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Brazil are the 31st different opposition

previous match (25 days)
302 vs. Scotland
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304 vs. Sweden
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323 vs. Brazil
Wednesday, 9 May 1956
End of season Friendly Match

England 4 Brazil 2

Empire Stadium, Empire Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (BST): 3.00pm
Attendance: 97,000; Receipts: £47,000.
England kicked-off  
[1-0] Tommy Taylor 2
 right-footed crashed in from 7 yards after Johnny Haynes laid off an Atyeo thru' ball

[2-0] Colin Grainger
 into an empty net from 2 yards after Johnny Haynes slipped the ball to him after he collected Taylor's cross
[2-0] Tommy Taylor's left-footed strike hits post
[2-0] Canhoteiro strike hits the post
2.50 Football: England v. Brazil
Watch With Mother: The Flowerpot Men 5.0 Children Newsreel Hopscotch 7.0 News 7.5 Party Political Broadcast for the Conservatives 7.30 The Grove Family 7.50 Look: Slimbridge This Evening 8.20 Burns and Allen Show 8.45 Nat's in The Belfry 9.30 England v. Brazil (telerecording) 10.0 Report From America


[2-2] John Haynes hits Matthews cross onto bar
Match held up as Alvaro attempted to walk off the pitch

[2-2] John Atyeo penalty 62
 kick saved as Gilmar dived to his right to punch the ball over the bar

(Zozimo handled Haynes' free-kick)
[3-2] Tommy Taylor header 67
 from 4 yards after Johnny Haynes headed back across a Matthews cross.
[3-2] Roger Byrne penalty 67
 kick saved from a lacklustre shot
(Zozimo handball)

[4-2] Colin Grainger
header 84
 beat Gilmar to head in from 6 yards another Stan Matthews cross
[2-1] Roger Byrne own goal 53
Paulinho hit on the volley hitting Byrne's studs on the way in off the post
[2-2] Didi
smashed in right-footed from 20 yards that Matthews could not hold

Winterbottom's fiftieth goal at the stadium

This week's Music Charts
Commentator: Kenneth Wolstenholme and Walley Barnes
Officials from France England Party FIFA ruling on substitutes Brazil Party
Referee (black)
Maurice Alexandre Guige
43 (4 August 1912), Arles announced 16 April
Teams were presented to the Guest of Honour, His Grace, The Duke of Norfolk, KG, GCVO.
flame flag               Linesmen            orange flag
Robert Sautel Marcel Lequesne
45 (31 January 1911), Oissel
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 7th to 6th
Colours The 1954 Umbro home uniform - White v-necked short-sleeved continental jerseys, blue shorts, red socks with white tops.
P 11th of 43, W 6 - D 2 - L 3 - F 30 - A 16.
Captain Billy Wright Manager Walter Winterbottom, 43 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
record 59th of 90, W 34 - D 11 - L 14 - F 148 - A 91. Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC) P 77th of 139, W 47 - D 15 - L 15 - F 222 - A 112, one abandoned.
  ³   Team chosen by Selection Committee, headed by Joe Mears, on Friday, 27 April.
England Lineup
  four changes to the previous match (Dickinson, Finney, Lofthouse & Perry out) league position (27 April)  
1 Matthews, Reginald D. 23
141 days
20 December 1932 G Coventry City FC (FL3S 7th) 2 3ᵍᵃ
2 Hall, Jeffrey J. 26
245 days
7 September 1929 RB Birmingham City FC (FL 4th) 6 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 26
244 days
8 September 1929


Manchester United FC (FL CHAMPIONS)

the twelfth own goal conceded by England
14th penalty missed (31st taken overall)
4 Clayton, Ronald 21
278 days
5 August 1934 RHB Blackburn Rovers FC (FL2 8th) 3 0
5 Wright, William A. 32
93 days
6 February 1924 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 3rd) 74 3
most apps 1952-56
6 Edwards, Duncan 19
221 days
1 October 1936 LHB Manchester United FC (FL CHAMPIONS) 6 0
Matthews, Stanley 41
98 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC (FL RU) 47 9
oldest outfield player
8 Atyeo, P. John W. 24
92 days
7 February 1932 IR Bristol City FC (FL2 7th) 2 1
13th penalty missed (30th taken overall)
Taylor, Thomas 24
101 days
29 January 1932 CF Manchester United FC (FL CHAMPIONS) 7 4
the 180th (47th post-war) brace scored
Haynes, John N. 21
205 days
17 October 1934 IL Fulham FC (FL2 10th) 5 2
755 11
Grainger, Colin 22
334 days
10 June 1933 OL Sheffield United FC (FL 22nd bottom) 1 2
the 181st (48th post-war) brace the 29th United player to represent England
unused substitutes: Ray Wood and Johnny Berry (both Manchester United FC (FL CHAMPIONS)), Tommy Cummings (Burnley FC (FL 9th)), Gordon Astall (Birmingham City FC (FL 4th)), Nat Lofthouse (Bolton Wanderers FC (FL 8th)) and Dennis Wilshaw (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 3rd)). Then Johnny Wheeler (Bolton Wanderers FC (FL 8th))
team changes: Ron Clayton, originally a reserve, replaced Jimmy Dickinson, the original named right-half, withdrew injured. Wheeler replaced Clayton as a reserve.
team notes: Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally, in his record 39th consecutive match.
Colin Grainger becomes the 140th player to score on his debut, and the first since Dennis Wilshaw in 1953 to score twice - now the youngest so far to score a double at the stadium.
Reg Matthews and Atyeo become the eightieth players to make a second appearance under Winterbottom.
records: England win a record sixth match in a row at Wembley, extending their tally. It also equals a record sequence of six matches unbeaten at the stadium.


R.Matthews -
Hall, Byrne -
Clayton, Wright, Edwards -
S.Matthews, Atyeo, Taylor, Haynes, Grainger.
Averages: Age 25 years 320 days Appearances/Goals 15.6 1.5
Brazil Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd
Colours Yellow jerseys with lime green collars/cuffs, light blue shorts with white side stripe, white socks with two narrow yellow and lime green stripes at top.
"The Brazilian footballers, who meet England at Wembley on Wednesday, are keeping a sharp watch for changes of temperature. On the thermometer will depend the colours they will wear for the game. If the weather is warm, the Brazilians will turn out in short-sleeved yellow shirts made of cotton. If the weather becomes chilly, they will wear long-sleeved blue jerseys of wool." - Belfast Telegraph, Monday, 7 May 1956
Captain Nílton Santos Manager Flávio Rodrigues da Costa, 49 (14 September 1906), appointed 1955.
47th match
Brazil Lineup
For full names, please see the Party page  
1 Gilmar 25
261 days
22 August 1930 G SC Corinthians Paulisto 15 20ᵍᵃ
4 Djalma Santos 27
72 days
27 February 1929 RB Associaçã o Portuguesa de Desportos 31 1
3 Nílton Santos 30
359 days
16 May 1925 LB

Botafogo FR

32 1
5 Zózimo 23
325 days
19 June 1932 RHB Bangu AC 8 1
2 Pavão 26
35 days
4 April 1930 CHB CR Flamengo 4 0
6 Dequinha 28
51 days
19 March 1928 LHB CR Flamengo 7 0
7 Paulinho 24
24 days
15 April 1932 OR CR Flamengo 6 0
8 Álvaro 24
228 days
24 September 1931 IR Santos FC 9 2
9 Gino 26
249 days
3 September 1929 CF São Paulo FC 6 3
Didi 27
214 days
8 October 1928 IL Botafogo FR 26 5
11 Canhoteiro 23
228 days
24 September 1932 OL São Paulo FC 10 1
unused substitutes: De Sordi, Escurinho, Evaristo de Macedo, Larry, Roberto Belangero, Sabará, Walter Marciano.
notes: These 'reserve' players participated in other matches on the tour. They may or may not have been able to play against England. There may yet be other players who were on the tour that did not play in any games.
The South Americans also had a different numbering system to the Europeans, thus it is correct to say that Djalma Santos was playing right-back at number four.
team notes: Gino was taken to hospital with a fractured cheekbone after a collision with Billy Wright, who suffered a two-inch gash over his right eye.
2-3-5 Gylmar -
Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos -
Zózimo, Pavão, Dequinha -
Canhoteiro, Didi, Gino,
Álvaro, Paulinho.
Averages: Age 26 years 87 days Appearances/Goals 14.0 1.2
The Brazil team presented Stanley Matthews with a Silver Cup at a post-match banquet.
              Match Report by Mike Payne

This international had just about everything and the 100,000 people who were privileged to be present enjoyed every minute of an occasion that was pulsating from first whistle to last.  Two early goals gave England a tremendous start and the exciting incidents came one after the other.  Superlatives are frequent in this report and that just about sums up a superb game.

England began with devastating burst and in the opening seconds Tommy Taylor found himself clean through, only to shoot just too high with the crowd already celebrating a goal.  They did not have to wait much longer, though, as after two minutes Taylor had redeemed himself with a lovely goal.  A fine move began with a pass from Duncan Edwards to Stanley Matthews.  The 41-year old genius put a lovely square pass inside to Johnny Haynes who, in turn, pushed the ball forward.  Taylor was on to it like a flash and crashed the ball into the roof of the Brazilian net.

Amazingly, within three minutes of that goal England went 2-0 up.  Stan Matthews was again heavily involved, picking the ball up near the corner-flag at England's end, he cheekily flicked it between Canhoteiro's legs to find Jeff Hall.  The full-back's long, raking pass forward found Taylor again beating Pavão, and, after Haynes had got a touch, Colin Grainger was there to slam home number two.

Incidents galore followed, notably when Canhoteiro struck a shot against an England post, but the home side held on to their lead although realising only too well that Brazil were far from out of the game.

The first half had been superb, surely the second half could not live up to that standard? It did!  And not only that the entertainment surpassed the first 45 minutes.  Within ten minutes of the restart Brazil had suddenly pulled level.  With the wind now behind them and with the rain now falling they began the half with a renewed appetite.

Nilton Santos, a superb player, made a break down the left.  His cross found Paulinho on the right.  The winger seemingly had nowhere to go but suddenly unleashed a shot with struck Roger Byrne and deflected up and over Reg Matthews to spin wickedly over the line.  Two minutes later, Brazil were level.  A rare mistake by Billy Wright gave Didi possession.  The wonderfully gifted player then surprised England's goalkeeper with a vicious 20-yard shot which Matthews could only help into the net.

With Brazil now having their tails well and truly up they proceeded to push the ball around Wembley's lush turf confidently and with great skill.  It was now, though, that their South American temperament came into the story.  On the hour, the Brazilian tendency for over excitement gave England a penalty when a defender inexplicably handled the ball following Hayne's free-kick.

The referee unhesitatingly gave the spot-kick but in so doing sent the Brazilians wild with rage.  For a while the French referee struggled to regain control of a volatile situation but eventually the kick could be taken.  Somewhat surprisingly the responsibility was given to John Atyeo, who had not had a particularly inspired game. The crowd groaned as Atyeo's kick was saved by Gilmar. However it was not long before those groans turned to cheers.

Stan Matthews took a lovely pass from Haynes and centred Atyeo to head the ball back for Taylor to head England back into the lead.  Soon afterwards, in this breathless match, England were awarded another penalty for handball.  Again there was pandemonium in the Brazilian ranks and again England missed the kick. This time Bryne's shot was saved by Gilmar.

But, with ten minutes to go, England, with Stan Matthews again to the fore, scored their fourth and most decisive goal.  Hall found the Blackpool winger and once again the maestro served up a perfect centre for Grainger to celebrate a fine debut by heading past Gilmar in style.

The teams left the arena to tremendous and deserved applause, it had all been wonderful entertainment.

              Match Report by Norman Giller

It was billed as the 'Old World meets the New' and Brazil arrived with many of the players who two years later were to win the World Cup in such dazzling fashion. England got off to a flying start under the Wembley Stadium floodlights with Tommy Taylor and Colin Grainger scoring inside the first five minutes. The Brazilians fought back to 2-2, and then John Atyeo and Roger Byrne each had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Gylmar. The penalty misses sandwiched a second goal by Taylor, made for him by a Stanley Matthews at his magical best against one of the all-time great left-backs, Nilton Santos. Matthews had been recalled by England at the age of forty-one, and he played like a twenty-one-year-old. There was a farcical second-half hold up following a dispute over a quickly taken free-kick by Johnny Haynes. The ball was caught by Nilton Santos and the Brazilians staged a walk-off protest when the referee awarded a penalty. By the time peace was restored it was no wonder that Atyeo failed with the spot-kick. Colin Grainger crowned a memorable debut with a second goal five minutes from the end of an extraordinary match. Cool and commanding at all times, Billy Wright kept his head when all about were losing theirs. He acted as a peacemaker when the talented but temperamental Brazilians threatened to walk off. It was a real captain's performance, a mix  of diplomacy and sportsmanship. It was not only newcomers who were affected by nerves. Johnny Haynes asked Stanley Matthews for his autograph in the dressing-room before this match against Brazil. The Maestro's hands were shaking so much that he could not hold the pen properly, and he asked Johnny to wait until after the game! Stanley was really wound up for this one because the Brazilians had stressed in the pre-match build-up that there was not a player in the world who could get the better of the great Nilton Santos. But as good a player as Santos was, he could not get near Stanley who was in untouchable form. At the end of the game Nilton was sporting enough to say, "Mister Matthews, you are the king."

              Match Report by Glen Isherwood

This was the first meeting between the two countries. Like England, Brazil had reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 1954. They had won the South American Championship in 1949 and had finished runners-up to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.

England were two up in just five minutes. Matthews set up the first with Haynes knocking the ball on for Tommy Taylor, who beat Pavao before running on and shooting past Gilmar. Then Colin Grainger raced in and slotted home number two, also from a Haynes pass.

Just after half-time Brazil suddenly sprang to life. A cross from Nilton Santos was reached by Paulinho, whose shot spun off Byrne and over Matthews. Two minutes later, Didi collected a clearance from Wright and deceived Matthews from the edge of the box with a spinning shot to bring Brazil level. After an hour's play, England were given an opportunity to regain the lead when a Haynes free-kick was handled by Zozimo in the area. After a long delay, during which Alvaro walked away with the ball, Atyeo's kick was saved by Gilmar. Atyeo soon made amends, how
ever, when he headed on Matthews cross for Taylor to head his second and put England back in front. England were then awarded another penalty, when a move involving Taylor and Atyeo was stopped by another Zozimo handling offence. Incredibly, Byrne shot wide. It was left to the ever-reliable 41 year old, Stan Matthews to make sure of victory with yet another accurate centre for Grainger to net his second.

England next met Brazil in a goalless draw in the 1958 World Cup in Gothenburg. England were the only team to prevent them from scoring but Brazil went on to mesmerize Europe by winning the World Cup, scoring five in both the semi-final and final. They then beat England twice before returning to Wembley in 1963.

              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1956-57 pages 30-31

Even though the sides were level at 2-2 after ten minutes of the second half, England won this match at Wembley on May 9th much more easily than the score would suggest. England started off in the grand manner. In the opening seconds Taylor shot hard over the bar. After three minutes' play Stanley Matthews gave Haynes a perfect pass; a swivel and a push to Taylor and we were one up. After five minutes Hall found Taylor with a long pass; a flick to Haynes, and there was Grainger unmarked to give England the tremendous advantage of an early two-goal lead. Soon after the interval, however, Brazil scored two rather lucky goals, and it needed a couple of pin-point centres from Matthews for Taylor and Grainger to clinch the issue with two well-headed shots. Our advantage should have been increased when England were awarded two penalties for deliberate hands but, partly due to the uproar caused by the disputing Brazilians, both these were missed. In spite of the extraordinary happenings, England coasted home to a comfortable and most encouraging win.

        In Other News....
It was on 9 May 1956 that an x-ray at Manchester Royal Infirmary revealed that Manchester City's German goalkeeper and Footballer of the Year (the first 'keeper to win the award), Bert Trautmann had suffered a fracture of the cervical vertebrae, with four others dislocated in helping his club to win the FA Cup at Wembley, four days earlier. It was another seven months before he played again.
              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
Official matchday programme
The Complete Book of the British Charts
Times Online
André do Nascimento Pereira,
Geoff Mills and Robert Pedley
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record
Norman Giller, Football Author
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record
Drew Herbertson, Scottish FA historian
British Pathé