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Results 1950-1955                    Page Last Updated 17 February 2021


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341 vs. Hungary

Sunday, 23 May 1954
End-of-Season East-European Tour Match

Hungary 7 England 1 [3-0]

Népstadion, Istvánmezõ, Budapest
Kick-off (CEST & BST): 5.30pm
Attendance: 92,000; Receipts: about £42,000.

Hungary won the toss England kicked off Match Summary
Hungary Party
England Party
[1-0] Mihály Lantos 8
 20-yard driven free-kick

[2-0] Ferenc Puskás 22
 close range shot after first shot was blocked on the line
[3-0] Sándor Kocsis 31

 8-yard left-footed half volley

[4-0] Sándor Kocsis 56
yard strike from a long Czibor dribble down the left
[5-0] József Tóth 60

 from close range netting a loose ball after Merrick saved his initial shot

[6-0] Nándor Hidegkuti 62

 18-yard low strike
[7-1] Ferenc Puskás 73
-yard strike running onto a perfect Hidegkuti through-ball

[6-1] Ivor Broadis 69
17-yard right-footed half volley after a Dickinson free-kick was headed away into his path
second half live on the Radio Light Programme

Match Summary





Referee (black blazer) - Bernardi Giorgio
x (-), Italy.

Linesmen - tbc

Only an injured goalkeeper maybe substituted. This is a compromise between the IFAB rule and the FIFA ruling on allowing substitutes.

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

Hungary Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Colours: Cherry red v-necked short-sleeved jerseys, white shorts, green socks
Capt: Ferenc Puskás Manager:
Trainer: Gyula Mandi
Selection Committee headed by Gusztáv Sebes
Team chosen on Thursday, 20 May 1954.
Hungary Lineup
1 Grosics, Gyula, off 77th min. 28 4 February 1926 G Budapest Honvéd SE 31 22ᵍᵃ
2 Buzánszky, Jenő 29 4 May 1925 RB Dorogi FC 23 0
3 Lantos, Mihály 25 29 September 1928 LB Vörös Lobogó SE 30 2
4 Lóránt, Gyula 31 6 February 1923 CHB Budapest Honvéd SE 24 0
5 Bozsik MP, József 28 28 November 1925 CM Budapest Honvéd SE 48 4
6 Zakariás, József 30 25 March 1924 CHB Vörös Lobogó SE 31 0
7 Tóth, József 25 16 May 1929 OR Budapesti Dózsa SE 2 1
8 Kocsis, Sándor P. 24 21 September 1929 CF Budapest Honvéd SE 36 37
9 Hidegkuti, Nándor 32 3 March 1922 AM Vörös Lobogó SE 36 26
10 Puskás, Ferenc 27 1 April 1927 CF Budapest Honvéd SE 55 65
11 Czibor, Zoltán 24 23 August 1929 OL Budapest Honvéd SE 22 6
Hungary Substitutes
1 Gellér, Sándor, on 77th min. for Grosics 28 12 July 1925
in Romania
G Vörös Lobogó SE 5 1ᵍᵃ

unused substitutes:


team notes:

The Hungarian's were set up at their headquarters on Margaret Island, in the Danube, near Budapest.
Lantos' opening free-kick goal was only the fourth time England have conceded a direct free-kick, the first time England have conceded a direct free-kick for over twenty-two years.
Despite agreeing only to substitute an injured goalkeeper, Grosics' substitution appeared to defy this ruling. Both goalkeepers wore black jerseys with the number one on their backs.
Ferenc Puskás extends his tallies of Hungarian record appearances and goalscoring, and making this side the most experienced that England have faced.
2-3-3-2(5) Grosics (Geller) -
Buzánszky, Lantos -
Lóránt, Bozsik, Zakariás -
Tóth, Hidegkuti, Czibor -
Kocsis, Puskás.


Age 27.5 Appearances/Goals 30.7 12.2


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, 43rd 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;
61st match, W 38 - D 12 - L 11 - F 179 - A 87, one abandoned. Team chosen by Selection Committee, headed by Harold Shentall, on Thursday, 20 May 1954.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 32 26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 20 37ᵍᵃ
2 Staniforth, Ronald 30 13 April 1924 RB Huddersfield Town AFC 3 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 24 8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC 3 0
4 Wright, William A. 30 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

58 3
5 Owen, Sydney W. 31 29 September 1922 CHB Luton Town FC 2 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 29 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

35 0
7 Harris, Peter P. 28 19 December 1925 OR Portsmouth FC 2 0
8 Sewell, John 27 24 January 1927 IR Sheffield Wednesday FC 6 3
9 Jezzard, Bedford A.G. 26 19 October 1927 CF Fulham FC 1 0
10 Broadis, Ivan A. 31 18 December 1922 IL Newcastle United FC 11 6
11 Finney, Thomas 32 5 April 1922 OL

Preston North End FC

51 23

unused substitutes:

Ted Burgin (Sheffield United FC), Jackie Mansell (Portsmouth FC), Ken Armstrong (Chelsea FC), John Haynes (Fulham FC), Jimmy Mullen (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC).

team notes:

Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Staniforth, Byrne -
Wright, Owen, Dickinson -
Harris, Sewell, Jezzard, Broadis, Finney.


Age 29.1 Appearances/Goals 17.5 3.1


    Match Report by Mike Payne

Six months earlier at Wembley, England were given a football lesson by the magnificent Hungarian side. It was the first time they had been beaten on home soil by a continental team and it was hoped that many lessons would be learned from the experience. Sadly, on this performance against that same Hungarian side, few would believe that they have learned any.

England were once again totally outclassed. Hungary simply tore them apart with some devastating football and scored virtually at will. The old fashioned tactics that England employed were shown up to be woefully inadequate by the slick pattern  of the Hungarian formation. Quick, accurate short passing was coupled with lethal long passes which totally bemused overworked defenders. One of the most obvious differences between the two sides was in the teamwork. Whereas England played as a group of individuals doing their own jobs the Hungarians moved as one unit with Puskás, especially, pulling the strings.

The trouble began in the tenth minute when Jimmy Dickinson was somewhat harshly penalised for a foul on Hidegkuti 20 yards from goal. Puskás summoned up the powerful Lantos from the back to take the free-kick and before you could say 'Hidegkuti' the ball crashed into the England net. It was the beginning of the end for the visitors and 12 minutes later they went 2-0 down when Puskás lashed home a rebound from close range after Ron Staniforth had blocked a sharp cross by Kocsis.

The lean and skilful inside-right Kocsis was having a fine game and on the half-hour he scored a brilliant goal volleying home a pass from Puskás. Kocsis had just come back on to the field after having running repairs to an injury. How England had wished he had stayed off!

For the remainder of the half Hungary turned on the full exhibition of their skills and it was a bemused and bedraggled bunch of England players that trooped off at half-time 3-0 down. Only a good shot by Ivor Broadis which brought the best out of Grosics had given them any encouragement.

At the start of the second half England made a brief spirited reply when Peter Harris saw a shot blocked on the Hungarian goal-line but alas it was only a token gesture as within 20 minutes of the restart Hungary had conjured up some more magic to score three more goals. Kocsis, T�th and the incomparable Hidegkuti all added to the goal tally with splendid strikes rounding off marvellous passing movements. Gil Merrick hardly knew what had hit him and he had little chance.

The 92,000 crowd loved every minute of this superb performance and watched in delight as each of the goals were created following some super play.

England battled gamely on. Billy Wright, Dickinson and Staniforth all worked themselves into the ground but Roger Byrne was their best player with a cultured display despite all that went on around him. Jackie Sewell and Tom Finney also worked hard although Finney in fact missed a sitter in one attack. In the end, though, the England players were willing the referee to end their misery. Before teh final whistle though they did manage to salvage some pride when Broadis met a Dickinson free-kick to pull a goal back. Hungary were not amused by this and immediately struck again with goal number seven.

This time, appropriately perhaps, it was Puskás who advanced on to a defence splitting pass by Hidegkuti to fire home the last humiliating nail into the England coffin. In the remaining minutes Hungary totally dominated and even a substitution of Grosics in goal had little effect on an England display which is best forgotten. Unfortunately, the fact that this ranks as England's biggest-ever defeat will probably mean that it will never be forgotten.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

This was the biggest defeat in England's 90-year football history (and continues to be so to this day). Just four of the England team had survived from the 6-3 slaughter at Wembley in November: Merrick, Wright, Dickinson and Finney. Fulham centre-forward Bedford Jezzard made a best-forgotten debut, while the unfortunate Peter Harris was winning his second and last cap after a gap of five years. His first cap came in the 2-0 home defeat by the Republic of Ireland in 1949. Puskas and Kocsis scored two goals each. The Hungarians, leading 3-0 at half-time, were six goals clear and cantering before Ivor Broadis opened the scoring for England. Hungary immediately replied with their seventh goal, scored by Puskas from a pass by Hidegkuti. Hungary's scorers were Puskas (2), Kocsis (2), Lantos, Toth and Hidegkuti. Billy Wright came off with his face as white as his shirt, and looking like a man who had seen a ghost come back to haunt him. As hard as this giant-hearted man tried, he could not get near to suppressing the irrepressible Puskas.

    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 Hungary again, Doris Day's Secret Love was again the best selling single. When the chart of Friday, 21 May 1954 was published, there were eleven surviving songs from the last chart when England played:-

1. (=) Secret Love - Doris Day (Philips) 7. (10) Someone Else's Roses - Joan Regan (Decca)
2. (=) Such A Night - Johnnie Ray (Philips) 8. (5) I See The Moon - Stargazers (Decca)
3. (6) Friends And Neighbours - Billy Cotton & His Band (Decca) 9. (11) The Gang That Sang Heart Of My Heart - Max Bygraves (HMV)
4. (6) Changing Partners - Kay Starr (Capitol) 10. (8) Don't Laugh At Me ('Cause I'm A Fool) - Norman Wisdom (Colombia)
5. (4) The Happy Wanderer - Obernkirchen Children's Choir (Parlophone) 11. (9) A Dime And A Dollar - Guy Mitchell (Philips)
6. (3) The Kid's Last Fight - Frankie Laine (Philips) 12. (re) Bimbo - Ruby Wright (Parlophone)
♪Most weeks at number one when England played:
Frankie Laine five, Doris Day and Guy Mitchell two, Al Martino, Lita Roza, Stargazers and David Whitfield one each

Source Notes

"All league and championship football will be halted temporarily in Hungary from May 9th to give the Hngarian players, who meet England in Budapest on May 23rd, a spell of uninterrupted training. This was announced yesterday by the Hungarian Deputy Minister of Sports, Gustav Sebes, according to Budapest Radio." - Thursday, 22 April 1954, The Lancashire Evening Post.

Original newspaper reports
Official Matchday programme
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