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Results 1955-60

, 9 May 1956
International friendly

England 4 Brazil 2 [2-0]

Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
Kick-off 3.00 p.m. BST.
Live on BBC (UK) - commentary Kenneth Wolstenholme






England Squad
Brazil Squad
Team Records

Attendance - 100,000 receipts - £47,000 (seats were £2.10 shillings)
England - Tommy Taylor (3, 65?), Colin Grainger (5,83).
England missed penalties - John Atyeo (62) punched over bar. Roger Byrne (67) saved.
Brazil -
Paulinho (53), Didi (55).
none none

Match Summary






Referee - Maurice Guigue,

Linesmen - R. Sautel (flame flag) & M. Lequesne (orange flag), France

The Brazil team presented Stanley Matthews with a Silver Cup at a post-match banquet.

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

England Team



ELO (7th) Colours: White shirts, navy blue shorts, red socks with broad white band at top. - The 1954 home uniform.
Capt: Billy Wright, 59th captaincy Coach: Walter Winterbottom, 43, appointed team manager in 1947.
77th match, W __ D __ L __ F ___ A  ___
England Lineup
1 Matthews, Reginald D. 23 20 December 1932 G Coventry City FC 2 3GA
2 Hall, Jeffrey J. 26 7 September 1929 RFB Birmingham City FC 6 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 27 8 February 1929 LFB Manchester United FC 19 0
4 Clayton, Ronald 21 5 August 1934 RHB Blackburn Rovers FC 3 0
5 Wright, William A. 32 6 February 1924 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 74 3
6 Edwards, Duncan 19 1 October 1936 LHB Manchester United FC 6 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 41 1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 47 10
8 Atyeo, P. John W. 24 7 February 1932 IR Bristol City FC 2 1
Taylor, Thomas 24 29 January 1932 CF Manchester United FC 7 4
10 Haynes, John N. 21 17 October 1934 IL Fulham FC 5 2
Grainger, Colin 22 10 June 1933 OL Sheffield United FC 1 2


possibly Ray Wood and any of the following - Gordon Astall, Johnny Berry, Tommy Cummings, Nat Lofthouse, Dennis Wilshaw and Johnny Wheeler. 


Ron Clayton replaced Jimmy Dickinson, who was originally named in the line-up, but withdrew injured.



R. Matthews -
Hall, Wright, Byrne -
Clayton, Edwards -
Atyeo, Haynes -
S. Matthews, Taylor, Grainger.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age   Appearances/Goals    


Brazil Team



ELO (3rd) Colours:
made by
Yellow shirts with lime green trim, light blue shorts, white socks with two narrow yellow and lime green stripes at top.
Capt: Nilton Santos Coach: Flávio Rodrigues da Costa, 49 (14 September 1906), appointed 1955.
Brazil Lineup
1 Gylmar 25 22 August 1930 G SC Corinthians 15 0
2 Pavão 26 4 April 1930 CH CR Flamengo 4 0
3 Nilton Santos 30 16 May 1925 LB

Botafogo FR

31 -
4 Djalma Santos 27 27 February 1929 RB AD Portuguesa 32 -
5 Zózimo 21 19 June 1934 RH Bangu AC 8 1
6 Dequinha 28 19 March 1928 LH CR Flamengo 7 0
7 Paulinho 24 15 April 1932 OR CR Flamengo 8 1
8 Álvaro 24 24 September 1931 IR Santos FC 9 2
9 Gino 26 3 September 1929 CF São Paulo FC 6 3
10 Didi 26 8 October 1929 IL Botafogo FR 26 -
11 Canhoteiro 23 24 September 1932 OL São Paulo FC 9 1


De Sordi, Escurinho, Evaristo de Macedo, Larry, Roberto Belangero, Sabará, Walter Marciano.


These 'reserve' players participated in other matches in 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, playing right-back at number four.


3-4-3 [3-2-2-3]

Gylmar -
Nilton Santos,
Pavão, Djalma Santos -
Dequinha, Zózimo -
Didi, Álvaro -
Canhoteiro, Gino, Paulinho.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age   Appearances/Goals    



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.

Source Notes

Official matchday programme.

An Old International, "Handsome Victory for England," Manchester Guardian, 18 May 1956 [posted on the Guardian Football Unlimited website 18 June 2002]

Farror, Morley & Douglas Lamming, A Century of English International Football 1872-1972 (Robert Hale & Company, London, 1972)

The Football Association, The F.A. Complete Guide to England Players Since 1945 (Stanley Paul, London, 1993)

The Football Association, The Football Association Year Book 1956-57, pp. 27, 30-31 (William Heinemann Ltd. (1956)

Giller, Norman, Billy Wright:  A Hero for All Seasons, pp. 148-49 (Robson Books, London, 2002)

Giller, Norman, "The Silver Surfer: Norman Giller revisits the glory days," Football FC website [The Sun], 10 May 2000

Green, Geoffrey, "Triumph of Old World Over the New," London Times, 10 May 1956 [posted on London Times website 10 May 2002)

Hockings, Ron, "England at Wembley," Association of Football Statisticians Report No. 110, pp. 35, 40 (Winter, 2000)

Hugman, Barry J., The PFA Premier & Football League Players’ Records 1946-1998 (Queen Anne Press, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England, 1998)

Hurley, Jeff, United Kingdom & Eire International Database (Association of Football Statisticians 1998)

Lamming, Douglas, An English Football Internationlists’ Who’s Who (Hutton Press Limited, Beverly, North Humberside, U.K., 1990)

Payne, Mike, England: The Complete Post-War Record, pp. 60-61 (Breedon Books Publishing Company, Derby, U.K., 1993)

Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistical Foundation, Arquivo da Seleção Brasileira [Brazilian National Team Archive] (2002)

Robinson, Michael & Mike Ross, Soccer: The International Line-ups & Statistics Series—England 1872-1960, p. 44 (Soccer Book Publishing Ltd., Cleethorpes, South Humberside, England, 1995)

Rollin, Jack, Rothmans Book of Football Records, p. 288 (Headline Book Publishing, London, 1998)


Soter, Ivan, Enciclopédia da Seleção: As Seleções Brasileiras de Futebol 1914 - 2002 (Folha Seca, Rio de Janeiro,  2002)

The Boys from Brazil (1989) (videotape containing match highlights)

This Is Wembley website, Match 51, England v. Brazil (downloaded 2 October 2000)

Times Online

and many thanks to Geoff Mills and Robert Pedley for his additional information.