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281 vs. Wales

Wednesday, 12 November 1952
Home International Championship 1952-53 (58th) Match

England 5 Wales 2 [3-1]


Match Summary
England Party
Wales Party

Empire Stadium, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (GMT): 2.15pm

94,094; Receipts: £43,600 (a new British record);

England kicked off  
[1-0] Tom Finney 5
 8-yard left-footed shot from an Elliott lay-off

[2-0] Nat Lofthouse 12
 first time shot after R.Froggatt backheeled an Elliott corner

[3-1] Jack Froggatt 35
 headed in from a yeard out a Finney shot
[4-1] Roy Bentley 53
 25-yard low right-footer to the corner of the net from a Finney centre

[5-2] Nat Lofthouse 72
 thirty-yard shot

[2-1] Trevor Ford 16
crashed in a low shot holding off Wright and J.Froggatt

[4-2] Trevor Ford 54
diverted a Foulkes cross past Merrick

Match Summary

Officials from Scotland




Referee (black) - Douglas Gerrard
x (-), Aberdeen.
(In the previous twelve months, Gerrard has taken charge in all four home countries, Wales vs. England at Cardiff, Scotland vs. USA at Glasgow, Ireland vs. England at Belfast, and now at Wembley!)

Linesmen - Joseph A. Coulter, Dumfries (flame flag) and William Davidson, Kirkcaldy (orange flag).

Teams presented to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG

The match fee for the England players is now £30.
No substitues permitted, as per UK ruling.

  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, thirtieth captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 39 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
48th match, W 32 - D 9 - L 7 - F 144 - A 57.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Harold Shentall, on Tuesday, 4 November 1952.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 30 26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 8 10ᵍᵃ
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 32 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 24 1
3 Smith, Lionel 32 23 August 1920 LB Arsenal FC 4 0
4 Wright, William A. 28 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

45 3
5 Froggatt, Jack, injured off 28th-33rd min. 29 17 November 1922 CHB
Portsmouth FC 10 2
6 Dickinson, James W. 27 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

22 0
7 Finney, Thomas 30 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

41 21
8 Froggatt, Redfern 28 23 August 1924 IR/IL Sheffield Wednesday FC 1 0
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 27 27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 10 12
10 Bentley, T.F. Roy 28 17 May 1924 IL/IR

Chelsea FC

7 3
11 Elliott, William H. 27 20 March 1925 OL/LH Burnley FC 4 1


Joe Kennedy (West Bromwich Albion FC) and Johnny Dixon (Aston Villa FC)

team notes:

The England team were, as per usual, set up in Hendon prior to this match, training at Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge.
The Froggatt's are cousins. Jack Froggatt received treatment for a damaged shoulder after 28 minutes, sustained during Wales' first goal, in a tussle between him and Ford.
Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally. Redfern Froggatt becomes Winterbottom's 76th player.
Following the match, after the players returned to their dressing rooms, Lionel Smith collapsed. An ambulance was called and he spent the night in Wembley Hospital, suffering with exhaustion.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Ramsey, Smith -
J.Froggatt, Dickinson -
R.Froggatt, Lofthouse, Bentley, Elliott.
notes: for the second half, Wright instructed himself to centre-half, and Dickinson to the right, and Billy Elliott took up the vacant left-half position. Then Redfern and Bentley swapped wings.


Age 28.9 Appearances/Goals 16.0 3.5


Wales Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 20th
Colours: Made by Umbro - Red collared jerseys with white collars/cuffs, white shorts with red side stripe, red socks with white tops.
Capt: Ron Burgess Manager: Team chosen by Selection Commitee on Tuesday, 4 November 1952
Wales Lineup
  Shortt, William W. 32 13 October 1920 G Plymouth Argyle FC, England 9 13 GA
2 Stitfall, Ronald F. 26 14 December 1925 RB Cardiff City FC 1 0
3 Sherwood, Alfred T. 28 13 November 1923 LB Cardiff City FC 24 0
4 Paul, Roy 32 18 April 1920 RHB Manchester City FC, England 20 1
5 Daniel, W. Raymond 24 2 November 1928 CHB Arsenal FC, England 9 0
6 Burgess, W.A. Ronald 35 9 April 1917 LHB Tottenham Hotspur FC, England 25 1
7 Foulkes, William I. 26 29 May 1926 OR Newcastle United FC, England 6 1
8 Davies, E. Reginald 23 27 May 1929 IR Newcastle United FC, England 2 0
9 Ford, Trevor 29 1 October 1923 CF Sunderland AFC, England 25 19
10 Allchurch, Ivor J. 22 16 December 1929 IL Swansea Town FC 10 4
11 Clarke, Royston J. 27 1 June 1925 OL Manchester City FC, England 15 4


David Bowen (Arsenal FC)

team notes:

Liverpool FC's Ray Lambert was the original chosen right-back. He pulled a thigh muscle in his club's league match against Middlesbrough on Saturday. His placing going to Stitfall on the Monday.
The Welsh team were set up in Weybridge prior to this match and trained on a recreation ground near to their hotel, for this, their first ever visit to Wembley.
Trevor Ford extends his record of most goals for the Wales national team.
2-3-5 Shortt -
Stitfall, Sherwood -
Paul, Daniel, Burgess -
Foulkes, Davies, Ford, Allchurch, Clarke


Age 27.6 Appearances/Goals 13.3 2.5


    Match Report by Mike Payne

For the first time, England took their home match with Wales to Wembley. The teams celebrated this event by providing the stadium with a memorable game and a magnificent spectacle for the crowd.

Some 93,500 people paid a record £43,600 and greeted the sides with a tremendous cheer as they strode on to the lush green grass which was bathed in warm sunshine. The white and scarlet jerseys made for a colourful scene and amongst the crowd was the Duke of Edinburgh.

From the start both teams played attacking football. England quickly moved into a smooth flowing rhythm and all their forwards looked dangerous. The passing was swift and accurate and the home side's teamwork became the outstanding feature of the game.

Soon the Welsh was struggling and, within ten minutes, England were 2-0 up. The first goal was as a result of a lovely move. Redfern Froggatt began the move with a pass to Nat Lofthouse. He quickly moved it on to Tom Finney, whose centre was touched on by Roy Bentley to Billy Elliott on the left. The Burnley star quickly turned the ball back across goal to find Finney, now in the middle, who shot a fine goal past Shortt.

Shortly afterwards came the second goal. Elliott took a corner on the left and, as the cross came over, Redfern Froggatt cleverly flicked the ball to Lofthouse and the number nine scored from close range.

It looked as though England were going to run up a cricket score but, quite unexpectedly, Wales pulled a goal back after 15 minutes.

Ford, always a real handful for Jack Froggatt, found himself competing with the centre half for a high bouncing ball in the area. Ford won the duel and latched on to it nodding it down with his head before crashing a low shot past Gil Merrick with his right foot.

This put a different complexion on the scoreline and on the half-hour another incident seemed to offer Wales further hope. Again Jack Froggatt and Ford clashed for a 50-50 ball but this time the England player was injured. As he was carried off the crowd thought that it was the last they would see of him in this game. How wrong they all were.

Within ten minutes, he came back on to the field to a tumultuous welcome. His injury meant that he would have to line-up on the left wing, a position he used to play and England reorganised completely to accommodate him. It was quickly obvious the changes were not going to affect their general play.

Redfern Froggatt, Finney and especially Lofthouse were magnificent in restoring England's superiority. Mere words cannot convey the superb contribution of Finney to England's cause and Lofthouse gave his best performance so far in the purple patch that he is in. He gave Daniel a torrid time both in the air and on the ground. Just before half-time, England took a 3-1 lead through an unlikely source.

Finney, turning brilliantly, fired in a shot which was going wide of the far post, that is, until the large figure of Jack Froggatt came from nowhere to dive forward to head home. The roar that greeted the goal must surely have been heard in Cardiff. Incredibly before the break he nearly added another only to be foiled by the legs of Shortt.

England continued with their magical play after half-time. Almost immediately it was 4-1. Another superb Finney, Lofthouse combination gave Bentley the chance to shoot a fine goal from twenty yards.

Wales, who all the time played open attractive football, showed their character a minute later by pulling a goal back. Again Ford was on target latching on to a Foulkes shot that bounced off Lionel Smith.

England continued to turn on the style, though, and with 15 minutes left, Lofthouse capped a marvellous performance with a fifth and final goal. His fierce shot from 25 yards was far too hot for Shortt to handle and the ball went in despite the goalkeeper's attempted save.

It had been a memorable match with outstanding perfomances from many, if not all, of the 22 players.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

This was the first time Wales had ever played at Wembley, and a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 93,500 paid record gate receipts of £43,000. England were two goals up in the first ten minutes through Tom Finney and Nat Lofthouse. Five minutes later Trevor Ford pulled a goal back for Wales, and was then involved in a collision with Jack Froggatt that led to the England centre-half being carried off. Billy Wright switched to the middle of the defence, with Billy Elliott dropping back from the wing to left-half. Jack Froggatt, whose cousin, Redfern, was making his debut at inside-right, came back on as a passenger on the left wing.  Remarkably, it was Jack who scored England's third goal just before half-time with a brave diving header. Roy Bentley made it 4-1 in England's first attack after half-time, with Ford instantly replying for Wales. Nat Lofthouse rounded off the scoring with a shot from twenty-five yards that goalkeeper Bill Shortt could only help into the net. The significant thing about this match was that it was the first time that Billy Wright played at centre-half for England.

    Match Report by Glen Isherwood

Having made three visits in wartime, Wales now appeared at Wembley in the British Championship for the first time. They had not beaten England in the competition since 1938 but had shared the title with them the previous season. England had already drawn 2-2 with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, but Wales had lost 2-1 to Scotland at Ninian Park and had to avoid defeat to continue their interest in the Championship.

England scored twice in the opening ten minutes. After some early pressure Tom Finney converted an Elliott centre. The second came from an Elliott corner. This time a flick-on from Redfern Froggatt supplied Nat Lofthouse with a goal.

Within five minutes Wales had pulled one back. Trevor Ford fought off the challenge of Jack Froggatt to shoot past Merrick. Froggatt was later stretchered off but then returned to play out on the wing and then miraculously met Finney's cross with a diving header to score England's third.

In the second half Lofthouse and Finney combined to set up Roy Bentley with a chance to shoot and score from just outside the penalty area.

Wales almost immediately scored again when a Foulkes shot was blocked by Smith but fell to Ford to score his second with a cheeky back-heel. Lofthouse completed the scoring with 15 minutes left when his 25-yard shot went crashing through Shortt's hands.

Wales ruined Northern Ireland's chances by beating them 3-2 at Windsor Park and the Championship was concluded at Wembley.

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)
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record (SportsBooks Limited, Cheltenham, U.K., 2006)

Norman Giller
, Football Author
Wales' Complete Who's Who since 1946 (Sutton Publishing Ltd, Stroud, U.K., 2004)
Drew Herbertson, Scottish FA historian