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384 vs. Belgium

Thursday, 17 June 1954
World Cup 1954 Finals First Phase Pool D, Match Two

Belgium 4 England 4 [1-2]
after extra time, 3-3 after ninety minutes

Sankt Jakob Stadium, Sankt Jakob, Basel, Switzerland
Kick-off (CEST): tbc 6.10pm BST
Attendance: 14,000.


Belgium won the toss England kicked-off Match Summary
Belgium Party
England Party
[1-0] Leopold Anoul 5
 6-yard drive after picking up a Coppens loose ball

[2-3] Leopold Anoul 72

 12-yard shot on the run
[3-3] Henri Coppens 77

 12-yard left-footed shot that went in off the post despite Merrick's efforts

[1-1] Ivor Broadis
slips past three defenders then a 7-yard tap in from a Taylor through-pass
[1-2] Nat Lofthouse 36
6-yard diving header from a Finney cross
[1-3] Ivor Broadis
right-footed shot that went in off Dries from Matthews cross

[4-4] Jimmy Dickinson 94
headed into his own goal after Dries' free-kick was going wide
[3-4] Nat Lofthouse 91
10-yard volley from a perfect Broadis through-pass
Commentator: Kenneth Wolstenholme

Match Summary





Referee (black blazer) - Emil Schmetzer
45 (19 June 1908), Mannheim, West Germany.

Linesmen - Fritz Buchmüller and Willy Ruffli, both Switzerland

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

Belgium Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 15th
Colours: Red laced-up jerseys with yellow/black collars/cuffs, black shorts, black socks with red and yellow hoop.
Capt: Jef Mermans Manager: Dugald Livingstone, 56 (25 February 1898 in Alexandria, Scotland). Appointed 10 July 1953.
ninth match, W 3 - D 5 - L 1 F 19 - A 12
Belgium Lineup
  Gernaey, Léopold A. 27 25 February 1927 G ASv Oostende KM 8 10 GA
2 Dries, Marcel H. 24 19 September 1929 RB Royal Berchem Sport 8 0
3 Van Brandt, Alfons 26 24 June 1927 LB Koninklijke Lierse Sk 20 0
4 Huysmans, Constantinus C. 25 11 October 1928 RHB Royale Bierschot AC 6 0
5 Carré, Louis A. 29 7 January 1925 CHB RFC Liégeois 42 0
6 Mees, Victor E.L. 27 26 January 1927 LHB Royal Antwerp FC 35 1
16 Van den Bosch, Pieter R. 26 31 October 1927 OR RSC Anderlecht 1 0
8 Houf, Denis M. 22 16 February 1932 IR RSC Liégeois 1 0
9 Coppens, Henri F.L. 24 29 April 1930 CF Royale Bierschot AC 27 12
10 Anoul, Léopold R.J.V. 31 19 August 1922 IL Royal FC Liégeois 46 18
11 Mermans, Joseph 32 16 February 1922 OL RSC Anderlecht 36 26


no reserves named

team notes:

Marcel Dries' father, Léopold, also played for Belgium aginst England in 1924.
2-3-5 Gernaey -
Dries, Van Brandt -
Huysmans, Carré, Mees -
Van den Bosch, Houf, Coppens, Anoul, Mermans


Age 26.6 Appearances/Goals 20.9 4.9


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, 44th captaincy Manager:
Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC)
Walter Winterbottom, 41 (31 March 1913), appointed director of coaching on 8 July 1946, and team manager in May 1947;
62nd match, W 38 - D 13 - L 11 - F 183 - A 91, one abandoned. Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Harold Shentall on Friday, 11 June.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 32 26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 21 41 GA
2 Staniforth, Ronald 30 13 April 1924 RB Huddersfield Town AFC 4 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 24 8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC 4 0
4 Wright, William A. 30 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

59 3
5 Owen, Sydney W. 31 29 September 1922 CHB Luton Town FC 3 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 29 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

36 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 39 1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 37 10
8 Broadis, Ivan A. 31 18 December 1922 IR Newcastle United FC 12 8
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 28 27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 20 22
10 Taylor, Thomas 22 29 January 1932 IL Manchester United FC 4 2
11 Finney, Thomas 32 5 April 1922 OL Preston North End FC 52 23


no reserves named

team notes:

Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally.
Nat Lofthouse becomes England's youngest goalscorer at a World Cup Finals tournament, aged 28 years and 294 days.
This is England's most experienced post-war team so far, and the oldest team to appear in the World Cup Finals.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Staniforth, Byrne -
Wright, Owen, Dickinson -
Matthews, Broadis, Lofthouse, Taylor, Finney.

notes: Owen went off injured towards the end of extra-time, he returned to outside-left with Wright going into centre.


Age 29.8 Appearances/Goals 22.9 5.8


    Match Report by Mike Payne

So, at last, the 1954 World Cup Finals are under way for England, and surely this match will rank as one of the most eventful of the whole tournament, no matter whatever else happens. For an hour England were magnificent.

Playing fast, purposeful football they stretched Belgium to the limit and only a tremendous display by Gernaey in goal saved them from an embarassing defeat. Learning a good deal from their Hungarian experience, England employed much of the style of the magnificent Magyars. They overcame a shocky early goal by Anoul for Belgium to quickly equalize when Ivor Broadis scored after good work by Billy Wright and Tommy Taylor had created the opening.

That goal came in the 25th minute and seven minutes later a Taylor through-pass sent Tom Finney away. The Preston winger sent over a lovely centre and Nat Lofthouse roared in to dive horizontally to head a magnificent goal.

When Broadis added a third goal shortly after half-time following a piece of typical Stanley Matthews magic it seemed all over bar the shouting. But instead of pressing home their advantage England tended to over-elaborate their passing movements and in the last 15 minutes they were made to pay for this approach. In a sudden five minute burst from Belgium the scores, remarkably, were level. First Houf and then Coppens pounced on loose defensive work to give Belgium a reward they barely deserved, extra-time.

This, too, was full of drama. Lofthouse restored the England lead when fine work by Broadis and Taylor set up the chance. However their joy was short-lived as two minutes later a tragic own-goal ended the scoring. A long hopeful cross by Dries was met by Jimmy Dickinson's head and the ball flew past Gil Merrick to the dismay of all English fans present.

This was a very frustrating result for England and particularly annoying because they should have won the match convincingly.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

A Jimmy Dickinson own goal during extra-time gave Belgium a draw in a helter-skelter match full of defensive blunders as England made an eventful start to their challenge for the World Cup. A goal down in five minutes, England produced some enterprising and energetic football and deserved their 2-1 half-time lead from goals by Ivor Broadis and Nat Lofthouse. The Lofthouse goal was a cracker, a spectacular diving header to send a Tom Finney cross powering into the net. When Broadis added a third goal early in the second half it looked odds on an England victory. Then defensive lapses let the Belgians in for two soft goals that took the game into extra-time. Nat Lofthouse made it 4-3 in the opening moments of extra-time, and England seemed destined for full points when Jimmy Dickinson turned an intended headed clearance into his own net. Billy Wright took over at centre-half in the closing stages as Syd Owen limped to a passenger's role on the wing. It was to prove the most significant positional switch of Billy's career.

Source Notes

FIFA match report
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