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  Page Last Updated 29 November 2017



270 vs. Italy
b11 vs. France Espoirs
272 vs. Switzerland

Sunday, 25 May 1952
End-of-season Continental Tour Match

Austria 2 England 3 [2-2]


Match Summary
Austria Party
England Party

Praterstadion, Prater, Wien
Attendance: 65,500;
Kick-off: 5.00pm Uhr, 4.00pm BST
Second half live on the BBC Light Programme from 6:15pm

England - Nat Lofthouse (twelve-yard half-volley from a Sewell square pass 27, an from the centre-circle and slid the ball under Musil getting injured in the process 83), Jackie Sewell (dummied two defenders after running onto a Lofthouse pass and shot from eighteen yards 29)
Austria - Adolf Huber (penalty awarded following Froggatt's contact with Dienst 28), Robert Dienst (fierce ground shot from twelve yards 42)
Results 1950-1955

England won the toss and kicked-off. ? minutes (? & ?).


Match Summary

Officials from Italy




Referee (black blazer) - Guiseppe Carpani
x (-).

Linesmen - Gemini and Silvano

The teams were presented to the Guest of Honour, Dr. Schalrf, the Austrian Vice-Chancellor.
This match followed directly on from a Bundeslander Cup match between Steiermark and Wien.

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.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
8 Corner Kicks Won 0
  Offside Calls Against  
19 Fouls Conceded 25

Austria Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 9th to 11th
Colours: White lace-up collared jerseys, black shorts, black socks with red/white/red hoop.
Capt:   Manager:
Trainer: Eduard Fruehwirt
Walter Nausch, 45 (5 February 1907).
Team chosen on Monday, 19 May 1952
Austria Lineup
1 Musil, Josef     G Rapid Wien   GA
2 Röckl, Rudolf     RB I. Vienna FC    
3 Happel, Ernst     LB Rapid Wien 30  
4 Schleger, Walter     RHB FK Austria    
5 Ocwirk, Ernst     CHB/IR FK Austria    
6 Brinek, Arthur     LHB Wacker Wien    
7 Melchior, Ernst     OR FK Austria    
8 Hanappi, Gerhard     IR/CHB Rapid Wien    
9 Dienst, Robert     CF Rapid Wien    
10 Huber, Adolf     IL FK Austria    
11 Haummer, Walter     OL Wacker Wien    


Pelikan (Wacker Wien), Stotz (Austria), Koller (Vienna), Decker (Vienna).

team notes:

Selector and trainer, Walter Nausch, played for Austria against England on three occasions, in 1930, 1932 and 1936. He was also the captain in their 1936 victory.
2-3-5 Musil -
Röckl, Happel -
Schleger, Ocwirk
(Hanappi), Brinek -
Melchior, Hanappi
(Ocwirk), Dienst, Huber, Haummer.
notes: Ocwirk and Hanappi swapped places during the second half in an effort to break down the stubborn English defence.


Age - Appearances/Goals - -


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th to 3rd
Colours: The 1952 away uniform - Red jerseys, white shorts, red socks.
Capt: Billy Wright, 27th captaincy Manager:
Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC)
Walter Winterbottom, 39 (31 March 1913), appointed director of coaching on 8 July 1946, and team manager in May 1947;
45th match, W 30 - D 8 - L 7 - F 134 - A 53.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Oakley, on Wednesday, 21 May 1952 in Siena.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 30 26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 5 6 GA
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 32 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 21 1
3 Eckersley, William 26 16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC 7 0
4 Wright, William A. 28 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

42 3
5 Froggatt, Jack 29 17 November 1922 CHB Portsmouth FC 7 1
6 Dickinson, James W. 27 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

19 0
7 Finney, Thomas 30 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

38 20
8 Sewell, John 25 24 January 1927 IR Sheffield Wednesday FC 2 1
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 26 27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 7 7
10 Baily, Edward F. 26 6 August 1925 IL Tottenham Hotspur FC 7 5
11 Elliott, William H. 27 20 March 1925 OL Burnley FC 2 0


Ronnie Allen (West Browmich Albion FC), Ivor Broadis (Manchester City FC), Tom Garrett (Blackpool FC), Bill Nicholson (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Stan Pearson (Manchester United FC) and Bert Williams (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC).

team notes:

Billy Wright overtake's Bob Crompton record appearance tally of 41.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
Wright, Froggatt, Dickinson -
Finney, Sewell, Lofthouse, Baily, Elliott.


Age 27.8 Appearances/Goals 14.3 3.2


    Match Report by Mike Payne

This match against probably the best of the current European sides, gave England a famous victory. The game was a personal triumph for their centre-forawrd Nat Lofthouse. He was outstanding and his performance earned him the nickname 'The Lion of Vienna'.

A crowd of over 65,000, considerably boosted by the presence of many British soldiers stationed in Austria, saw a thrilling match that often became very rough, especially in the latter stages.

England decided on a tactical plan that allowed the Austrians to attack them continually. They defended in numbers and relied on a positive breakaway or two. From the first such breakaway England scored a fine goal. In a flowing move the ball sped from Eddie Baily to Billy Elliott, on to Jackie Sewell whose centre was met by Nat Lofthouse who thumped it past Musil.

England's joy lasted barely a minute as Austria were then awarded a rather fortunate penalty after Jack Froggatt's shoulder charge on Dienst was seen as a foul by the referee. Huber made no mistake with the spot-kick. This sent the crowd wild with delight and the home attacks grew even more fierce.

But the England players held their nerve and on 31 minutes another excellent break gave them a second goal. This time it was Froggatt who set the move going, slipping the ball to Billy Wright. Wright moved forward and released a fine pass through to Sewell who sold a marvellous dummy to the whole Austrian defence before cracking in a fine right-foot shot which left Musil helpless.

Austria were stunned but came back strongly and with only three minutes of the first-half left they scored a superb equalizer. It came from Dienst and was the result of a glorious run and shot giving Gil Merrick no chance.

What followed after the break was probably one of the toughest halves England have ever faced. The Austrians tried to power their way through and the visitors needed all their experience to keep them out.

Then on 82 minutes came a wonderful moment for the English fans present. Once again a swift break paid off as Merrick's kick was flicked on by Tom Finney's head to send Lofthouse scampering away from the half-way line. With the entire Austrian defence bearing down on him from behind the Bolton star kept his nerved and slipped the ball past Musil as the goalkeeper came out of his goal.

Lofthouse never saw the goal as the defenders had clattered into him as he shot and he had to go off for treatment. But the great-hearted player was soon back and in the last few seconds he came desperately close to a hat-trick when another shot crashed against the bar.

The British soldiers went beserk at the end of the match and chaired the brilliant Lofthouse from the field in their delight. For Lofthouse it was a game he will never forget.


    Match Report by Norman Giller

The match that earned Nat Lofthouse the nickname 'The Lion of Vienna.' Eight minutes from the end, with the game deadlocked at 2-2, Tom Finney collected a long throw from Gil Merrick and released a pass that sent Lofty clear just inside the Austrian half. He galloped forty-five yards with a pack of defenders snapping at his heels, and collided with oncoming goalkeeper Musil as he released a shot. He was flat out unconscious and did not see the ball roll over the goal-line for the winning goal. The Bolton hero was carried off on a stretcher, but, still dazed, returned for the final five minutes. He struck a shot against a post in the closing moments. England's counter-attacking tactics had worked to perfection. They took the lead in the twenty-first minute after soaking up non-stop pressure from the Austrians, who were rated the number one team in Europe. A penetrating pass by Eddie Baily opened the heart of the Austrian defence and Lofthouse finished off the move with a left-foot volley deep into the net. The cheers of the Partys of British soldiers in the 65,500 crowd were still filling the Prater Stadium when Jack Froggatt conceded a penalty from which Huber side-footed an equaliser. The Portsmouth centre-half quickly made amends with a pass that put Jackie Sewell through to score after he had wrong-footed the Austrian defenders with two exaggerated dummies. Austria pulled level again just before half-time through centre-forward Diego, who shrugged off Billy Wright's challenge before powering the ball past goalkeeper Gil Merrick. Then came the storybook climax from Lofthouse. The triumphant England players were carried back to their dressing-room on the shoulders of cheering Tommies, who had come from their posts in Germany in their thousands.

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