 January 1920 28 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 0 0 0
Swift, Frank V. 26 December 1913 34 G Manchester City FC 14 12ᵍᵃ 0
Scott, Lawrence 23 April 1917 31 RB Arsenal FC 14 0 0
Wright, William A. 6 February 1924 24 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 14 0 0
All information is complete to and including England's last match, the sixth of the 1947-48 season, against Italy on 16 May 1948.


"The International Football Federation (F.I.F.A.) today finally settled all speculation about England's match with Czechoslovakia, due to take place in Prague next month, by ruling that the match must be cancelled. This was communicated to F.A. Secretary Stanley Rous, who was here as a guest at the France-Italy game.
"The Czech F.A., newly constituted under the Communist regime, are not now recognised as being in membership with F.I.F.A., and are barred from international games against countries whose associations come within the F.I.F.A. scope.
"It will not be necessary for any action in the matter to be taken by the English F.A. apart from a formal message of regret at our non-appearance.
"There may be a further official statement tomorrow when the referee's committee of the International Federation is due to meet in Paris―curiously enough under the chairmanship of M. Valousek, who was also chairman of the Czech F.A. before the political coup. It is not expected that M. Valousek will turn up.
"I saw Mr. Rous at the Stade Colombes and he assured me that no alternative game had yet been fixed for England's tour. He expects to be able to make known the new plans this week. I understand that financial complications may rule out Spain.
"The second match of the tour will be against Italy at Turin, and England team manager Walter Winterbottom was also in Paris today to run the rule over the Italians."
- Clifford Webb, Daily Herald

Monday, 12 April 1948 - "It is not surprising that England's selectors have decided to wait until Cup Final eve, or even later, before announcing the 16 players for the European tour. Mediocre Hampden form, plus a worrying crop of injuries, prompted a rush of second thoughts. The selectors left their Glasgow hotel meeting on Saturday night armed with a list of more than 20 players to watch in the next two weeks.
"The tour itself is still not fixed. Latest information is that Spain, anxious to receive us as Soccer guests, have waived the financial stipulations which made their previous offer unacceptable. There are three alternatives to the cancelled Prague game in this order (favourites first). 1. Spain in Madrid. 2. Austria in Vienna. 3. a second match against an Italian side, which would not rank as a full international in Rome."
- Clifford Webb, Daily Herald

Friday, 23 April 1948 - "Efforts to fix up a Soccer match between Spain and England in Madrid as an alternative to the cancelled Czechoslovakia-England game have failed. The F.A. announced yesterday that the fixture was definitely off. The tour will probably now be confined to a match against Italy at Turin on Sunday, May 16, and against the Swiss 'B' team at Bellinzona the following Wednesday. Negotiations with the Spanish football authorities broke down because they would not agree to our financial terms. Bargaining had been conducted by telegram and telephone between London and Madrid for some days. From our players point of view, however, it is probably the best thing that could have happened. They would have flown from London on May 4 to play a match two days later, and would have had no time to become acclimatised." - Clifford Webb, Daily Herald.

Sunday, 25 April 1948 - "Jack Howe, Derby County's left-back and captain, is among the 15 players named for the England tour of Italy and Switzerland next month. It is the first time he has been officially recognised by the F.A. selectors. Two left-backs, Howe and Aston have been named. Hardwick, who was injured in the England-Scotland match on April 10, is not included."
"Three men from Manchester United, F.A. Cup winners, and two from Blackpool, the runners-up, are included in the party of 15 players chosen in London yesterday. A sixteenth player has yet to be selected."
"The players, with Jimmy Trotter, Charlton trainer in charge, will leave London by air on Tuesday, May 11, which will give them four clear days at their Stresa headquarters to prepare for the Turin game."

Monday, 10 May 1948 -
"England's Soccer tourists due to leave by air for Italy tomorrow, meet behind closed doors at Arsenal Stadium this morning for secret preliminary work-out."
The sixteenth man is added before this point, it is Southampton's Alf Ramsey, which has caused something of a surprise, as it was expected an extra goalkeeper would be brought along, instead, Ted Ditchburn was called up but requested to stay at home.

Wednesday, 12 May 1948 -
"Taking a leaf out of the Continental Soccer book, the England players...are to have a strictly hush-hush tactical work-out tomorrow.
"Italian journalists and photographers, who invaded the Stresa club's ground this morning and had as many interviews and pictures as they wanted, have been warned that similar facilities will not be granted at Intra, a few miles away, where our plans to beat Italy will be put into practise.
"All the players are fit, but the final team announcement is being delayed until Friday or Saturday. There are two real problems: Aston or Howe as Hardwick's successor at left-back, and Pearson or Mannion at inside-left. Because of the usually hypnotic effect any clever ball-holding player has on Continental defences, Mannion may get the forward berth. Both sides will have two substitutes standing by to replace players who may be injured and unable to resume."
- Clifford Webb, Daily Herald

Saturday, 15 May 1948 -
"England are slight favourites to beat Italy to-morrow in what, as far as the Continent is concerned, must be termed 'the match of the century.'
"Soccer fans are paying as much as £20 for seats. More than 400,000 applications were made for the 75,000 places in the granite stadium where the match will be played, and more than 600 journalists from all over Europe will report the game.
"England's team
[is announced]. All five reserves will be sitting, changed, on the touchline if the need arises for substitutes, which will be allowed according to international rules.
"The Englishmen's financial reward will be £20 each. What the Italians are getting is a secret, but the figure mentioned is £60 if they lose, and considerably more if they win." - Liverpool Echo
[2018 equivalent - £20=£508 & £60=£1,525]

"For the first time in International match training we had five-a-side practise games and everyone was on their toes and rarin' to go as the great day approached." - Billy Wright, The World is My Football Pitch. p62

"On the eve of the Italy-England game at Turin today—Italy's match of the century—I learned that Tommy Lawton, England's centre, has a knee injury. Team manager Walter Winterbottom, says that Tommy will play. But if he can't, Mortensen will lead the attack" - Stanley Halsey, Daily Mirror

Sunday, 17 May 1948 -
"Mortensen and Swift were the heroes of this match at Turin. Stan Mortensen can look back on many great games in representative matches, but his magnificent performance will give him one of his greatest memories, It was as well for England that he was in such good form, for Lawton had an off-day and Matthews, Finney and Mannion have all played much better. England were hardly worth their 4-0 win. Hust before half-time, in particular, the play was one long Italian attack. The Italians, in fact, twice put the ball in the net in the space of a couple of minutes, but were ruled offside. Scorers were Mortensen, Lawton, and Finney (2)." - Press and Journal

Tuesday, 18 May 1948 -
"England against Switzerland 'B' at Bellinzona tomorrow, make sweeping changes from the side which beat Italy 4—0. Only Swift and Franklin retain their normal places, so that every member of the touring party will have had a game." - Daily Mirror

England Form: last six games
W W D W W W  f 13:a success: 67%
235 21 September 1947 - Belgium 2 England 5 [1-3]
Stade du Heysel, Bruxelles (62,500)
Mermans, Lemberecht
Lawton (2), Mortensen, Finney (2)
236 18 October 1947 - Wales 0 England 3 [0-3]
Ninian Park, Cardiff (55,000)
Finney, Mortensen, Lawton BC AW
237 5 November 1947 - England 2 Ireland 2 [0-0]
Goodison Park, Liverpool (67,980)
Mannion, Lawton
Walsh, Doherty
238 19 November 1947 - England 4 Sweden 2 [3-1]
Arsenal Stadium, London (44,282)
Mortensen (3), Lawton
Nordahl, Gren (pen)
239 10 April 1948 - Scotland 0 England 2 [0-1]
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Finney, Mortensen BC AW
240 16 May 1948 - Italy 0 England 4 [0-2]
Stadio Comunale di Torino, Torino
Mortensen, Finney (2), Lawton Tour AW