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Results 1950-1955                        Page Last Updated 28 October 2017


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295 vs. France

Wednesday, 3 October 1951
Festival of Britain Celebration Match

England 2 France 2 [2-2]


Match Summary
England Party
France Party

Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, Islington, County of London
Kick-off (BST): 3.00pm.

Attendance: 57,603.

unknown kicked-off  
[1-0] Kader Firoud 4
 put through his own goal


Les Medley 32
 beat Vignal with a terrific drive from a Mannion pass

[1-1] Andre Doye 18
beat Williams from short range
[1-2] Ren� Alpsteg 19
fierce shot from a few yards
second half live - Commentators: Jimmy Jewell and Kenneth Wolstenholme

Match Summary

Officials from Scotland




Referee (-) - John A. Mowat
x (-), Rutherglen.
Linesmen -
A. Murdoch, England (flame flag) and Leon Boes, France (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: Billy Wright, 21st captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 38 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
39th match, W 27 - D 5 - L 7 - F 123 - A 46.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, on Monday, 22 September 1951.
England Lineup
  Williams, Bert F. 31
245 dys
31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 17 23ᵍᵃ
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 31
254 dys
22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 15 0
3 Willis, Arthur 31
243 dys
2 February 1920 LB Tottenham Hotspur FC 1 0
4 Wright, William A. 27
239 dys
6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 36 3
5 Chilton, Allenby 33
17 dys
16 September 1918 CHB Manchester United FC 2 0
6 Cockburn, Henry 30
19 dys
14 September 1921 LHB

Manchester United FC

13 0
7 Finney, Thomas 29
181 dys
5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

33 20
8 Mannion, Wilfred J. 33
140 dys
16 May 1918 IR Middlesbrough FC 26 11
9 Milburn, John E.T. 27
145 dys
11 May 1924 CF Newcastle United FC 12 10
10 Hassall, Harold W. 22
213 dys
4 March 1929 IL Huddersfield Town AFC 4 2
11 Medley, Leslie D. 31
30 dys
3 September 1920 OL Tottenham Hotspur FC 3 1

unused substitutes:

Ted Ditchburn (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Jimmy Dickinson (Portsmouth FC) and Doug Lishman (Arsenal FC).

team notes:

Decimally speaking, this equals (Ireland October 1950) the oldest post-war team England have fielded. Although it is an average six days younger.
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Willis -
Wright, Chilton, Cockburn -
Finney, Mannion, Milburn, Hassall, Medley.


Age 29.545 (157 days) Appearances/Goals 14.7 5.1


France Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 25th
Colours: Blue collared jerseys, white shorts, red socks.
Capt: Jean Baratte Manager:
Trainer: Pierre Pibarot
Team chosen by the Selection Committee on Monday, 22 September 1951.
France Lineup
  Vignal, Ren� 24 12 August 1926 G RC de Paris 7 20 ᵍᵃ
2 Grillon, Andr� 29 1 November 1921 RB Olympique lyonnais 13 0
3 Salva, Marcel 26 1 October 1922
born in Algeria
LB RC de Paris 10 0
4 Firoud, Abdelkader 31 11 October 1919
born in Algeria
RHB N�mes Olympique 1 0
5 Jonquet, Robert 26 3 May 1925 CHB Stade de Reims 9 0
6 Bonifaci, Antoine 20 4 September 1931 LHB OGC Nice Côte d'Azur 4 1
7 Alpsteg, Ren� 30 3 December 1920 OR AS de Saint-Étienne Loire 8 3
8 Baratte, Jean 28 7 June 1923 IR Lille Olympique SC 25 18
9 Grumellon, Jean 28 1 January 1923 CF Stade rennais UC 7 2
10 Flamion, Pierre 26 13 December 1924 IL Olympique lyonnais 11 6
11 Doye, Andr� 27 15 September 1924 OL FC des Girondins de Bordeaux 4 3

unused substitutes:

Marcel Domingo (OGC Nice Côte d'Azur), Guy Huguet (AS de Saint-Étienne Loire) and Roger Boury (CO Roubaix-Tourcoing).

team notes:

Firoud and Bonifaci exchanged wings and Grumellon replaced Andre Strappe (Lille).
2-3-5 Vignal -
Grillon, Salva -
Firoud, Jonquet, Bonifaci -
Alpsteg, Baratte, Grumellon, Flamion, Doye.


Age 26.8 Appearances/Goals 9.0 2.8


    Match Report by Mike Payne

This results defied all the odds as France gained a draw that they deserved but never expected. England gave a very indifferent display and would quickly want to forget this match. At least they managed to retain  their proud unbeaten record against continental teams but they were lucky to come away with a draw and could easily have lost.

The success France obtained was built largely on a defensive display and they won few friends amongst the crowd with their tactics.

England had an excellent start, scoring in the fourth minute. A firm cross pass by Tom Finney was unfortunately diverted beyond his own goalkeeper by Firoud. Then they should have had a second when Harold Hassall was put clear by Henry Cockburn's throw-in. Vignal did well to save Hassall's shot but a square pass to the unmarked Jackie Milburn would probably have brought a more positive result.

In the next 20 minutes, France hit back hard, Inspired by Doye, their best player, they hit the crossbar with a cracker from Baratte. The warning was there for England and shortly afterwards France turned the game around with two goals in two minutes.

First Allenby Chilton, who struggled throughout, failed to clear a corner taken by Alpsteg and Doye was on hand to shoot home from close range. Almost at once Doye, with some clever footwork and a quick pass, sent Arthur Willis and Cockburn the wrong way and left Alpsteg with a clear chance. He shot from an acute angle and the ball flew into the England net with the aid of a deflection. England were stunned and watched as Grumellon and Alpsteg tested Bert Williams. But gradually they began to fight back. Billy Wright's long pass sent Milburn away only for the centre-forward's shot to go just wide.

Just before half-time England equalized. A fine move involving Alf Ramsey and Wilf Mannion ended with Les Medley cutting through at inside-right to score.

That was the end of the scoring and the second half was one of England battling against a well organised and uncompromising  French defence without any success. There was one other dramatic moment in the half and it almost brought that record to an end. Sloppy work by Willis and Cockburn gave Grumellon the chance to gain possession and speed off towards goal unchallenged. Williams came out and, although he went to his left, he somehow managed to reach back to his right and parry his shot.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

Les Medley's first goal for England and an own goal saved a mediocre England team from a first home defeat by a foreign side. France were robbed of a deserved victory when Bert Williams made a desperate late save from French centre-forward Jacques Grumellon, who gave centre-half Allenby Chilton a nightmare afternoon. Arthur Willis, partnering his Spurs team-mate Alf Ramsey, was one of four players - along with Chilton, Henry Cockburn and Wilf Mannion - who never played for England again. It was a scrappy team performance and England's problems continued in the middle of the defence. France could count themselves unlucky not to have won by a convincing margin, and it was Wolves goalkeeper Bert Williams who saved England from defeat with a succession of Swift-standard saves.

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
Drew Herbertson, Scottish FA historian