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  Page Last Updated 2 October 2017



251 vs. Ireland
b5 vs. Switzerland ~ 253 vs. Scotland

Wednesday, 30 November 1949
International Friendly Match

England 2 Italy 0 [0-0]


Match Summary
England Party
Italy Party

White Hart Lane, High Road, Tottenham, Middlesex
Attendance: 71,797;
Receipts: 19,000; Kick-off: 2.15pm GMT
Live on BBC (UK) - Commentator: Jimmy Jewell and Peter Lloyd

England - Jack Rowley (left-footed shot from a Pearson centre 76), Billy Wright (twentyfive yard cross that sailed over Moro 81)
Results 1946-1950

England kicked-off. ? minutes (? & ?).


Match Summary





Referee (-) - John A. Mowat
x (-), Rutherglen.

Linesmen -
E.W. Baker, Surrey, and Antonio Cella.

Teams presented to the Earl of Athlone, the FA President and the Italian Ambassador.

The Continental ruling of allowing a substitute to replace an injured player prior to the 44th minute, and a goalkeeper at any time, is in place.
A white ball was used for the second half, to aid the players in failing light.
  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, eleventh captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 36 (31 March 1913), appointed director of coaching on 8 July 1946, and team manager in May 1947;
26th match, W 19 - D 3 - L 4 - F 90 - A 27.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry on Tuesday, 22 November 1949 in London.
England Lineup
  Williams, Bert F. 29 31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 4 GA
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 29 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 2 0
3 Aston, John 28 3 September 1921 LB Manchester United FC 11 0
4 Watson, Willie 29 7 March 1920 RHB Sunderland AFC 2 0
5 Franklin, Cornelius 27 24 January 1922 CHB

Stoke City FC

26 0
6 Wright, William A. 25 6 February 1924 LHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

26 2
7 Finney, Thomas 27 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

22 14
8 Mortensen, Stanley H. 28 26 May 1921 IR Blackpool FC 15 17
9 Rowley, John F. 31 7 October 1918 CF Manchester United FC 5 6
10 Pearson, Stanley C. 30 11 January 1919 IL Manchester United FC 5 3
11 Froggatt, Jack 27 17 November 1922 OL Portsmouth FC 2 1


Bernard Streten (Luton Town AFC), Ramsey and Jackie Milburn (Newcastle United FC). Bill Nicholson (Tottenham Hotspur FC) was drafted in as Ramsey's replacement.

team notes:

Initially, it was announced that the team that defeated Ireland last time out would be the team to take on Italy. However, on the day the team announcement was due, Williams was recalled instead of Streten.
Bert Mozley was therefore the original named right-back, he dropped out after failing a fitness test on a thigh injury on Sunday, 27 November, reserve Ramsey taking his place.
This is the third time that England have played the reigning World Champions, all against Italy, winning this, the second, and drawing another.
Billy Wright and Neil Franklin, both playing in their 26th consecutive match, equal the record set by Ernie Blenkinsop.
This is the first match to be played on 30 November since the very first in 1872.
Prior to this match, England were set-up in Brighton, using the Goldstone Ground to train on.
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Aston -
Watson, Franklin, Wright -
Finney, Mortensen, Rowley, Pearson, Froggatt.


Age 28.2 Appearances/Goals 10.9 3.7


Italy Team


Current World Champions

Colours: Sky blue crew necked jerseys, white shorts, black socks.
Rank: No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Capt: Riccardo Carapellese Manager: Ferruccio Novo
Party of sixteen chosen on Tuesday, 22 November 1949, team chosen on 29 November.
Italy Lineup
  Moro, Giuseppe 30   G AC Torino   GA
2 Bertuccelli, Alberto     RB Juventus FC    
3 Giocannini, Attilio     LB Internazionale Milano    
4 Annovazzi, Carlo     RHB Sampdoria 8  
5 Parola, Carlo     CHB Juventus FC    
6 Piccinini, Alberto     LHB Juventus FC 1 0
7 Boniperti, Gianpiero     OR Juventus FC    
8 Lorenzi, Benito     IR Internazionale Milano    
9 Amadei, Amedeo     CF Internazionale Milano    
10 Martino, Rinaldo  
born in Argentina
IL Juventus FC    
11 Carapellese, Ricardo     OL AC Torino 9 7


Osvaldo Fattori (Internazionale Milano), Sergio Manente (Juventus), Adriano Bassetto (Sampdoria) injured, Lucidio Sentimenti and Aldo Puccinelli (both SS Lazio).

team notes:

Ermes Muccinelli (Juventus FC) was drafted in as a replacement to Ricardo Carapellese beofre the Italinas left there base in Como. But the captain travelled and Muccinelli was not required.
Following the air tragedy that wiped out the Torino team, the Italian national side were barred from flying, they thus travelled to England via boat and road.
The Italian team were based at and trained at Hendon. Arriving at London's Victoria Station on board the Golden Arrow, on Sunday evening, 27 November.
The Italians were five minutes late returning for the second half... they were wanting to put out a non-substitute goalkeeper. Stanley Rous settling the issue.
2-3-5 Moro -
Bertuccelli, Giovannini -
Annovazzi, Parola, Piccinini -
Boniperti, Lorenzi, Amadei, Bassetto, Carapellese.


Age - Appearances/Goals - -


    Match Report by Mike Payne

There were over 60,000 people packed into White Hart Lane to see the latest challenge from a European country to England's unbeaten home record. They went away satisfied with the scoreline but not so happy with their team's performance. Only a superb display in a goal from Bert Williams kept the eager Italian forward line at bay and it was certainly a narrow shave for England.

However, the home side could have been ahead in the first minute. Right from the kick-off, a clever back-heel by Jack Rowley set up Stan Mortensen for a flashing shot which was brilliantly saved by Moro at full stetch.

Gradually, though, Italy's powerful forwards put England under increasing pressure. Lorenzi was particularly dangerous although all the forwards gave their markers a hard time. How Williams saved at point-blank range from Carapallese and Martino only he could tell you and he bettered even those saves with another brilliant effort from Lorenzi's shot.

This pattern carried on for two-thirds of the match. Mortensen's header did bring anonther fine save out of Moro following Tom Finney's cross, but Italy were pressing for much of the time. Finney was England's main hope and he was always troubling Giovannii with his neat footwork. With 14 minutes to go, England gained a vital breakthrough.

Willie Watson sent Jack Froggatt away and the winger cut inside before passing to Stan Pearson. His centre was then crashed home by a rocket shot from Rowley's left foot. It was a magnificent goal and one that was cruel luck for Italy, especially after having dominated the game for so long.

If that was cruel luck, then the second, killer goal was pure fluke. A hopeful 40-yard punt forward by England skipper Billy Wright was hopelessly misjudged by Moro and the ball somehow ended up in the back of the net.

It had been a narrow squeak for a disjointed England display. Neil Franklin and Watson always looked uncomfortable and Pearson and Froggatt never got their play together. In the end, England were thankful for Williams' mighty saves.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

England were outplayed for long periods by an over-elaborate Italian team, and only a series of fine saves by Bert Williams kept them in the game in a goalless first half. England snatched an undeserved lead fourteen minutes from the end when Jack Rowley scored with one of his typical thunderbolt left foot shots that the Italian goalkeeper could only wave to on its way into the net. The match was settled by a goal in a million from Billy Wright. His second goal for England was a complete freak. He lobbed the ball forward from a position just over the halfway line. It was intended for the far post. The Italian goalkeeper, unchallenged, came out to collect it just as a gust of wind made the ball change direction. He grasped at thin air as it curled over his head and into the net.

    What the Opposition said....

"Italian newspapers to-day praised their contry's Soccer team which yesterday held England at Tottenham for 77 minutes before losing 2-0. Most papers claimed that England's win did not reflect the surprising quality of the new Italian team, assembled since last May's air crash in which many of the country's national team died.
" "Il Tempo" said the Italians were "defeated but not dominated," adding, "the defeat rankles as n injustice, coming after an equally matched first half which we could have won."
" "Il Messagero," declaring "the English do not seem unbeatable," nevertheless gave high praise to Williams, Watson, Mortenson, Finney and Froggatt of the English team.
" "The English have made no progress since last year," said Il People, calling the result "Very unjust."
But L'Unita declared: "We must recognise that once again the Britain defeated us because they were stronger." -  Thursday, 1 December 1949, Evening Post

Source Notes

"Mr F. Howarth, secretary of the Football League, does not consider that white balls, as used in the match between England and Italy yesterday, are likely to be introduced into League games. "I do not think the ball offered many advantages over the ordinary one." he said. The England players considered conditions were not muddy enough for the real value of the white ball to be tested."
-  Thursday, 1 December 1949, Evening Post

"Before leaving the subject of Soccer for to-day, a word or two to clear up points arising out of the use of a white ball in the second-half of England v. Italy match. Actually, two were used, for when the original began to lose some of its pristine qualities in the mud another was thrown on to the field in the last 20 minutes. But they were not used to help television, although there seems to be a unanimous opinionthat they greatly helped reception. They were specially ordered by Sir Stanley Rous, secretary of the Football Association, because against the background of high stands at White Hart Lane the ordinary ball becomes almost invisible in the air when the light is failing. The makers tell me that they do not expect white balls to become popular. They are, apparently, difficult to make for when white chrome is introduced for coloring purposes the leather stretches. But we may see the white balls of Tottenham again. They have washed well and the F.A. are considering using them in the F.A. XI v. Royal Navy game to-morrow." -
Tuesday, 6 December 1949, The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury.

Original newspaper reports
Rothman's Yearbooks

Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record (Breedon Books Publishing Company, Derby, U.K., 1993)
Norman Giller
, Football Author