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317 vs. France

Sunday, 15 May 1955
End-of-Season Tour Match

France 1 England 0 [1-0]
 

 

Match Summary
France Party
England Party

Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes, Paris, Île-de-France
Kick-off (CEST): 3.00pm 3.00pm BST
Attendance: 54,696.

unknown kicked off  
[1-0] Raymond Kopa 37
 penalty that 'outfoxed' Williams
 
second half live on the Radio Light Programme
 

Match Summary

Officials from West Germany

France

Type

England

Referee (-) - Emil Schmetzer
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  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  
  Possession  

France Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 13th to 11th
Colours: Blue collared jerseys, white shorts, red socks.
Capt: Roger Marche Manager: Team chosen by the Selection Committee, announced on Tuesday, 10 May 1955
France Lineup
  Remetter, François 26 8 August 1928 G FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 11 13 GA
2 Bieganski, Guilhem 22 3 November 1932 RB Lille Olympique SC 4 0
3 Marche, Roger 31 5 March 1924 LB RC de Paris 43 0
4 Penverne, Armand 28 26 November 1926 RHB Stade de Reims 15 2
5 Jonquet, Robert 30 3 May 1925 CHB Stade de Reims 32 0
6 Louis, Xercès 28 31 October 1926 LHB RC de Lens 5 0
7 Ujlaki, Joseph 25 10 October 1929
in Buda-pest, Hungary
OR OGC Nice Côte d'Azur 12 7
8 Glovacki, Léon 27 19 February 1928 IR Stade de Reims 7 3
9 Kopaczewski, Raymond 23 13 October 1931 CF Stade de Reims 19 11
10 Bliard, René 22 18 November 1932 IL Stade de Reims 2 0
11 Vincent, Jean 24 29 November 1930 OL Lille Olympique SC 9 6

reserves:

Paul Sinibaldi (Stade de Reims), René Pleimelding (Toulouse FC) and Abderrahman Mahjoub (RC de Paris).

team notes:

Roger Marche played for France against England back in May 1947, when he was winning his second cap.
 
2-3-5 Remetter -
Bieganski, Marche -
Penverne, Jonquet, Louis -
Ujlaki, Glovacki, Kopa, Bliard, Vincent

Averages:

Age 26.0 Appearances/Goals 14.5 2.5

 

England Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 5th
Colours: The 1954 Umbro home uniform - White v-necked short-sleeved continental jerseys, blue rayon shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Billy Wright, 51st captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 42 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
69th match, W 43 - D 13 - L 13 - F 202 - A 101, one abandoned. Team chosen by Selection Committee, announced Saturday, 14 May.
England Lineup
  Williams, Bert F. 35 31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 21 28 GA
2 Sillett, R. Peter T. 22 1 February 1933 RB Chelsea FC 1 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 25 8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC 11 0
4 Flowers, Ronald 20 28 July 1934 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1 0
5 Wright, William A. 31 6 February 1924 CHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

66 3
6 Edwards, Duncan 18 1 October 1936 LHB Manchester United FC 2 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 40 1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 43 10
8 Revie, Donald G. 27 10 July 1927 IR Manchester City FC 3 2
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 29 27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 24 25
10 Wilshaw, Dennis J. 29 11 March 1926 IL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 5 7
11 Blunstone, Frank 20 17 October 1934 OL

Chelsea FC

3 0

unused substitutes:

Reg Matthews (Coventry City FC), Harry Hooper (West Ham United FC), Albert Quixall (Sheffield Wednesday FC).

team notes:

Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally.
 
2-3-5 Williams -
Sillett, Byrne -
Flowers, Wright, Edwards -
Matthews, Revie, Lofthouse, Wilshaw, Blunstone

Averages:

Age 26.9 Appearances/Goals 16.4 4.3

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

After the euphoria of the magnificent win against Scotland, England were brought back down to earth by France on this the first leg of their 1955 summer tour. It was a very disappointing performance by England and the Union Jacks in the crowd were waving in a rather forlorn way at the end. Once again the continental style of play contrasted greatly to England's and the gap in class seemed to widen again.

Nearly 55,000 people packed into the Colombes Stadium to see France quickly move into their stride. Marche, their captain, soon latched on to Stan Matthews and subdued the great man in a better way than many defenders before him. It was also obvious why France had had such a good season. Wins against Sweden, Germany and Spain, combined with a good draw at Belgium, had boosted their confidence and now they were looking to add the biggest scalp of all.

England looked sluggish and for long spells the quick and delightful football of the French stole the honours. Kopa, Glovacki, Bliard and the long-legged coloured player Louis showed some super skills. Alas, the English challenge never really got going. Matthews was marked out of it by Marche and with Ron Flowers having a quiet debut, thus making Don Revie ineffective, they rarely threatened.

Only Dennis Wilshaw looked dangerous for the visitors and he put in some spirited attempts. Ironically, despite the quality of France's football, the goal that settled the match came from a penalty. Indeed, some questionable refereeing decisions had a big say in the outcome.

In the 21st minute, Blunstone was sent sprawling by a reckless challenge in the French penalty area. To England's disgust the German official waved play on. It was a different story some 15 minutes later, though. This time Peter Sillett brought down the elusive Vincent in the England box and the referee showed no hesitation in awarding the spot-kick. There was no doubting his decision but this foul was no less obvious than the one against Blunstone. Kopa stepped up calmly to beat Bert Williams with his shot and the French fans went wild with delight.

After the interval, Kopa, who was outstanding throughout, and Vincent, both crashed fierce shots against the England goalposts and the writing was on the wall. Bliard featured in one amazing incident when he found himself clean through. Believing he was offside he simply tapped the ball to Williams, only afterwards realising the whistle had not blown. Williams, always the busier of the two goalkeepers, then made flying saves from Bliard and Vincent. Despite all of this French pressure, England could still have won the match. On 62 minutes they began an eight-minute spell when they might easily have scored three times.

First Wilshaw sent Nat Lofthouse clean through, only for his shot to strike Remetter's body as the 'keeper came out. Then, England's best move of the game involving Duncan Edwards, Revie and Wilshaw ended with the latter also finding his shot somewhat fortuitously blocked by Remetter's body. Finally, Matthews, with a mavellous piece of skill, killed a high pass superbly to set up Lofthouse. This time the centre-forward did beat Remetter, only to see Penverne appear from nowhere to clear off the goal line.

That was the end of England's efforts and at the end France did a lap of honour to celebrate their famous victory. As for England, only Billy Wright and Edwards could be totally happy with their performances and the party now moved on to Spain.
     

    Match Report by Norman Giller

Peter Sillett, making his debut at right-back, conceded the thirty-sixth minute penalty from which the great Raymond Kopa scored the winning goal for France. Just a month earlier Sillett's penalty goal against Wolves had virtually clinched the League championship for Chelsea, and forced Wolves into settling for runners-up place. Ron Flowers, making his debut alongside his Wolves skipper Billy Wright, had to wait three years for his second cap and then won forty in a row - an unbroken sequence beaten only by Billy's seventy consecutive appearances. The nearest England came to scoring was when Frank Blunstone was unceremoniously pulled down as he shaped to shoot. England appeals for a penalty were turned down, while the German referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty to France for a less obvious foul by Sillett.
  

    The Top Twenty 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, comprising the twelve highest selling singles of the week, it increased to twenty on Friday, 1 October 1954. When England lost in France, Tony Bennett's Stranger in Paradise was the best selling single. The chart was published on Friday, 13 May 1955:-

1. (2) Stranger In Paradise - Tony Bennett (Philips) 11. Unchained Melody - Al Hibbler (Brunswick)
2. (1) Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado & His Orchestra (HMV) 12. (11) Under The Bridges Of Paris - Eartha Kitt (HMV)
3. (4) Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White - Eddie Calvert (Columbia) 13. (14) Unchained Melody - Jimmy Young (Decca)
4. (5) Earth Angel - Crew Cuts (Mercury) 14. (9) Ready, Willing And Able - Doris Day (Philips)
5. (3) Give Me Your Word - Tennessee Ernie Ford (Capitol) 15. (10) Melody Of Love - Ink Spots (Parlophone)
6. (=) Softly Softly - Ruby Murray (Columbia) 16. (=) Prize Of Gold - Joan Regan (Decca)
7. (=) Stranger In Paradise - Tony Martin (HMV) 17. Unchained Melody - Les Baxter (Capitol)
8. (re) If You Believe - Johnnie Ray (Philips) 18. (13) Under The Bridges of Paris - Dean Martin (Capitol)
9. (8) (I'm Always Hearing) Wedding Bells - Eddie Fisher (HMV) 19. Stranger In Paradise - Eddie Calvert (Columbia)
10. (12) If Anyone Finds This I Love You - Ruby Murray with Anne Warren (Columbia) 20. (15) Serenade - Mario Lanza (HMV)
♪Most weeks at number one when England played: Doris Day and Frankie Laine five, Guy Mitchell two, Tony Bennett, Vera Lynn, Al Martino, Lita Roza, Stargazers, Tennessee Ernie Ford and David Whitfield one each

Source Notes

"Pushing, shoving, elbowing, the French were allowed to run through the full Continental book of obstruction, yet the most innocuous England tackle was punished." - Monday, 16 May 1955, Daily Mirror

"It was a bad performance. Our young players failed!" - Sir Stanley Rous, F.A. Secretary
"We did not use the ball well and there was too much individualism!" - Walter Winterbottom

TheFA.com
FFF.fr
Allezlesbleus.free.fr

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

____________________

CG