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253 vs. Scotland

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269 vs. Scotland
Saturday, 14 April 1951
Home International Championship 1950-51 (56th) Match

England 2 Scotland 3
Empire Stadium, Empire Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (GMT): 3.00pm.

Attendance: 98,750; Receipts: '£39,198'

Players lost since last match
Herbert Smith (6 January 1951) 73
Fred Blackburn (13 March) 72
Billy Smith (13 April) 55
Stan Mortensen kicked-off George Young won the toss
Wilf Mannion injury - England ten men
[1-0] Harold Hassall 26

 'trapped a pass from Stan Mortensen, sped past Young and let loose a streaking effortless drive' with his left-foot

[1-1] Bobby Johnstone 33
an unsaveable shot from a Billy Liddell cross
2.0 Woman's Hour 3.0 Ken Macintosh & his Orchestra 3.30 Forces Education Broadcast
England v. Wales
4.15 Mrs Dale's Diary 4.30 Victor Silvester 5.0 BBC Northern Orch.
Stan Mortensen injury - England nine men

Stan Mortensen return - England ten men

[2-3] Tom Finney 63

 lobbed the ball over the advancing Cowan, put through by Stan Mortensen

[1-2] Lawrie Reilly 48
turned Froggatt before belting a shot from 8yds with his right-foot
[1-3] Billy Liddell 54

a 12-yard low right-footed shot after Williams dropped Steel's cross
live on the Radio Light Programme - Commentator: tbc
Officials from Scotland England UK ruling on substitutes Scotland
Referee (black)
George Mitchell
39 (22 February 1912), Falkirk
Teams presented to the HRH Duke of Gloucester.
Ian C. Inglis
William H. Quinn
England Team


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
17th, W 11 - D 1 - L 5 - F 48 - A 26.⁴³
Billy Wright³
19th, W 13 - D 0 - L 6 - F 50 - A 24.⁹⁰
Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 38 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
36th match, W 25 - D 4 - L 7 - F 114 - A 41.¹³⁹
Team chosen by the Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry on Friday, 6 April.
England Lineup
  post-war record seven changes to the previous match (back three & Mannion remain) league position (6 April)  
  Williams, Bert F. 31
73 days
31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 13th) 14 18ᵍᵃ
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 31
82 days
22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC (FL TOP) 12 0
3 Eckersley, William 25
272 days
16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC (FL2 6th) 3 0
4 Johnston, Harry 31
200 days
26 September 1919 RHB Blackpool FC (FL 3rd) 3 0
5 Froggatt, Jack 28
148 days
17 November 1922 CHB Portsmouth FC (FL 9th) 3 1
6 Wright, William A. 27
67 days
6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 13th) 34 3
7 Matthews, Stanley 36
72 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC (FL 3rd) 33 9
8 Mannion, Wilfred J., injured off 11th min. 32
333 days
16 May 1918 IR Middlesbrough FC (FL 4th) 25 11
Mortensen, Stanley H., injured off 46th min., returned 55th min.. 29
323 days
26 May 1921 CF Blackpool FC (FL 3rd) 22 20
703 10
Hassall, Harold W. 22
41 days
4 March 1929 IL/CF Huddersfield Town AFC (FL 19th) 1 1
the 16th Town player to represent England
Finney, Thomas 29
9 days
5 April 1922 OL/IR Preston North End FC (FL2 TOP) 30 19
the fifth player to reach this milestone
reserves: Henry Cockburn (Manchester United FC (FL 2nd)) and Jackie Milburn (Newcastle United FC (FL 6th))
team notes: In choosing Jack Froggatt as centre-half, he becomes the first player since Jimmy Crabtree in 1900, to play for his country in two different areas of the pitch (distinct from positions).
Wilf Mannion was stretchered off with a fractured cheekbone, sustained in an aerial challenge with Billy Liddell after Williams punched away a Billy Waddell corner. He went straight to hospital, accompanied by the manager, leaving Billy Wright to make the team changes.
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
Johnston, Froggatt, Wright -
Matthews, Mannion
(Finney), Mortensen, Hassall, Finney
Averages: Age 29 years 216 days Appearances/Goals 16.4 5.7
most experienced post-war team so far
Scotland Team


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 8th to 5th
Colours: blue jerseys with white collars, white shorts, blue socks with white/blue tops.
Capt: George Young Selector: The Scottish Football Association Selection Committee, chosen on Monday, 2 April 1951
Scotland Lineup
  Cowan, James C. 24
118 days
16 June 1926 G Greenock Morton FC 16 18ᵍᵃ
2 Young, George L. 28
169 days
27 October 1922 RB Rangers FC 24 0
3 Cox, Samuel R. 27
1 day
13 April 1924 LB Rangers FC 10 0
4 Evans, Robert 23
272 days
16 July 1927 RHB The Celtic FC 10 0
5 Woodburn, William A. 31
249 days
8 August 1919 CHB Rangers FC 16 0
6 Redpath, William Y. 28
249 days
8 August 1922 LHB Motherwell FC 3 0
7 Waddell, William 30
37 days
7 March 1921 OR Rangers FC 9 5
672 8
Johnstone, Robert 21
219 days
7 September 1929 IR Hibernian FC 1 1
Reilly, Lawrance 22
168 days
28 October 1928 CF Hibernian FC 9 5
10 Steel, William 27
348 days
1 May 1923 IL Dundee FC 21 11
Liddell, William B. 29
94 days
10 January 1922 OL Liverpool FC, England 14 4
reserves: Travelling reserves are McNaught (Raith Rovers FC) and James Mason (Third Lanark FC).
Full team of reserves are George Farm (Blackpool FC); Lapsley (St.Mirren FC) and McNaught (Raith Rovers FC); Frank Brennan (Newcastle United FC) and Redpath; Billy Liddell (Liverpool FC) and James Mason (Third Lanark FC); Hamilton (Aberdeen FC); Allan Brown (Blackpool FC) and Bobby Mitchell (Newcastle United FC).
team notes: Original choice left-half, Blackpool FC's Allan Brown was replaced by Redpath, on Saturday, 7 April. Brown was injured in his team's league match against Huddersfield Town AFC, suffering a knee injury.
2-3-5 Cowan -
Young, Cox -
Evans, Woodburn, Redpath -
Waddell, Johnstone, Reilly, Steel, Liddell
Averages: Age 26 years 326 days Appearances/Goals 12.1 2.1
              Match Report by Mike Payne

Scotland once again scored a famous victory on the hallowed turf of Wembley to win the Home International Championship but both sides came out of this magnificent match with a great deal of credit, especially since England spent 80 minutes playing with only ten men.

Unbeaten at Wembley in the Championship since 1934, Scotland began the game purposefully and were already imposing their skills before Wilf Mannion left the arena with a fractured cheekbone. He had been involved in an aerial duel with Liddell on 11 minutes and went off in agony. Bert Williams had already twice saved brilliantly from Johnstone and the limitations of the shaky England defence were soon showing up. After Mannion's loss England looked understandably disjointed as they struggled to reorganise.

Scotland began to play on Jack Froggatt who did not have the happiest of games at centre-half. The other defenders also struggled and for once even Billy Wright was not on his game. But England did have one quality in abundance and that was courage. Then ten men fought manfully and the and the marvellous skills of Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen and Harold Hassall made sure that Scotland would not have things all their own way.

Scotland increased the pressure though and Williams had to save well from Liddell. Johnstone then missed two more clear chances before, on 26 minutes, and totally out of the blue, England took the lead. It was a gem of a goal too. Alf Ramsey and Harry Johnstone began the move by combining to find Finney out on the right. The winger showed controlled dribbling skills before passing to Mortensen. He, in turn, pulled the ball square to Hassall who conjured up some sheer inspiration to deceive Young and shoot a glorious angled drive into the roof of the Scottish net.

It seemed like 1949 in reverse, but with 33 minutes gone Johnstone gained a further chance for Scotland when good work by Reilly and Liddell opened up a gap for the inside-right to score.

For a short time after the interval England were down to nine men whilst Mortensen had treatment for a facial injury, but he soon returned to the action. Shortly though, it was Scotland who swept into a decisive lead. In the space of seven minutes they scored twice. First a glorious passing movement between Evans, Johnstone and Reilly ended with the centre-forward making it 2-1 by beating Froggatt and picking his spot. The Williams tragically dropped a long cross by Steel, and Liddell, with a low shot, fired the ball into the unguarded net.

All over? Not a bit of it! Driven on by the stylish Johnston, Finney, Matthews, Mortensen and Hassall, England captured the last half-hour with some superlative play. It brought the Wembley crowd to a crescendo of noise and passion and it almost brought the Scots to their knees.

On 80 minutes, a passing duet between Finney and Mortensen ended with Finney streaking clear to lob a superb goal over the advancing Cowan to make it 3-2. Matthews tormented Cox. Finney all but got through again and then Mortensen, taking a pass from Hassall, shot inches wide raising a puff of chalk as it went past the post. The desperate Scots almost conceded a penalty when Mortensen was bundled over unceremoniously, but then, amongst the excitement the referee blew the final whistle on an extraordinary afternoon.

              Match Report by Norman Giller

Wilf Mannion was carried off with a fractured cheekbone in the eleventh minute. With Walter Winterbottom accompanying Mannion to hospital, skipper Billy Wright took the decision to switch Finney to the right to partner Matthews and the two wing wizards often made the Scottish defenders think they were seeing double. The ten men of England made the Scots battle all the way after debutant Harold Hassall had given them a twenty-fifth minute lead. Hibs partners Bobby Johnstone and Lawrie Reilly netted for Scotland and then the barnstorming Billy Liddell made it 3-1. England, who had briefly been down to nine men after Stan Mortensen had been knocked out, refused to give in and Tom Finney conjured a goal. But the Scots held on for a deserved victory against the Auld Enemy.

              Match Report by Glen Isherwood

Once again, both England, the reigning British Champions, and Scotland had beaten both Northern Ireland and Wales and were set to decide the Championship between them. England were still suffering from their first round exit from their first World Cup in Brazil the previous year which included a humiliating defeat at the hands of the United States. Scotland had not been beaten at Wembley in the British Championship since 1934.
England were down to ten men from the 11th minute when Mannion went off injured but took the lead when Harold Hassall took a pass from Mortensen and shot past Cowan, the hero of 1949.

Bobby Johnstone put Scotland level from a pass by Reilly.
England were in deep trouble at the start of the second half as Mortensen was suffering from a first half collision and did not re-appear after the interval. The Scots began to take advantage of the nine men and within two minutes Steel supplied Lawrie Reilly who turned and shot Scotland into the lead.
Mortensen then came back on and England found new inspiration to attack. Scotland soaked up the pressure, however, and increased their lead when Reilly robbed Williams of the ball from a Steel cross leaving Billy Liddell to score the third. England continued to battle and pulled one back when Tom Finney took a pass from Mortensen and lobbed Cowan. They could not muster another and Scotland were British Champions for the second time in three years.

              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1951-52, page 24

For the match against Scotland, at Wembley on April 14th, England fielded three new players, Johnston, Froggatt and Hassall. Scotland regained the International Championship, but it is to England's credit that although they played with only ten men for most of the game, they held a powerful Scottish side with rare courage and lost only by the narrow margin of 3-2.
Scotland attacked vigorously from the kick-off, and England's goal was saved several times in the first ten minutes only by William's acrobatic skill. It was in the 13th minute that Mannion collided with Liddell and had to be carried and scored from an acute angle from the field. England's first goal came in the 27th minute, rather against the run of play, when Hassall, taking a pass from Mortensen, worked his way through to the left and scored from an acute angle. Scotland equalised in the 33rd minute.
Within two minutes of the resumption, Reilly had put Scotland ahead. Exploiting the gap in England's defence, Scotland  now clearly had the upper hand, and in the 52nd minute Liddell scored again. England were still fighting hard, and soon afterwards, Finney at outside-right ran half of the length of the field, evaded three tackles, and non-chalantly placed the ball past Cowan to score England's second goal. England's ten men now made an all-out effort to save the game, and at times only Froggatt and Williams
remained in the home half. Scotland's defence held firm, however, and there was no further score.

              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record

Norman Giller, Football Author
Drew Herbertson, Scottish FA historian
British Pathé