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Results 1950-1955                            Page Last Updated 1 February 2024


West Germany are the 31st different opposition

previous match (21 days)
292 vs. Wales
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294 vs. Scotland

306 vs. West Germany
Wednesday, 1 December 1954
International Friendly Match

England 3 West Germany 1 [1-0]
originally scheduled to take place on 24 November

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Empire Stadium, Empire Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (GMT): 2.00pm.
Attendance: '100,000'; Receipts: '£51,716' (a new England home record).
Ronnie Allen kicked off Jupp Posipal won the toss
[1-0] Roy Bentley header 27
 far-post 3yd header high into the goal after Stan Matthews volleyed back in from the right a failed clearance following a Shackleton free-kick.

1.55 England v. Germany
Science Review. 4.0 Watch With Mother  5.0 Children: 'The Three Musketeers'  7.25 Weather 7.30 News and Newsreel  7.45 'The Three Musketeers'  8.15 'Enemy Enterprises'  8.45 Panorama
England v. Germany.
[2-0] Ronnie Allen 48
 picked up the loose ball for a right-footed shot into the net from 12yds after the keeper saved Finney's shot

[3-1] Len Shackleton 78
 received the ball, rounded two defenders then lobbed the ball over the diving keepers body

[2-1] Alfred Beck 77
16-yard right-footed strike into William's near-post from a Uwe Seeler short pass
Commentator: Kenneth Wolstenholme. Also available at five cinemas.
Officials England Party FIFA ruling on substitutes West Germany
Referee (black)
Vincenzo Orlandini
44 (30 August 1910), Roma, Italy
The Guests of Honour are the Rt Hon Sir Robert Anthony Eden KG MC MP, British Foreign Secretary, and his wife, Clarissa.

A presentation was made to Tom Finney at the evening's banquet by the Football Association. It was an illuminated address to mark fifty international appearances.
Benjamin Mervyn Griffiths
45 (17 January 1909), Abertillery
Charles Edward Faultless
46 (5 March 1908), Glasgow.
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 5th
Colours The 1954 Umbro away uniform - Red v-necked short-sleeved continental jerseys, white shorts, red socks with white tops.
P first of 4, W 1 - D 0 - L 0 - F 3 - A 1.
Captain Billy Wright
Manager Walter Winterbottom, 41 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
record 49th of 90, W 29 - D 9 - L 11 - F 121 - A 77. P 67th of 139, W 42 - D 13 - L 12 - F 195 - A 98, one abandoned.
  ³ Team chosen by Selection Committee, headed by Harold Shentall, on Sunday, 28 November.
England Lineup
  two changes to the previous match (Williams & Finney>Wood & Shackleton) league position (28 November)  
  Williams, Bert F. 34
304 days
31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP) 19 25ᵍᵃ
2 Staniforth, Ronald 30
232 days
13 April 1924 RB Huddersfield Town AFC (FL 4th) 8 0
final app 1954
3 Byrne, Roger W. 25
84 days
8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC (FL 5th) 9 0
4 Phillips, Leonard H. 32
81 days
11 September 1922 RHB Portsmouth FC (FL 6th) 3 0
final app 1951-54
5 Wright, William A. 30
298 days
6 February 1924 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP) 64 3
most apps 1952-54
6 Slater, William J. 27
216 days
29 April 1927 LHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP) 2 0
Matthews, Stanley 39
303 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC (FL 17th) 41 9
oldest outfield player
Bentley, T.F. Roy 30
198 days
17 May 1924 IR Chelsea FC (FL 11th) 10 7
Allen, Ronald 25
320 days
15 January 1929 CF West Bromwich Albion FC (FL 9th) 5 2
final app 1952-54
Shackleton, Leonard F. 32
212 days
3 May 1922 IL Sunderland AFC (FL 3rd) 5 1
final app 1948-54
11 Finney, Thomas 32
240 days
5 April 1922 OL Preston North End FC (FL 2nd) 55 24
unused substitutes: Ray Wood (Manchester United FC (FL 5th)), Joe Kennedy (West Bromwich Albion FC (FL 9th)), Bill McGarry (Huddersfield Town AFC (FL 4th)) and Dennis Wilshaw (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP)).
team notes: England complete another year having played another record-equalling nine matches.
records: England's seventh fixture against the World Cup champions, W 4 - D 1 - L 2 - F 17 - A 11. Two different countries in the same year for the first time.
goalscoring records: Roy Bentley ends the year as the top goalscorer, scoring four goals across four matches, including one hattrick.
2-3-5 Williams -
Staniforth, Byrne -
Phillips, Wright, Slater -
Mathhews, Bentley, Allen, Shackleton, Finney
Averages: Age 31 years 63 days Appearances/Goals 20.1 3.8
oldest team to play for England
West Germany Team
Current World Champions Colours White collared jerseys with black lace-up collar/cuffs, black shorts, black socks with white tops.
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd to 4th
Captain Jupp Posipal Manager Joséf Herberger, 57 (28 March 1897), appointed in 1950.
Team chosen on Thursday, 25 November 1954, with a final announcement made on Sunday, 28 November.
West Germany Lineup
  Herkenrath, Friedrich 26
83 days
9 September 1928 G Rot-Weiss Essen 2 5ᵍᵃ
2 Posipal, Joséf 27
164 days
20 June 1927
in Logoj, Romania
RB Hamburger SV 24 1
3 Kohlmeyer, Werner 30
226 days
19 April 1924 LB 1.FC Kaiserslautern 21 0
4 Erhardt, Herbert 24
148 days
6 July 1930 RHB Spielvereinigung Greuther Fürth 4 0
5 Liebrich, Werner 27
317 days
18 January 1927 CHB 1.FC Kaiserslautern 10 0
6 Harpers, Gerhard 26
264 days
12 March 1928 LHB SV 1912 Sodingen 2 0
7 Kaufhold, Gerhard 25
364 days
2 December 1928 OR Offenbacher FC Kickers 1901 1 0
only app 1954
8 Pfeiffer, Michael 29
135 days
19 July 1925 IR Aachener TSv Alemannia 1900 1 0
only app 1954
Seeler, Uwe 18
26 days
5 November 1936 CF Hamburger SV 2 0
10 Derwall, Joséf 27
266 days
10 March 1927 IL Düsseldorfer TSv Fortuna 1895 1 0
Beck, Alfred 29
233 days
12 April 1925 OL FC St Pauli von 1910 1 1
only app 1954
unused substitutes: Heinz Kubsch (Fk 03 Pirmasens), Jakob Miltz (TuS Neuendorf), Erwin Waldner (VfB Stuttgart) and Berti Krauss (Offenbacher FC Kickers 1901).
Rest of original Party: Karl-Heinz Metzner (Hessen Kessel), Rudi Hoffmann (Sv Viktoria 1901 Aschaffenburg) and Hans Schäfer (1.FC.Köln).
team changes: Both Karlsruher's uncapped Kurt Sommerlatt (right-half) and Köln's Jupp Röhrig (inside-left) were in the original line-up.
Herberger then included the uncapped 25-year-old Gerhard Kaufhold as his outside-right in the team announced on 28 November, Kaufhold was a member of the Offenbacher Kickers team that beat the German probables the week before.
team notes: The Germans named an 18-man party and trained at Groenberg, in the foothills of the Vogelberg Mountains, forty miles north of Frankfurt, playing practise matches against Offenbach Kickers.
Of the team that won the World Cup, Rahn, Morlock and Ottmar Walter were suffering with jaundice. Eckel has a broken leg, and Mai had a liver complaint.
World Cup Champions notes: West Germany beat Hungary in Bern on 4 July 1954 to become the reigning world champions, there are three surviving members of that team in this fixture, Kohlmeyer, Liebrich and Posipal.
The team were due to train at Fulham's Craven Cottage prior to the match, but the ground was unfit, and they trained at a firm's playing field in Barnes instead.
2-3-5 Herkenrath -
Posipal, Kohlmeyer -
Sommerlatt, Liebrich, Harpers -
Kaufhold, Pfeiffer, Seeler,
Derwall, Beck
Averages: Age 26 years 270 days Appearances/Goals 6.3 0.1
              Match Report by Mike Payne

England, in front of a full house (and again the 100,000 crowd broke the receipts record by paying £51,716), entertained West Germany at Wembley. The Germans, who were now World Champions thanks to their memorable win over Hungary in the summer of 1954, had never won in England and again they went home empty-handed. The Germans fielded only three players that had appeared in the World Cup Final, but none the less still proved formidable opposition.

The heavy storms of the previous few days had given way to a lovely sunny, cloudless sky. The Wembley surface was pretty sodden but the ball playing forwards of England revelled in the conditions. Nobody more so than the evergreen Stanley Matthews. He was once again superb. It was hard to imagine that when he made his debut against Germany in 1935, the current German centre-forward, Uwe Seeler, had not even been born.

England were quickly into their stride and Kerkenrath was soon in action. Time and time again he denied England with thrilling saves. Twice Tom Finney had shots blocked and Ronnie Allen also saw the same fate befall two of his efforts.

Finally, though, the pressure told. In the 27th minute more good work by the lively Allen set Matthews on his way. When the winger's centre reached the far post, Roy Bentley carried on where he had left off against Wales by scoring with another fine header.

Play was almost totally confined to the German half. Liebrich was outstanding, as he was in that memorable Final against Hungary, and it was solely due to him that the Germans were held together. Bert Williams was called upon to make a superb point-blank save from Seeler, but generally the English 'keeper was merely a spectator for long spells. With Len Phillips and Len Shackleton showing up very well, England continued with their forceful play until half-time and the measure of their lead did them no justice at all.

Deservedly, within three minutes of the restart, England went 2-0 ahead. Shackleton chipped a lovely ball over the German defence for Finney to run on to. Again his run was blocked by Herkenrath's brave dive but this time the ball ran loose for Allen to follow up and score. At this stage England's wingers were outstanding. Matthews once again carved trails of wreckage down the right flank and set up chance after chance. Finney, meanwhile, preferred to cut inside to create havoc. Unfortunately, England failed to capitalise on their superiority. They should have had many goals as the new-look German line-up understandably lacked cohesion.

Shackleton produced one dazzling moment when he set off on a tremendous dribble that took him through the whole German defence, bringing the crowd to its feet. He then dribbled around Herkenrath, only to push the ball too far forward at the vital moment and it ran out of play. It would have been a stupendous goal; as it was, it still brought a huge roar of approval from the spectators.

England, by now, were coasting. Their play became sloppy due to their dominance and the Germans, typically, made them pay for their casualness by suddenly pulling a goal back. Only 15 minutes remained when Seeler, who for once beat the majestic Billy Wright, passed the ball to Beck, who calmly beat Williams with a low shot.

This succeeded in waking England up again and although for a few seconds Germany threatened, the match was finally settled in the 80th minute. A brilliant reverse pass by Allen gave Shackleton a half-chance and as Herkenrath came to challenge, the Sunderland star produced the perfect chip to score a delightful third goal. Other chances were missed by England in the remaining minutes and Matthews continued, to the end, to be the scourge of the German defenders.


              Match Report by Norman Giller

The 100,000 crowd for this Wednesday afternoon match against the world champions broke the Wembley receipts record by paying £51,716 to watch a classic encounter. With Stanley Matthews running the German defenders into dizzy disarray, England took the lead in the twenty-seventh minute when Roy Bentley headed in a pin-pointed centre from the Maestro. Ronnie Allen made it 2-0 three minutes after half-time following neat combination work between Finney and Len Shackleton. The Germans pulled back to 2-1 through Beck before Shackleton, the Clown Prince, clinched a memorable victory in the eightieth minute with an impudent chip shot as the goalkeeper came racing towards him. Shack had thrilled the crowd throughout the match with his tricks, but he was too much an individualist for the taste of the selectors and never played for England again after a paltry five caps. It remains a mystery to many people why Len Shackleton did not win a cupboardful of caps. He just refused to conform. Shack upset the selectors with a book published in 1955 in which a chapter headed 'The Average Director's Knowledge of Football' was left completely blank. Most of the England selectors were club directors. With his ability, he should have won dozens of caps but he just could not bring himself to toe the line. At least he could say he went out at the very top, because his brilliant goal made sure that England toppled the new world champions. The Germans included only three of the team that won the trophy in Switzerland as they started rebuilding ready for their defence of the World Cup in 1958.

Len Shackleton became a respected football writer after his retirement, and reminiscing in the press box one day he regaled colleagues with this story that captures the times in which he played: "After scoring what I considered one of my finest ever goals to help England beat world champions Germany at Wembley, I was handed a third-class rail ticket for the overnight sleeper back to Sunderland. I said to the Bowler Hat handing me the ticket, 'Couldn't you raise enough money for a first-class ticket?' The FA official said that all the first-class tickets had been sold. When I got to King's Cross I had no trouble transferring to first-class because there was plenty of space, and I was happy to pay the five pounds difference out of my own pocket. By the time I'd paid tax and expenses, I was left with just £20 out of my £50 match fee. The Wembley receipts for the match were over £50,000, but we footballers who had drawn the crowd and the money were considered third-class citizens by those blinkered fools who ran the Football Association."

              Match Report by Glen Isherwood

West Germany had won the World Cup five months earlier with a surprise victory over the mighty Hungarians in Berne but only three members of their winning team were to play at Wembley.
England had reached the quarter-finals where they lost to Uruguay in Basle. This was the first meeting between England and West Germany. They had met a united Germany three times before the war.
The red-shirted England side took the lead after 27 minutes. Matthews crossed and Roy Bentley headed in at the far post. They increased their lead just after half-time.
Herkenrath saved at the feet of Finney but Ronnie Allen scored from the rebound. Seeler provided Alfred Beck with a pass and he shot past Williams to reduce the arrears with a quarter of an hour left. But then Allen passed to Len Shackleton, who drew Heckenrath before delivering an exquisite chip over the 'keeper's head and into the net.
England won by the same scoreline in Berlin in 1956. West Germany finished fourth in their defence of the World Cup in 1958 in Sweden and had lost to England again by the time they returned to England in 1956.

              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1955-56 pages 27-28

Some signs that England was gradually building a new team were confirmed when an almost unchanged eleven beat Germany at Wembley even more comfortably than the score of 3-1 suggests. A little more enthusiasm, determination and good fortune in the German penalty-area and the score might easily have been doubled. Except for a few minutes in the second half when the score was 2-1 in our favour, the result was never in doubt, and the team as a whole showed a confidence which had been sadly lacking in its previous games. The only goal of the first half resulted from an old trick. England was awarded a free-kick; Allen ran up and pretended to take it but jumped over the ball instead; Shackleton's shot rebounded to Matthews; a quick centre to Bentley and the ball was nodded accurately into the net. Immediately after half-time Finney made a grand run and although Herkenrath pluckily parried his shot, Allen was on hand to make it 2-0 for England. For a few minutes after Beck had scored a good goal for Germany England ceased to dominate the game, but a confidence bordering on complacency was restored when Shackleton made the result safe by scoring with a perfect lob after a typically cool dribble up to the goalscorer.

       In Other News....
It was on 1 December 1954 that 59-year-old Polish farmer, Michail Onufrejczyk was sentenced to death for the murder of his fellow Polish co-owner of the farm, Stanislaw Sykut, 58, despite no body being found. The pair had frequently quarrelled at their farm near Cwmdu in Carmarthenshire, sometimes violently, and Sykut had wanted his partner to buy his share of the business back from him. When 2,728 bloodstains and two bone fragments were found in the farmhouse kitchen, the conclusion was drawn that Onufrejczyk had killed Sykut, almost a year earlier, and disposed of his body. On the eve of his scheduled execution, however, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by Home Secretary, Gwilym Lloyd George. Onufrejczyk was released after serving ten years, only to be killed after being hit by a bus in Bradford, a year later.
              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
The Complete Book of the British Charts
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record

Norman Giller, Football Author
British Pathé