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297 vs. Portugal

Saturday, 19 May 1951
Festival of Britain Celebration Match

England 5 Portugal 2 [2-1]


Match Summary
England Party
Portugal Party

Goodison Park, Walton, Liverpool, Lancashire
Kick-off (BST): 3.00pm

Attendance: 52,750;

unknown kicked-off  
[1-0] Bill Nicholson 1 0:30
 a 20-yard shot with his first touch
[2-1] Jackie Milburn 11

swift low shot from a Pearson pass
[3-2] Tom Finney 75

a swerving left-footed cross-shot
[4-2] Jackie Milburn 78
[5-2] Harold Hassall 85

[1-1] Patalino 2 1:20
a counter-attack that shot past Williams
[2-2] Albano (63)
second-half live on the Radio Light Programme

Match Summary

Officials from Belgium




Referee (-) - Louis Baert
x (-).

Linesmen - C. Gibson, England (red flag) and P. de Oliveira, Portugal (yellow flag)

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  

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Alf Ramsey, third captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 38 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
38th match, W 27 - D 4 - L 7 - F 121 - A 44.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, on 9 May 1951 following the Argentina match.
England Lineup
  Williams, Bert F. 31 31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 16 21ᵍᵃ
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 31 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 14 0
3 Eckersley, William 25 16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC 5 0
4 Nicholson, William E. 32 26 January 1919 RHB Tottenham Hotspur FC 1 1
5 Taylor, James G. 33 5 November 1917 CHB Fulham FC 2 0
6 Cockburn, Henry 29 14 September 1921 LHB

Manchester United FC

12 0
7 Finney, Thomas 29 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

32 20
8 Pearson, Stanley C. 32 11 January 1919 IR Manchester United FC 6 3
9 Milburn, John E.T. 27 11 May 1924 CF Newcastle United FC 11 10
10 Hassall, Harold W. 22 4 March 1929 IL Huddersfield Town AFC 3 2
11 Metcalfe, victor 29 3 February 1922 OL Huddersfield Town AFC 2 0

unused substitutes:

Gil Merrick (Birmingham City FC), Ernie Taylor (Newcastle United FC) and Ray Barlow (West Bromwich Albion FC)

team notes:

Again, Finney replaced original choice Blackpool FC's Stan Matthews' right-sided position, Metcalfe was drafted in from Netherlands, where he was on a club tour, into the vacant outside-left slot on Thursday, 17 May. Matthews was still suffering with the foot injury.
Prior to the match, England were set-up in Southport, making full use of the Haig Avenure ground for training purposes.
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
Nicholson, Taylor, Cockburn -
Finney, Pearson, Milburn, Hassall, Metcalfe.


Age 29.1 Appearances/Goals 9.5 2.8


Portugal Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 28th to 30th
Colours: Maroon jerseys, white shorts, black socks
Capt: Francisco Ferreira Manager: Jo�o Joaquim Tavares da Silva, 47 (29 November 1903), team chosen on Thursday, 17 May 1951
Portugal Lineup
  do Oliveira, Ernesto Nogueira 29 28 July 1921 G Atl�tico Clube de Portugal 5 16ᵍᵃ
2 Marques Mendes, Virg�lio 23 17 November 1927 RB FC do Porto 9 0
3 das Neves, Serafim 30 29 August 1920 LB CF Os Belenenses 15 0
4 Ribeiro Can�rio, Carlos Augusto 33 10 February 1918 RHB Sporting Club de Portugal 10 0
5 Assun��o Antunes, F�lix 28 14 December 1922 CHB Sport Lisboa e Benfica 10 0
6 Ferreira, Francisco 31 23 August 1919 LHB Sport Lisboa e Benfica 24 0
7 Patalinho, injured off 40th min.
 Dem�trio, Domingos Carrilho
28 29 June 1922 OR CF O Elvas 3 2
8 Barreto Travassos, Jos� Ant�nio 25 22 February 1926 IR Sporting Club de Portugal 19 4
9 Ben David, Henrique de Sena 24 5 December 1926
in Cape Verde
CF Atl�tico Clube de Portugal 4 3
10 do Amaral Caiado, Fernando Augusto 26 2 March 1925 IL Boavista FC 4 0
11 Narciso Pereira, Albano 28 21 December 1922 OL Sporting Club de Portugal 11 3
Portugal Substitutes
scoreline: England 2 Portugal 1
  Gomes, Carlos Martinho, on 40th min. for Patalino 24 18 October 1926 OR Atl�tico Clube de Portugal 2 0
result: England 5 Portugal 2

unused substitutes:

not known

team notes:

Patalino replaced Carlos Martinho at outside-right.
Prior to this match, the Portuguese team were staying in New Brighton, and using the Goodison Park ground to train on.
2-3-5 Oliviero -
Virg�lio, Serafim -
Can�rio, F�lix, Ferreira -
(Carlos Martinho), Travassos, Ben David, Caiado, Albano.


Age 27.7 Appearances/Goals 10.4 0.9


    Match Report by Mike Payne

England brought the Festival of Britain football programme to a close with a spectacular finish to a game evenly contested for 75 minutes.

Nearly 53,000 people packed into Goodison Park and they were soon on their feet cheering a first-minute goal for England. Only 19 seconds had gone on the stop-watch when a close passing movement straight from the kick-off enabled Henry Cockburn, vić Metcalf and Stan Pearson to give Billy Nicholson a dream debut when he scored with a magnificent 18-yard shot with his first touch.

This would have knocked the stuffing out of most sides but within a minute Portugal drew level. A counter-thrust by Caiado, Trava�os and David set up the chance for Patalino to shoot past Williams. It had been a remarkable opening and ten minutes later the dashing Jackie Milburn, who had a fine game, put England back in the lead with a swift low shot after receibing a pass from Pearson.

That lead lasted until just after half-time. Hesitancy between Alf Ramsey and Jim Taylor allowed Albano slip the ball past Bert Williams to once again level the scores. This really set the game alight and with the Portuguese tails well and truly up they began to ask severe questions of the English defence.

Then suddenly with 15 minutes left the England side changed completely. Gone was the tired and lethargic look. It was replaced by the much more normal look of the England team. They then proceeded to produce an appropriate festival of goals to end the match.

Tom Finney, in one of his most devastating moods, scored the decisive and killer goal in the 76th minute. It came with a superb swerving left-foot shot from the touch-line. It really was a match-winning goal and it finally broke the stubborn resistance of the brave Portuguese. The goals that followed from Milburn and Hassall were mere formalities and simply entertained the crowd still further. In the end the extra power of the English team finally saw off another continental challenge.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

For the only time in his career, Billy Wright was dropped because of loss of form. Bill Nicholson took over in the No 4 shirt, and had the distinction of scoring with his first kick in international football in what was to prove his only match for England. Portugal were a goal down in twenty seconds and level a minute later in a blistering start to the match. Jackie Milburn restored England's lead in the eleventh minute. Alf Ramsey, skippering the side for a third time, mishit a back pass that let Portugal in for a second equaliser soon after half-time. Tom Finney then took over and ran the Portuguese into such dizzy array that at the after-match banquet their entire team stood and toasted "Mr. Finney, the Master.He scored a magnificent solo goal, and then laid on goals for Milburn and Harold Hassall.

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