England Football Online
 Results 1950-1955                     Page Last Updated 17 February 2021


previous matches
261 vs. Yugoslavia

285 vs. Scotland
same day
'B' 15 vs. Yugoslavia
next matches
287 vs. Hungary
'B' 16 vs. Switzerland

309 vs. Yugoslavia

Sunday, 16 May 1954
Pre-World Cup East-European Tour Match

Yugoslavia 1 England 0 [0-0]


Match Summary
Yugoslavia Party
England Party

Stadion Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija, Savski Venac, Beograd
Kick-off (CET & BST): 5:00pm
Attendance: 59,000.

unknown kicked-off  
[1-0] Rajko Mitić 87
 plunged forward and scored from a Čajkovski free-kick that was awarded for obstruction
second half live on the Radio Light Programme

Match Summary

Officials from Austria




Referee (-) - Erich Steiner
x (-).

Linesmen - tbc

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  
8 Corner Kicks Won 0
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  

Yugoslavia Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 8th
Colours: Blue laced collared jerseys, white shorts, red socks with white hoop.
Capt: Branko Stanković Selection Committee: Aleksandar Tirnanić, Leo Leme�ić, Milovan Ćirić, Franjo W�lfl and Branko Pe�ić
Yugoslavia Lineup
  Beara, Vladimir 25 2 November 1928 G HNK Hajduk Split SDD 25 34ᵍᵃ
2 Stanković, Branko 32 31 October 1921 RB Fk Crvena zvezda 50 1
3 Crnković, Tomislav 24 17 June 1929 LB nk Dinamo Zagreb 17 0
4 Čajkovski, Zlatko 30 24 November 1923 RHB Fk Partizan 51 7
5 Milovanov, Simo 31 10 April 1923 CHB Fk Vojvodina 4 0
6 Bo�kov, Vujadin 23 16 May 1931 LHB Fk Vojvodina 22 0
7 Milutinović, Milo� 21 5 February 1933 OR Fk Partizan 8 1
8 Mitić, Rajko 31 19 November 1922 IR Fk Crvena zvezda 47 32
9 Vukas, Bernard 27 1 May 1927 CF HNK Hajduk Split SDD 35 11
10 Bobek, Stjepan 30 3 December 1923 IL Fk Partizan 53 27
11 Dvornić, Dionizije, injured off 40th min. 28 27 April 1926 OL nk Dinamo Zagreb 3 1
Yugoslavia Substitutes
1 Zebec, Branko, on 40th min. for Dvornić 24 17 May 1929 OL Fk Partizan 22 7

unused substitutes:

not known

team notes:

Zlatko Papec (nk Lokomotiva Zagreb) was the original named outside-left.
2-3-5 Beara -
Stanković, Crnković -
Čajkovski, Milovanov, Bo�kov -
Milutinović, Mitić, Vukas, Bobek, Dvornić


Age 27.5 Appearances/Goals 28.6 7.2


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared short-sleeved jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Billy Wright, 42nd captaincy Manager:
Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC)
Walter Winterbottom, 41 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
60th match, W 38 - D 12 - L 10 - F 178 - A 80, one abandoned. Team chosen by Selection Committee, headed by Harold Shentall, on Tuesday, 11 May 1954.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 32 26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 19 30ᵍᵃ
2 Staniforth, Ronald 30 13 April 1924 RB Huddersfield Town AFC 2 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 24 8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC 2 0
4 Wright, William A. 30 6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 57 3
5 Owen, Sydney W. 31 29 September 1922 CHB Luton Town FC 1 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 29 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

34 0
7 Finney, Thomas 32 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

50 23
8 Broadis, Ivan A. 31 18 December 1922 IR Newcastle United FC 10 5
9 Allen, Ronald 25 15 January 1929 CF West Bromwich Albion FC 3 1
10 Nicholls, John 23 3 April 1921 IL West Bromwich Albion FC 2 1
11 Mullen, James 31 6 January 1923 OL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 11 5

unused substitutes:

Ray King (Port Vale FC), Stan Willemse (Chelsea FC), Bill McGarry (Huddersfield Town FC), Peter Harris (Portsmouth FC) and Jackie Sewell (Sheffield Wednesday FC)

team notes:

Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally.
Syd Owen becomes the eightieth different player to be fielded by Winterbottom.
Staniforth, Byrne and Nicholls become the 59th-61st players to be re-used (win a second cap)
2-3-5 Merrick -
Staniforth, Byrne -
Wright, Owen, Dickinson -
Finney, Broadis, Allen, Nicholls, Mullen


Age 28.9 Appearances/Goals 17.4 3.5


    Match Report by Mike Payne

As a build-up for the forthcoming World Cup, England embarked on a short continental tour with games against formidable opponents Yugoslavia and Hungary.

The first of these games took place in front of a capacity crowd who saw a desperate defensive performance by England which almost succeeded but was dealt a bitter blow just three minutes from the end.

It was certainly a day of celebrations for the Yugoslavs. They won both this game plus a 'B' international played in Ljubljana. That match was won by 2-1 with Bedford Jezzard scoring England's consolation goal.

The match here was virtually dominated by the home side throughout with England relying on the occasional swift breakaway to try and catch out the Yugoslav defenders. The England honour were almost totally confined to the defenders. Billy Wright was an insprational skipper who worked tirelessly and defended magnificently.

Roger Byrne, Ron Staniforth, Jimmy Dickinson and especially Sid Owen also came out with much credit but for the rest it was a disappointing story.

Ivor Broadis tried hard to get his forwards moving as a unit but too often Ronnie Allen was left to plough a lonely furrow down the middle. Always he met the daunting figure of Milovanov who was outstanding and dominated at the heart of the Yugoslav defence. Most of England's best efforts came in the first half and in one particular spell midway through the half they were on top.

Beara made a brilliant tip over save to deny Jimmy Mullen's header after Broadis and Tom Finney had set up the chance. The goalkeeper also had to save well from both Allen and Johnny Nicholls.

Unfortunately, this spell of pressure was to last for only a short while as Yugoslavia, playing a typical continental style of game, began to move very sweetly. Luckily for England their finishing did not match their approach play and when Dvornić missed a simple chance he was quickly substituted, a decision that puzzled the England contingent as the new FIFA rule was to allow substitutes for injuries only.

The second half saw wave after wave of Yugoslav attacks. Bobek, Vukas and Mitić all saw shots graze the uprights as the pressure increased. Čajkovski inspired most of Yugoslavia's best moves and little was seen of England's attack in this half. Indeed, their defence was sometimes forced into desperate measures with Byrne, Owen and Wright all saving Gil Merrick with goal-saving clearances.

It looked as if all this valiant defending would earn England an honourable draw but, right at the end, the Yugoslavs snatched victory. Only three minutes remained when the Austrian referee awarded a dubious free-kick against the unlucky Byrne.

It was a decision which cost England the match. Stanković fired the free-kick low and hard into the packed penalty area and the ball rebounded off a defender straight to the feet of Mitić standing only six yards from goal. He could hardly miss. . .and he didn't! The crowd went wild with delight and although it was a cruel twist for England nobody could deny Yugoslavia's right to the result.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

Syd Owen, of Luton Town, was the eleventh centre-half tried since the defection of Neil Franklin to the outlawed Colombian league. England concentrated on a deep defence and a counter-attacking policy, and almost got away with a draw. Jimmy Mullen, Ronnie Allen and Johnny Nicholls had shots saved during breakaway raids, but the Yugoslavs were generally in control. They were always the sharper side and deserved their winning goal three minutes from the end when a 35-yard free-kick was deflected by Owen into the path of Mitic, who scored from six yards. This was Tom Finney's fiftieth international for England, and England wanted so much to get at least a draw to mark the occasion. Tom was arguably the finest player to wear the England shirt in the early post-war years. Stanley Matthews was the people's favourite, but most of the professionals would have given Tom the nod just ahead of Stanley because there was so much to his game. He was comfortable in any forward position, could dribble almost as well as Stanley and was as brave as a lion. The defeat in Yugoslavia did little to help our confidence as England went on to Budapest for the return match with Hungary.

    The Top Twelve UK Music Chart by New Musical Express

On Friday, 15 November 1952, The New Musical Express published the first ever singles chart in the UK. However, over eighteen months later, when England lost to Yugoslavia, Doris Day's Secret Love was the best selling single. When the chart of Friday, 14 May 1954 was published, there were five surviving songs from the last chart when England played:-

1. (=) Secret Love - Doris Day (Philips) 6. (re) Friends And Neighbours - Billy Cotton & His Band (Decca)
2. (=) Such A Night - Johnnie Ray (Philips) 8. (9) Don't Laugh At Me ('Cause I'm A Fool) - Norman Wisdom (Colombia)
3. (6) The Kid's Last Fight - Frankie Laine (Philips) 9. (re) A Dime And A Dollar - Guy Mitchell (Philips)
4. (3) The Happy Wanderer - Obernkirchen Children's Choir (Parlophone) 10. Someone Else's Roses - Joan Regan (Decca)
5. (=) I See The Moon - Stargazers (Decca) 11. (10) Bell Bottom Blues - Alma Coogan (HMV)
6. (4) Changing Partners - Kay Starr (Capitol)   The Gang That Sang Heart Of My Heart - Max Bygraves (HMV)
♪Most weeks at number one when England played:
Frankie Laine five, Guy Mitchell two, Doris Day, Al Martino, Lita Roza, Stargazers and David Whitfield one each

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
officialcharts.com singles chart