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373 vs. Rest of the World

This match, retrospectively, is not recognised as official by FIFA, even though FIFA choose the team and made requests regarding the officials.
Wednesday, 21 October 1953
Football Association 90th Anniversary Celebration Match

England 4 Rest of the World 4
Empire Stadium, Empire Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (GMT): 2.30pm

Attendance: '97,000' (sold-out); Receipts: '£49,100.' (a British midweek record)
England kicked-off Ernst Ocwirk won the toss
[1-1] Stan Mortensen 8
 13-yard low right-footed shot following a 20-yard dash from 'an acrobatic back heel flick from Nat Lofthouse'


[1-3] Stan Matthews cross comes off the crossbar

[2-3] Jimmy Mullen 40
 walked the ball into the net after a Zeman fumbled a Navarro backpass
[0-1] László Kubala penalty 6
effortless right-footed kick slow and low to the right of Merrick
(Eckersley fouled Vuskas)

[1-2] Giampiero Boniperti 15
raced through unopposed to a 6-yard tap in from a low Branko Zebec byline cross
[1-3] Giampiero Boniperti 38
raced through to a 12-yard low right-footed shot from a Bernard Vukas pass
2.20 Football: England v. Rest of the World.
4.10 Watch With Mother.
5.00 Children's Television 8.0 Newsreel 8.15 Inventor's Club 8.45 Music For You 9.45 Joan Gilbert's Diary
Football: England v. Rest of the World.
Weather and News
[3-3] Jimmy Mullen 48
 Matthews beat two defenders and fired across the goal. The ball bounced off Navarro to Mullen, who squeezed the ball in from the corner of the 6-yard box
[3-3] Stan Mortensen effort hits the post

Stan Mortensen header saved from over the line
[4-4] Alf Ramsey penalty 90 89:25
powerful kick hit to Beara's right

(Posipal fouled Mortensen)

[3-4] László Kubala 63
25-five yard left-footed drive that beat the diving Merrick
[3-4] László Kubala strike saved onto the post

fifth time a penalty kick has been awarded to both sides
This week's Music Charts

Commentator: Kenneth Wolstenholme
Officials England FIFA ruling on substitutes Rest of the World
Referee (black)
Benjamin Mervyn Giffiths
42 (17 January 1909), Abertillery, Monmouthshire, Wales
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.

Teams presented to Guest of Honour, Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery.

Also guests of the Football Association are the Australian cricket team, who arrived in England on 13 April, for their tour and Ashes series.
flame flag               Linesmen            orange flag
Henricus Ludovicus Augustus Bauwens
43 (2 June 1910), Ghent, Belgium
Vincenzo Angelo Giovanni Orlandini
43 (30 August 1910) Roma, Italy
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO record no rating
Colours The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
P 34th of 43, W 19 - D 9 - L 6 - F 91 - A 49.
Captain Billy Wright Manager Walter Winterbottom, 40 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
record 38th of 90, W 23 - D 8 - L 7 - F 98 - A 51. Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC) P 56th of 139, W 36 - D 12 - L 8 - F 168 - A 70, inc. one abandoned.
  ³ Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Harold Shentall on Wednesday, 14 October.
England Lineup
  four changes to the previous match (Garrett, Johnston, Finney, Wilshaw out) league position (14 October)  
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 31
268 days
26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC (FL2 6th) 15 20ᵍᵃ
3rd keeper to face three penalty kicks
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 33
272 days
22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC (FL 10th) 31 2
15th successful penalty kick (26th overall) oldest to take & score a penalty
      16 July 1925
3 Eckersley, William 28
97 days
LB Blackburn Rovers FC (FL2 12th) 15 0
4 Wright, William A. 29
257 days
6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 2nd) 53 3
most apps 1952-53
723 5 Ufton, Derek G. 25
143 days
31 May 1928 CHB Charlton Athletic FC (FL 3rd) 1 0
the sixth Athletic player to represent England only app 1953
6 Dickinson, James W. 28
180 days
24 April 1925 LHB Portsmouth FC (FL 18th) 30 0
seventh, and quickest so far to the 30-app milestone
7 Matthews, Stanley 38
262 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC (FL 9th) 34 9
Mortensen, Stanley H. 32
148 days
26 May 1921 IR Blackpool FC (FL 9th) 24 22
Lofthouse, Nathaniel 28
49 days
27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC (FL 6th) 18 19
10 Quixall, Albert 20
67 days
9 August 1933 IL Sheffield Wednesday FC (FL 11th) 2 0
Mullen, James 30
288 days
6 January 1923 OL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 2nd) 8 4
the 169th (36th post-war) brace scored
unused substitutes: Ted Ditchburn (Tottenham Hotspur FC (FL 10th)), Ray Barlow and Ronnie Allen (both West Bromwich Albion FC (FL TOP))
team notes: Derek Ufton becomes the first England player to appear against a representative side only, also, he becomes Winterbottom's 100th player chosen to his parties (72nd to make it to the field).
penalty notes: Alf Ramsey becomes the third player to score from the penalty spot twice, and the most experienced, in terms of appearances, penalty-kick scorer.
records: This is a record sixth match unbeaten at Wembley by England. It is the third time England have recorded three draws in a single calendar year (1923 & 1951 the other years).
The team trained on Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge ground before the match.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
WWright, Ufton, Dickinson -
Matthews, Morthensen, Lofthouse, Quixall, Mullen
Averages: Age 29 years 288 days Appearances/Goals 21.0 5.0
most-experienced post-war side so far.
Rest of the World Team
Not regarded as an official FIFA match. Colours Light blue buttoned-up collared jerseys, white shorts, blue socks with blue and white vertical striped tops.
Captain Ernst Ocwirk Selection Party chosen by FIFA Selection Committee headed by Karel Johannes Julianus Lotsij, 60 (Netherlands, 3 March 1893) on Thursday, 1 October 1953 in Amsterdam, following a trial match against FC Barcelona. Team chosen Tuesday, 20 October.
Trainer: Walter Nausch
Masseur: Walter Max
Rest of the World Lineup
1 Zeman, Walter, tactical off 46th min. 26
173 days
1 May 1927
 in Vienna
G Sk Rapid, Austria
also has 38 appearances for Austria
2 Navarro Perona, Joaquín 33
80 days
2 August 1921
 in Barcelona
RB Real Madrid CF, Spain
also has five appearances for Spain
3 Hanappi, Gerhard 24
247 days
16 February 1929
 in Vienna
LB Sk Rapid, Austria
also has 34 appearances, and three goals, for Austria
4 Čajkovski, Zlatko 29
331 days
24 November 1923
 in Zagreb
RHB Fk Partizan, Yugoslavia
also has fifty appearances, and seven goals, for Yugoslavia
5 Posipal, Joséf 26
123 days
20 June 1927
 in Lugoj
CHB Hamburger SV eV, Germany
also has fourteen appearances, and one goal, for Germany
6 Ocwirk, Ernst 27
228 days
7 March 1926
 in Vienna
LHB Fk Austria Wien, Austria
also has 42 appearances, and three goals, for Austria
Boniperti, Giampiero 25
109 days
4 July 1928
 in Lugoj
OR Juventus FC, Italy
also has twenty appearances, and two goals, for Italy
8 Kubala Stecz, László 26
133 days
10 June 1927
 in Buda-pest
IR FC Barcelona, Spain
13th penalty against scored (23rd overall) also has six appearances and four goals for Czechoslovakia, three apps for Hungary, and three apps and one goal for Spain
9 Nordahl, Nils Gunnar 32
2 days
19 October 1921
 in Hörnefors
CF AC Milan, Italy
also has 33 appearances, and 43 goals, for Sweden
Vukas, Bernard 26
173 days
1 May 1927
 in Zagreb
IL HNK Hajduk Split SDD, Yugoslavia
also has 32 appearances, and fifteen goals, for Yugoslavia
Zebec, Branislav 24
158 days
17 May 1929
 in Zagreb
OL Fk Partizan, Yugoslavia
also has nineteen appearances, and eleven goals, for Yugoslavia
Rest of the World Substitute
scoreline: Rest of the World 2 England 3
  Beara, Vladimir, on 46th min. for Zeman 24
353 days
2 November 1928
 in Zelovo
G HNK Hajduk Split SDD, Yugoslavia
also has 23 appearances for Yugoslavia
result: Rest of the World 4 England 4
unused substitutes: Ernst Happel (Sk Rapid), Karl Stotz (Fk Austria Wien), Andrés Bosch and Estanislau Basora (both FC Barcelona)
team notes: Alfredo de Stefano, originally named to the Party, was not permitted to play because of a dispute between the Spanish FA and Colombian FA over the players' transfer.
the substitution: "Just before halftime, the team tried to bring on Beara as substitute goalkeeper for Zeman. Mr. Griffiths forbade the change and was embroiled in an argument with players and coach Walter Nausch. 'A substitute is permitted only for injury, and from the way Zeman was dancing about, I did not think he could be seriously hurt,' said Mr. Griffiths. 'During the interval a doctor reported that Zeman had a swollen ankle and could not continue.'"
the penalty against: "It was not a penalty. Mortensen jumped at me and fell over." - Jupp Posipal
The Rest of the World team had the use of Fulham FC's Craven Cottage ground to train on.
2-3-5 Zeman (Beara) -
Navarro, Hanappi -
Čajkovski, Posipal, Ocwirk -
Boniperti, Kubala, Nordahl, Vukas, Zebec.
Averages: (starting)
Age 27 years 162 days
27 years 112 days
              Match Report by Mike Payne

This superb match was arranged to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Football Association and although the Rest of Europe side was somewhat of a makeshift eleven, the two teams produced a suitably memorable occasion. In fact the visitors almost ended England's proud record of never losing to a continental side on home soil. It was magnificent entertainment and the 97,000 crowd thrilled to the superior skills of the Europe team.

They were also thrilled by the never-say-die spirit of the England lads. Three times they came back from being behind and it all culminated in one of the most exciting climaxes that this famous old stadium had ever seen.

From the start it was obvious that England were going to struggle. The silky skills of Kubala, Vukas and Zebec constantly exposed the home defenders. Alf Ramsey and Bill Eckersley looked particularly vulnerable and the FIFA team should have done more with their superiority. The different styles quickly gelled and the Europeans pushed the ball around in short sharp bursts, creating many openings and spreading panic through the England ranks.

England got off to a dreadful start by conceding a first-minute penalty. Hanappi sent a lovely through pass for Vukas who was clear of the defence. Eckersley, chased back but his despairing tackle succeeded only in giving Kubala the chance to score from the resultant spot-kick.

Three minutes later England hit back. Playing their usual long ball game they put together a fine move as a lovely reverse pass by Nat Lofthouse  sent Stan Mortensen galloping clear through the middle. The Blackpool star moved forward confidently before hitting a great cross shot wide of Zeman to equalise. Although that goal levelled the scores, the Rest of Europe side were putting some tremendous play together and on 15 minutes deservedly regained the lead.

This time superb play between Ockwirk and Nordahl gave Zebec the chance to get past Ramsey and then centre for Boniperti to cut inside and crash home number two. The same player then repeated his strike in the 39th minute cutting in past Eckersley to fire home after another good pass from Vukas.

England, 3-1 down and fighting for their lives, were then given a gift two minutes before half-time. A terrible mix-up between Navarro and Zeman gave Jimmy Mullen the chance to pull a goal back. Zeman had struggled against the England crosses and was once saved by his crossbar after a Stan Matthews centre had beaten him.

After the break the goalkeeper was replaced by Beara of Yugoslavia, much to the annoyance of the England players. Matthews had been England's star of the half and although Hanappi contributed much to the visitor's attack, defensively he never lived with the Blackpool star.

The undoubted fighting spirit of the England players shone through brightly early in the second half when they forced another equaliser. A splendid dribble and centre by the irrepressible Matthews found Mullen running in at the far post to shoot home. Mortensen then hit a post as play swung from end to end and the Rest of Europe missed several good chances before both Mortensen and Lofthouse inexplicably missed with headers. The match was on a knife edge.

With 25 minutes to go Zebec popped up on the right wing. His centre was met by a tremendous Kubala left-foot shot which flew into the top corner with Gil Merrick groping helplessly. It looked all over with only Matthews and occasionally Mortensen looking likely to pull the game out of the fire. Only a desperate dive by Merrick prevented Kubala adding another goal with the 'keeper just managing to get a touch on to the post after a fierce cross shot.

But then, just as it seemed that the record had gone, England summoned up one last determined effort. With only seconds remaining, a burst by Mortensen was ended by Cajkovski's clumsy challenge and the referee awarded a penalty. Imagine what must have been going through Ramsey's mind as he stepped up to take the kick. He showed no nerves though and he confidently crashed the ball into the net to end a tremendous afternoon's football.

              Match Report by Norman Giller

An Alf Ramsey penalty in the last minute gave England a draw in a showpiece match to mark the Football Association's 90th birthday. England trailed three times against the European all-stars in a Wednesday afternoon match that provided a feast of football for the 97,000 spectators. Some forty-six years later FIFA saw fit to downgrade the game to non-international status, but the Football Association awarded Billy Wright a cap and it stays in English records as a full international. That is good news for talented Charlton defender Derek Ufton, a solid batsman and understudy at Kent to wicket-keeper Godfrey Evans, who won his only cap in the game. England took the game very seriously because there was a lot of pride and prestige at stake. Considering they had only been together for a couple of days, the Rest of Europe side played some magnificent football. The pick of the players was Ladislav Kubala, who had been the first of the outstanding Hungarians to switch his football allegiance to Spain. Ask anybody from Barcelona or Budapest and they will tell you that he was in the class of Puskas. He had wonderful ball control and the ability to make space for himself with clever changes of pace. A naturally gifted genius, Kubala left Hungary just before the rise of their greatest of all teams. Just imagine how good they would have been had he still been available for selection! Kubala AND Puskas to mark. The mind boggles!

              Match Report by Glen Isherwood

England were still unbeaten at home against continental opposition. They had met a Europe side only once before, beating them 3-0 at Highbury in 1938 on the FA's 75th anniversary.
The FIFA select took the lead when Hanappi sent Vukas away down the middle. Eckersley brought him down and Ladislao Kubala scored from the spot. Within three minutes, though, England had equalised. Stan Mortensen took a pass from Lofthouse and ran on to shoot low past Zeman.

But they went behind again when a cross from Zebec was slammed in by Gianpiero Boniperti. Six minutes before half-time Boniperti scored again from a pass by Vukas to leave England's proud record in grave danger. But just four minutes later, a mix-up between Zeman and Navarro gave Jimmy Mullen an open goal from which to reduce the arrears. FIFA swapped goalkeepers at half-time but the new man Beara could do little about England's second equaliser. From a Matthews cross Mullen scored his second off the post. With 25 minutes remaining FIFA took the lead for the third time. Zebec crossed and Kubala struck a great shot into the corner. England seemed to have met their match but with seconds remaining Cajkovski brought down Mortensen and Alf Ramsey rescued England at the death from a penalty.
England's record was to finally fall in their very next appearance.


              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1954-55, page 27

Although the team assembled by F.I.F.A. for the match to celebrate the F.A's ninetieth anniversary was given the grandiose title of 'Rest of the World', its members in fact all hailed from Western Europe. They came from Austria, Spain, Yugoslavia, Germany, Italy and Sweden, and never previously played together as a team, yet they quickly knit themselves together to give a display of individual brilliance combined with superb teamwork.
The game provided a fascinating contrast in styles, England fighting back doggedly against the swift, artistic F.I.F.A. attacks backed by a purposeful half-back line. The English defence at times seemed mesmerised by the lightning footwork and close passing of the Continentals; in the fifth minute a desperate tackle brought Vukas down and the penalty that followed was converted by Kubala to make the initial score. It should not be thought that the English forwards never had their moments, and indeed three minutes later Mortensen was rushing through the middle to score the equaliser with a low cross-shot. There followed two dazzling moves by F.I.F.A, both of which ended with Boniperti scoring unstoppable shots. With the score already 3-1 things looked bad for England, but shortly before half-time a misunderstanding between goalkeeper Zeman and full-back Navarro offered Mullen an open net which he was not slow to take advantage of.
With Beara substituted for Zeman in goal the second half scoring opened with a swift shot by Mullen off the far post following a dribble and centre by Matthews. With the scores level there were several missed chances at both ends and then F.I.F.A. again took the lead when Zebec sent the ball across the English defence and Kubala sent a powerful shot into the top corner of the net. In the dying minutes the game seemed lost, when Mortensen, hurling himself at the ball, collided with Cajkovski and the referee awarded a penalty. Ramsey's careful shot kept England's unbeaten home record untarnished for a few weeks longer.


              In Other News....
It was on 21 October 1953 that twenty-year-old Mickey Davies testified that he had not used a knife in the gang fight that had resulted in the death of 17-year-old John Beckley following a chase through Clapham Common, three months earlier. Davies was found guilty of the murder on the following day, and sentenced to death, but after having an execution date set twice, he was reprieved by the Home Secretary, Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, three months later, and Davies was released in 1960. Five hours after the international match, League Champions, Arsenal staged a floodlit friendly at Highbury against Anderlecht, the top Belgian side, who won 3-2. Roper and Logie scored Arsenal's goals.
              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
Official matchday programme
The Complete Book of the British Charts
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record

Norman Giller, Football Author
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record
British Pathé