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Saturday, 4 October 1952
Home International Championship 1952-53 (58th) Match

Ireland 2 England 2 [1-1]


Match Summary
Ireland Party
England Party

Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, county Antrim
Kick-off (BST): 3.00pm.

Attendance: 59,000;
Receipts �9,000;

  England kicked-off

[1-1] Charlie Tully 16

 nearpost direct from a corner kick
[2-1] Charlie Tully 46

 15-yard volley from a head-on
[0-1] Nat Lofthouse 1 1:30
10-yard strike in off the post beating Uprichard to the ball

[2-2] Billy Elliott 87
headed in from Froggatt cross

Match Summary

Officials from Scotland




Referee (black) - Douglas Gerrard
x (-), Aberdeen.

Linesmen - Arthur Crossan, Edinburgh and James S. McIntosh, Ardrossan

No substitues permitted, as per UK ruling.

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

Ireland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 51st to 48th
Colours: Green jerseys with white collars, white shorts, blue socks with green tops.
Capt: Alf McMichael Manager:
Attendance: G. Morgan (Linfield FAC)
Peter Dermot Doherty, 39 (5 June 1913), appointed October 1951, also player-manager at Doncaster Rovers FC since June 1949.
fourth match, W 0 - D - 1 - L 3 - F 2 - A 10,
Team chosen on Tuesday, 23 September 1952.
Ireland Lineup
  Uprichard, W. Norman M. 24 20 April 1928 G Swindon Town FC, England 4 10ᵍᵃ
2 Cunningham, William E. 22 20 February 1930 RB St Mirren FC, Scotland 2 0
3 McMichael, Alfred 25 1 October 1927 LB Newcastle United FC, England 9 0
4 Blanchflower, R. Dennis 26 10 February 1926 RHB Aston Villa FC, England 7 0
5 Dickson, William 29 15 March 1923 CHB Chelsea FC, England 6 0
6 McCourt, Francis J. 26 9 December 1925 LHB Manchester City FC, England 3 0
7 Bingham, William L. 21 5 August 1931 OR Sunderland AFC, England 5 0
8 D'Arcy, Seamus D. 30 14 December 1921 IR Chelsea FC, England 2 0
9 McMorran, Edward J., injured off for twenty minutes 29 2 September 1923 CF Barnsley FC, England 8 1
10 McIlroy, James 20 25 October 1931 IL Burnley FC, England 4 0
11 Tully, Charles P. 28 11 July 1924 OL The Celtic FC, Scotland 4 2


Billy Neill (Glentoran FC)

team notes:

Manager Peter Doherty played for Ireland against England on seven separate occasions from 1935 until 1947, scoring one in 1947.
The Ireland team were set up in Bangor using the Ards ground to train on.
Eddie McMorran was off the field for twenty minutes when Ireland took the lead. He had eight stitches for a head wound following a collision with Jimmy Dickinson. Norman Uprichard was also debilitated by a shoulder injury suffered in the first half.
Tully's two goals were the first goals scored under the Doherty era.
2-3-5 Uprichard -
Cunningham, McMichael -
Blanchflower, Dickson, McCourt -
Bingham, D'Arcy, McMorran, McIlroy, Tully


Age 25.5 Appearances/Goals 4.9 0.1


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th to 5th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared short-sleeved jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
Capt: Billy Wright, 29th captaincy Manager:
Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC)
Walter Winterbottom, 39 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
47th match, W 31 - D 9 - L 7 - F 139 - A 55.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Oakley, on Wednesday, 24 September 1952, before the inter-league match in Wolverhampton.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 30 26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 7 8ᵍᵃ
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 32 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 23 1
3 Eckersley, William 27 16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC 9 0
4 Wright, William A. 28 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

44 3
5 Froggatt, Jack 29 17 November 1922 CHB Portsmouth FC 9 1
6 Dickinson, James W. 27 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

21 0
7 Finney, Thomas 30 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

40 20
8 Sewell, John 25 24 January 1927 IR Sheffield Wednesday FC 4 2
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 27 27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 9 10
10 Baily, Edward F. 27 6 August 1925 IL Tottenham Hotspur FC 9 5
11 Elliott, William H. 27 20 March 1925 OL Burnley FC 3 1


Tommy Garrett (Blackpool FC) and Willie Watson (Sunderland AFC). Joe Kennedy (West Bromwich Albion FC) replaced Garrett on Monday, 29 September. Garrett was hurt in his club's league match against Charlton Athletic FC the previous Saturday.

team notes:

The English team were set up in Bangor prior to the match.
Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally.
Jimmy Dickinson leaves the field after a collision with Eddie McMorran.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
Wright, Froggatt, Dickinson -
Finney, Sewell, Lofthouse, Baily, Elliott


Age 28.1 Appearances/Goals 16.2 3.7


    Match Report by Mike Payne

After England had done so well on their summer tour, the match in Northern Ireland seemed to be only a formality for their experienced players. But, if that was what they were thinking, they were in for a rude awakening.

Indeed, Ireland came so desperately close to pulling off a famous victory and only a very late goal saved England.

There had been no hint of the impending drama when the record crowd of 60,000 saw England snatch the lead after only ninety seconds. Billy Wright split the Irish defence with a superb long through ball which found Nat Lofthouse, the current 'Golden Boy' of English football. He hit a firm shot wide of the advancing Uprichard to open the scoring.

It set the match up for its seemingly inevitable defeat for the Irish. After all, they had not beaten England since 1927 and results between the countries had taken on a somewhat monotonous similarity.

But this day was somehow different. Soon the powerful Blanchflower and McCourt began to impose their superiority on to the likes of Jackie Sewell and Eddie Baily and suddenly England found the going somewhat tricky.

Bingham and Tully were giving the England full-backs a torrid time with their speed and trickery and it was no more than Ireland deserved when they gained an equalizer on 15 minutes.

Tully, whose footwork kept causing England problems, forced a corner on the left. He took the kick and it curled wickedly in towards Alf Ramsey, who was stood at the near post. The Spurs full back ducked under the ball, fully expecting Gil Merrick to gather safely. Unfortunately, by the time the goalkeeper reacted, the ball was in the net. It was Ireland's first goal for 18 months and, although bizarre, it was none the less very welcome.

Three nasty injuries added to the list of incidents gradually building up. First Uprichrad was injured following a collision with Billy Elliott but he bravely carried on after treatment. Then a nasty clash of heads between McMorran and Jimmy Dickinson ended with both players going off for stitches.

Dickinson was back ten minutes afterwards but McMorran was off until well into the second half. But Ireland were undaunted and a minute after half-time they took the lead amidst unparalleled excitement.

A free-kick by McMichael was flicked on by Blanchflower's head straight to Tully, again, who made no mistake shooting past the partially unsighted Merrick. The crowd sensed that a victory was really possible. McMorran bravely came back on, typifying the Irish spirit and he very nearly wrapped the game up, only to be foiled by a fine save from Merrick.

To England's credit they refused to go completely under and, with Wright and Dickinson once again worked tirelessly, they clawed their way back as the game reached its climax. Sewell, Lofthouse and Elliott all went close before, with only three minutes left, they found an equalizer.

Jack decided to push his weight forward to help his attack. His pass found Tom Finney, a flick on to Wright and back to Froggatt. The Portsmouth player powerfully beat McCourt before putting over a perfect centre which Elliott headed home firmly.

The drama had been incredible and although the match was never a classic, it certainly had plenty of incident.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

Nat Lofthouse scored in the first minute and Billy Elliott in the last minute of a dramatic match. Sandwiched in between was the magic of Celtic ball artist Charlie Tully, who scored twice for Ireland. He beat Merrick from 25 yards and then with his specialist inswinging corner-kick after the Irish team had been reduced by injury to ten men (In a game for Celtic against Falkirk Tully netted direct from a corner and was ordered to re-take it because the referee was not ready. He immediately repeated the trick and put the ball in the exact same spot in the net!). Northern Ireland, urged on by a record 60,000 Windsor Park crowd, had two young midfield partners called Danny Blanchflower and Jimmy McIlroy dictating the pace and the pattern of the match. They were on the verge of their first victory over England since 1927 when Elliott silenced the celebrating fans with an equalising header in the desperate closing moments. Billy Wright and Jimmy Dickinson were the match stars for England, steadying the ship with their cool defensive work when the Irish threatened to take a stranglehold on the game. Team manager Walter Winterbottom was furious over the goal that Charlie Tully scored direct from a corner-kick. Charlie was famous for his in-swinging corners, and England had worked at cutting them out in training by placing Alf Ramsey on the near post and then centre-half Jack Froggatt directly behind goalkeeper Gil Merrick. The corner from which he scored was curling towards Ramsey, who suddenly ducked under the ball. Gil reached out but only caught thin air as the ball swung into the net. Alf said later that he thought Gil had shouted "mine", but it had apparently been one of the Irish forwards. The crowd went berserk when the ball hit the net. And no wonder - it was Northern Ireland's first international goal for eighteen months!

     ....elsewhere on this day

Football League Division One:
   Arsenal 3 Blackpool 1
   Aston Villa 1 Bolton Wanderers 1
   Burnley 1 Derby County 2
   Charlton Athletic 2 Chelsea 2
   Liverpool 5 Newcastle United 3
   Manchester City 2 Cardiff City 2
   Middlesbrough 4 West Bromwich Albion 2
   Preston North End 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0
   Stoke City 1 Sheffield Wednesday 3
   Sunderland 1 Portsmouth 1
   Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 Manchester City 2
Football League Division One table:
   Liverpool P 11 16pts
   Wolverhampton Wanderers P 11 16pts
   Blackpool      P 10 15pts
   West Bromwich Albion     P 10 14pts
   Arsenal P 11 13pts
   Burnley P 11 13pts
   Charlton Athletic P 10 12pts
   Sunderland P 10 12pts
   Preston North End  P 10 11pts
   Portsmouth P 11 10pts
   Middlesbrough P 10 10pts
   Tottenham Hotspur P 11 10pts
   Chelsea P 11 9pts
   Cardiff City P 11 9pts
   Newcastle United P 10 9pts
   Sheffield Wednesday P 10 9pts
   Manchester United P 10 8pts
   Bolton Wanderers P 10 8pts
   Derby County P 10 7pts
   Aston Villa P 10 7pts
   Stoke City P 11 7pts
   Manchester City P 11 5pts

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)
Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats

Norman Giller
, Football Author
Drew Herbertson, Scottish FA historian