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Results 1946-1950                       Page Last Updated 16 October 2017


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Thursday, 18 May 1950
End-of-Season Continental Pre-World Cup Match

Belgium 1 England 4 [1-0]


Match Summary
Belgium Party
England Party

Stade du Heysel, Plateau du Heysel, Bruxelles
Kick-off (CET & BST): 3.30pm.

Attendance: 55,750 (new Belgian record).

  England kicked-off
[1-0] Jef Mermens 43
 18-yard well-placed right-footed drive

[1-1] Jimmy Mullen 46 45:16
6-yard shot wide of Meert
[1-2] Stan Mortensen 65
6-yard powerful header from a Finney free-kick just outside the box after the defender handled in the box
[1-3] Wilf Mannion 66
20-yard right-footed shot
[1-4] Roy Bentley 88
7-yard placed strike, it was the 100th goal under Winterbottom's reign
second half live on Radio Light Programme - Commentator: tbc

Match Summary





Referee (black blazer) - Raymond vicente
x (-), France.

Linesmen - tbc

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.

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

Belgium Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 30th
Colours: Red jerseys, black shorts, black socks.
Capt: Freddy Chaves Manager: William Joseph Gormlie (b.mid-1911 in Toxteth Park, England)
Belgium Lineup
  Meert, Henri 29 27 August 1920 G RSC Anderlecht 19 36ᵍᵃ
2 Vaillant, Arsene 27 13 June 1922 RB RSC Anderlecht 5 0
3 Anoul, Leopold 27 19 August 1922 LB Royal Standard de Liege 17 4
4 van der Auwera, Jan 26 9 January 1924 RHB RC Mechelen 9 0
5 Carré, Louis 25 7 January 1925 CHB RFC Liegeois 12 0
6 Mees, Victor 23 26 January 1927 LHB Royal Antwerp FC 10 0
7 van Looy, Jozef 34 2 March 1916 OR KAA Gent 1 0
8 d'Aguilar, Frederic Chaves 31 8 October 1918 IR KAA Gent 16 7
9 Mermans, Joseph 28 16 February 1922 CF RSC Anderlecht 23 13
10 de Hert, Albert L. 28 18 November 1921 IL K Berchem Sport 8 3
11 Mordant, Georges 22 11 September 1927 OL ROC de Charleroi-Marchienne 3 0

unused substitutes:

Francois Daenen, Willy Saren, Jean Valet, Henri Coppens.
2-3-5 Meert -
Vaillant, Anoul -
Van der Auwera, Carre, Mees -
Van Looy, Chaves, Mermans, de Hert, Mordant.


Age 27.2 Appearances/Goals 11.2 2.4


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Billy Wright, fourteenth captaincy Manager:
Trainer: Ted Smith
Walter Winterbottom, 37 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
29th match, W 22 - D 3 - L 4 - F 100 - A 31.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, on Thursday, 28 April 1950.
on Monday, 15 May, in Lisbon.
England Lineup
  Williams, Bert F. 30 31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 7 8ᵍᵃ
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 30 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 5 0
3 Aston, John 28 3 September 1921 LB Manchester United FC 14 0
4 Wright, William A. 26 6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 29 2
5 Jones, William H. 29 13 May 1921 CHB Liverpool FC 2 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 25 24 April 1925 LHB Portsmouth FC 7 0
7 Milburn, John E.T., injured off 9th min. 26 11 May 1924 OR Newcastle United FC 7 6
8 Mortensen, Stanley H. 28 26 May 1921 IR Blackpool FC 18 19
9 Bentley, T.F. Roy 26 17 May 1924 CF Chelsea FC 4 2
10 Mannion, Wilfred J. 32 16 May 1918 IL Middlesbrough FC 19 9
11 Finney, Thomas 28 5 April 1922 OL/R

Preston North End FC

25 18
England Substitutes
scoreline: Belgium 0 England 0
Mullen, James, on 10th min. for Milburn 27 6 January 1923 OL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 2
result: Belgium 1 England 4

unused substitutes:

Dicky Robinson (Middlesbrough FC) and Redfern Froggatt (Sheffield Wednesday FC)

team notes:

Jimmy Mullen is not only England's first ever senior team substitute, but also the first substitute to score. "Until he wrenched an ankle in the ninth minute, Milburn, who should be fit again in five days, showed signs of playing a blinder. He was carried off the field on a stretcher and Mullen came on to make history by being the first Englishman to take over as substitute in a full international." - Friday, 19 May 1950, Sheffield Telegraph
This is Billy Wright's record 29th consecutive appearance.
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Aston -
Wright, Jones, Dickinson -
(Mullen), Mortensen, Bentley, Mannion, Finney.
notes: Mullen went to the left as Finney went to the right.


Age 28.0 Appearances/Goals 12.5 4.8


    Match Report by Mike Payne

After being a goal down at half-time, England produced a spectacular second-half comeback to give themselves a marvellous boost before the left for the World Cup in Brazil.

From being a disjointed and unhappy side before the interval, England were transformed into a superb fighting unit afterwards. An injury to Jackie Milburn, who was forced to go off after 15 minutes to be replaced by Jimmy Mullen. meant they had to reorganise with Tom Finney moving to the right wing and Mullen taking up the left-wing position.

For a while it had no real effect. Belgium had the better of the first half and took the lead in the 44th minute. A pass from Mees found Mermans completely unmarked in front of goal and in the area. He made no mistake and scored with a terrific right-foot shot.

Straight after the break though England equalized. Only a minute of the half had gone when Mullen picked up the ball and dribbled down the left before cutting inside to shoot neatly wide of Meert.

From that moment, England gradually got better and better. The attack was more thrustful and the defence tightened up considerably. On 66 minutes it appeared that a Belgian defender handled the ball well inside the area, but the referee awarded a free-kick outside the box. Justice appeared to be done, though as Finney placed the kick perfectly for Mortensen to head home.

A minute later England scored again. This time a brilliant move involving Mortensen and Roy Bentley ended with Wilf Mannion scoring.

But the visitors were totally dominating the game was Meert was called upon to make some fine saves, but two minutes from the end he was beaten again when Bentley scored England's fourth.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

Wolves winger Jimmy Mullen became England's first ever substitute when he replaced injured Jackie Milburn, and he scored one of the goals as England staged a second-half recovery after trailing 1-0 at half-time. Roy Bentley had a foot in three of the goals and scored the last one himself in this final warm-up before the World Cup.  The Belgians, trained by former Blackburn and Northampton goalkeeper Bill Gormlie, scored  their goal through centre-forward Joe Mermans. It exposed the fact that England were still struggling at the heart of their defence. The match was virtually won for England by a half-time tactical talk from Walter Winterbottom. He was often accused of being too long winded and technical with his instructions, but he got straight to the point and made it clear how England should tighten at the back and push forward in midfield. England followed his orders and comfortably outplayed the Belgians in the second half. Poor Bill Jones had failed to impress the selectors, and was not even in the Party named the following week for the trip to Brazil. He had been thrown into the team at the last minute, which was hardly the proper preparation for his debut in international football.

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)
Norman Giller
, Football Author