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298 vs. Denmark
Sunday, 26 September 1948
British Exhibition Friendly Match

Denmark 0 England 0 [0-0]

Idrætsparken, Inder Østerbro, København
Kick-off (CEST): 1.30pm 12.30pm BST

Attendance: 41,000.

unknown kicked-off  

Match Summary


Denmark Party FIFA ruling on substitutes England Party
Louis van der Meer

43 (29 July 1905), Den Haag, Netherlands.
tbc tbc
Attended by the King Frederick & Queen Ingrid of Denmark, as well as the Duke & Duchess of Gloucester.

Denmark Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 18th
Colours: Red collared buttoned jerseys, white shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Karl Aage Hansen Manager: Udtagelses Komitéen,
team chosen on Monday, 20 September 1948.
Denmark Lineup
  Nielsen, Eigel L.M.F. 30 15 September 1918 G Kjøbenhavns Bk 13 29ᵍᵃ
2 Petersen, Poul E. 27 11 April 1921 RB FC København 14 0
3 Jensen, H. Viggo 27 29 March 1921 LB Esbjerg fB 14 1
4 Pilmark, Axel 22 23 November 1925 RHB Kjøbenhavns Bk 8 0
5 Örnvold, Dion E. 26 17 October 1921 CHB Kjøbenhavns Bk 8 0
6 Jensen, T. Ivan 25 10 November 1922 LHB FC København 19 2
7 Plöger, Johannes T.L. 26 3 April 1922 OR Bk Frem af 1886 20 8
8 Hansen, Karl Aage 27 4 July 1921 IR FC København 21 17
9 Præst, Karl Aage 26 26 February 1922 CF Østerbros Bk 21 17
10 Hansen, John A.V.Ø 24 24 July 1924 IL Bk Frem af 1886 7 10
11 Seebach, Holger 26 17 March 1922 OL FC København 5 1

unused substitutes:

not known

team notes:

To make this International against England possible, the DFU waived the rule forbidding their national team to play against professional sides.
The team consists entirely of players who represented Denmark In the Olympic Games at Wembley last month. Denmark beat the British amateur team by 5-3 in the match for third place at the Games.
2-3-5 Nielsen -
V.Jensen -
Pilmark, Örnvold,
S.Jensen -
K.Hansen, Præst, J.Hansen, Seebach.


Age 26.0 Appearances/Goals 13.6 5.1


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd
Colours: The 1946 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
Capt: Frank Swift, second captaincy. Manager:
Member-in-charge: H.R. Cobbin
Walter Winterbottom, 35 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
15th match, W 11 - D 3 - L 1 - F 53 - A 12.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, on Monday, 13 September 1948.
England Lineup
Swift, Frank V. 34 26 December 1913 G Manchester City FC 15 12ᵍᵃ
2 Scott, Lawrence 31 23 April 1917 RB

Arsenal FC

15 0
3 Aston, John 27 3 September 1921 LB Manchester United FC 1 0
4 Wright, William A. 24 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

15 0
5 Franklin, Cornelius 26 24 January 1922 CHB

Stoke City FC

15 0
6 Cockburn, Henry 27 14 September 1921 LHB

Manchester United FC

6 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 33 1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 26 9
8 Hagan, James 30 21 January 1918 IR Sheffield United FC 1 0
9 Lawton, Thomas 28 6 October 1919 CF Notts County FC 23 22
10 Shackleton, Leonard F. 26 3 May 1922 IL Sunderland AFC 1 0
11 Langton, Robert 30 8 September 1918 OL

Preston North End FC

8 1

unused substitute:

Jackie Milburn (Newcastle United FC)

team notes:

On Tuesday, 21 September, Stan Mortensen (Blackpool FC), the original name inside-right, withdrew because of a sprained ankle and Tom Finney (Preston North End FC), the outside-left, also withdrew. Hagan moved from left to right, allowing Shackleton to be called up and Langton replaced Finney.
This side equals the record for the oldest post-war team England have fielded.
2-3-5 Swift -
Scott, Aston -
Wright, Franklin, Cockburn -
Matthews, Hagan, Lawton, Shackleton, Langton.


Age 28.7 Appearances/Goals 11.5 2.9


     Match Report by Mike Payne

The King and Queen of Denmark and our own Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were amongst the spectators to see England surprisingly held by the amateurs of Denmark.

On a rain-soaked ground, a much-changed England side featured in its first goalless draw since the war. There was no doubt that they were the better side but on the day they were woefully weak up front.

Although the sun was shining at the start, the pitch was sodden after heavy rain and water lay on at least one part of the playing area.

England should have scored after only two minutes but Len Shackleton with only the goalkeeper to beat, dallied too long and the defenders were able to clear. Nielson then did well to save a stinging shot from Tommy Lawton six minutes later but had no chance when the same player crashed the ball past him on 20 minutes. Fortunately for Denmark, the goal was disallowed for an earlier infringement by Shackleton. At the time, all the crowd seemed convinced that it was a wrong decision by the referee.

Denmark were defending stubbornly and the occasional break they made was dangerous. Indeed, only a fine save by Frank Swift stopped the embarrassment of I. Jensen scoring. England had the better of the first half, but sadly had left their shooting boots at home.

Denmark twice wen t close early in the second half when first K. Hansen headed over and then Ploeger's cross-cum-shot hit the top of the England crossbar. However, England continued to have most of the possession but they were badly missing the power of Stan Mortensen and Tom Finney in front of goal.

In the end, Denmark's crowd was absolutely delighted with the result and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of entertaining the mighty England team.

     Match Report by Norman Giller

English hearts stopped two minutes from the end when Danish right winger Johan Ploeger fired in a shot that went through the legs of Frank Swift and into the net, but the linesman's flag was up for off-side. England's forwards were unable to make an impact against a packed Danish defence on a heavy, rain-saturated pitch. The Danes were amateurs who two months earlier had finished third in the Olympics. This was their first ever match against professional opponents. John Aston, Jimmy Hagan and Len Shackleton made their international debuts in a game that brought crushing criticism for England's shot-shy performance. It marked  the end of Tommy Lawton's England career after 22 games and 23 goals, not counting his 25 goals in wartime internationals. He was convinced he had scored another goal against the Danes, but the referee disallowed it because of a foul by Len Shackleton. For once, the Clown Prince had nothing to laugh about. Shack made his debut wearing a pair of rugby boots. "They're more comfortable," he explained, "and they give better grip in muddy conditions." That certainly seemed the case when in the fifth minute he waltzed round the Danish goalkeeper and side-footed the ball towards goal. Shack turned ready to receive the congratulations of his team-mates, not realising that the ball had stuck in a mound of mud on the goal-line. Of all the players around in the immediate post-war years, Shack was the player with the most footballing tricks in his locker. There were often times when not only his opponents but even his own team-mates, and even perhaps Shack himself, did not know what he was going to do next.

Source Notes

Original newspaper reports
Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record (Breedon Books Publishing Company, Derby, U.K., 1993)
Billy Wright's The World is My Football Pitch (Stanley Paul Co., London, U.K., 1953)

Norman Giller, Football Author