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Results 1946-1950                       Page Last Updated 29 September 2017


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Saturday, 9 April 1949
Home International Championship 1948-49 (54th) Match

England 1 Scotland 3 [0-1]


Match Summary
England Party
Scotland Party

Empire Stadium, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (BST): 3.00pm.
Attendance: 98,188.

unknown kicked-off  

[1-3] Jackie Milburn 75

 diverted a Mortensen shot in off the post
[0-1] Jimmy Mason 37
6-yard flick off the post from a Reilly cross
[0-2] Billy Steel 50
6-yard tap-in into an empty goal while Houliston pressured Swift
[0-3] Lawrie Reilly 60
diving header from Waddell centre
Commentator: Jimmy Jewell with Peter Lloyd

Match Summary

Officials from Wales




Referee (-) - Benjamin Mervyn Griffiths
x (-), Abertillery, Monmouthshire.

Linesmen - F. Owen and F. Roberts

Teams presented to HRH Prince Philip. Also in attendance was Prime Minister Clement Attlee.

No substitutes permitted, as per UK ruling.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
Capt: Billy Wright, fourth captaincy Manager:
Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC)
Walter Winterbottom, 36 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
19th match, W 14 - D 3 - L 2 - F 67 - A 17.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry on Wednesday, 30 March 1949.
England Lineup
  Swift, Frank V. 35 26 December 1913 G Manchester City FC 18 17ᵍᵃ
2 Aston, John 27 3 September 1921 RB Manchester United FC 4 0
3 Howe, John R. 33 7 October 1915 LB Derby County FC 3 0
4 Wright, William A. 25 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

19 0
5 Franklin, Cornelius 27 24 January 1922 CHB

Stoke City FC

19 0
6 Cockburn, Henry 27 14 September 1921 LHB

Manchester United FC

9 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 34 1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 30 10
8 Mortensen, Stanley H. 27 26 May 1921 IR Blackpool FC 10 14
9 Milburn, John E.T. 24 11 May 1924 CF Newcastle United FC 4 3
10 Pearson, Stanley C. 30 11 January 1919 IL Manchester United FC 3 1
11 Finney, Thomas 27 5 April 1922 OL

Preston North End FC

15 12


Leon Leuty (Derby County), Roy Bentley (Chelsea).

team notes:

This is England's first post-war home defeat, despite fielding a record-equalling oldest post-war team.
2-3-5 Swift -
Aston, Howe -
Wright, Franklin, Cockburn -
Matthews, Mortensen, Milburn, Pearson, Finney.


Age 28.7 Appearances/Goals 12.2 3.5


Scotland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 13th to 10th
Colours: Blue jerseys with white collars, white shorts, blue socks with red tops.
Capt: George Young Manager:
Trainer: Alex Dowdells (The Celtic FC)
The Scottish Football Association Selection Committee, chose team on Wednesday, 30 March 1949.
Scotland Lineup
  Cowan, James C. 22 16 June 1926 G Greenock Morton FC 5 7ᵍᵃ
2 Young, George L. 26 27 October 1922 RB Rangers FC 13 0
3 Cox, Samuel R. 24 13 April 1924 LB Rangers FC 2 0
4 Evans, Robert 21 16 July 1927 RHB The Celtic FC 3 0
5 Woodburn, William A. 29 8 August 1919 CHB Rangers FC 6 0
6 Aitken, George G.M. 23 28 May 1925 LHB East Fife FC 1 0
7 Waddell, William 28 7 March 1921 OR Rangers FC 5 3
8 Mason, James 29 18 June 1919 IR Third Lanark FC 3 2
9 Houliston, William 28 4 April 1921 CF Queen of the South FC 2 2
10 Steel, William 25 1 May 1923 IL Derby County FC, England 10 4
11 Reilly, Lawrance 20 28 October 1928 OL Hibernian FC 2 1


Travelling reserves are Telfer (St. Mirren FC) and Thornton (Rangers FC).
Full team of reserves are Brown (Rangers FC); Govan (Hibernian FC) and Young (Rangers FC); Telfer and Ian McColl (Rangers FC); Jimmy Delaney (Manchester United FC) and Orr (Greenock Morton FC); Thornton; Billy Liddell (Liverpool FC);

team notes:

This is the youngest team England have faced post-war, so far.
2-3-5 Cowan -
Young, Cox -
Evans, Woodburn, Aitken -
Waddell, Mason, Houliston, Steel, Reilly


Age 25.0 Appearances/Goals 4.7 0.8


     Match Report by Mike Payne

England lost their first Home International since the war in a game watched by nearly 100,000 people. Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh joined the spectators under blue skies and a warm April sun.

For the first 25 minutes England tore into the Scottish defence with some brilliant football. Unfortunately, they found Cowan in unbeatable form and the goalkeeper virtually too England on single-handedly in this spell. Two saves from Stan Mortensen will live long in the memory as he continually kept Scotland in the match.

At the end of that period of England pressure, Cowan blocked Stan Pearson's shot after Tom Finney had centred. Mortensen followed up to flash the rebound towards the empty net, only to see Cox come from nowhere to clear from the goal-line. Twice Jackie Milburn went close and Cowan then saved brilliantly again, this time from Mortensen.

That final save brought England's superiority to an end and the Scots then hit back hard. On 29 minutes they took the lead. A throw-in by Houliston found Steel, who gave Reilly a clever pass which took John Aston out of the game. Reilly's cross was met by Mason and it was 1-0 as the ball went in off the far post.

After the interval Scotland inspired by the goal, were a changed side. Now moving quickly and effectively they were winning all of the loose balls and most of the tackles. Only Neil Franklin stood firm for England as Steel and Mason took control of the game.

In the first 15 minutes of the second-half, Scotland scored two more goals to virtually settle the result. Swift inter-passing between Mason and Steel found Houliston. The centre-forward back-heeled out of a ruck of English defenders and Steel was left with the easy task of walking the ball into the net. When Reilly headed home Waddell's perfect cross a few minutes later, the England defence was again caught flat-footed.

The home side, devastated by these two goals, manfully tried to fight back and in the last quarter of an hour came close to sensationally saving the game. Milburn pulled one goal back when he diverted a Mortensen shot and then Stanley Matthews saw a goalbound shot blocked by Milburn. Finally, in a rousing finish, a Pearson header hit the bar.

Over all, Scotland had deserved their win, but had it not been for the superb early work of Cowan, then it might have been a different story.

     Match Report by Norman Giller

The selectors decided to make five changes in the team that beat Switzerland 6-0. With Derby County dynamo Billy Steel at his most potent, Scotland tore into England after Scottish goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan had almost played England on his own in the opening twenty minutes. Jimmy Mason, Steel and Lawrie Reilly put the Scots on the way to the Home Championship before Milburn snatched a consolation goal. Scotland's goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was rightly hailed as the hero because of a string of wonderful saves in the first twenty minutes, but the real match winner for the Scots was their left-back Sammy Cox. He usually played as a wing-half and everybody expected Stanley Matthews to give him a roasting. But Sammy cleverly cut Stanley out of the game by intercepting many of the passes meant for the Maestro.

     Match Report by Glen Isherwood

Both England, the reigning British Champions, and Scotland had won both their previous matches. For England a point would give them their fifth successive peacetime Championship. Scotland had not beaten England since 1938 and had not won the Championship outright since 1936.

For the first 25 minutes it was all England, but the Scotland goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan made save after save to keep them out. Then Scotland struck. Reilly crossed and Jimmy Mason flicked the ball just wide of Swift to give the Scots a surprise lead. With an hour's play gone Scotland were, incredibly, three goals up. First. Billy Steel put Houliston through. Swift was slow in coming off his line but Aston managed to stab the ball away from the attacker before he could shoot only for Steel to net the attempted clearance. Then a Waddell cross was headed in by Lawrie Reilly. England finally got a goal back in the last 15 minutes when Finney laid the ball back for Mortensen whose shot was turned in by Jackie Milburn.

England regained the Championship the following year and qualified for their first World Cup in the process. Scotland finished runners-up after losing 1-0 to England at Hampden Park.

Source Notes

London Hearts.com
Original newspaper reports
Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record (Breedon Books Publishing Company, Derby, U.K., 1993)
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record (SportsBooks Limited, Cheltenham, U.K., 2006)

Norman Giller, Football Author