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320 Party vs. Yugoslavia
322 World Cup Party
Sunday, 18 May 1958
End-of-season pre-World Cup Iron Curtain tour match

USSR 1 England 1 [1-0]
Match Summary
USSR Party

England Party

Team Records


The England World Cup Provisional Party May 1958
Player Birthdate Age Pos Club starts subs App Capt
A'Court, Alan 30 September 1934 23 OL Liverpool FC 1 0 1 1 0
Banks, Thomas 10 November 1929 28 LB Bolton Wanderers FC 0 0 0 0 0
Broadbent, Peter F. 15 May 1933 25 IR Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 0 0 0 0 0
Charlton, Robert 11 October 1937 20 IR Manchester United FC 3 0 3 3 0
Clamp, H. Edward 14 September 1934 23 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 0 0 0 0 0
Clayton, Ronald 5 August 1934 23 RHB Blackburn Rovers FC 20 0 20 0 0
Clough, Brian H. 21 March 1935 23 CF Middlesbrough FC 0 0 0 0 0
Douglas, Bryan 27 May 1934 23 OR Blackburn Rovers FC 6 0 6 1 0
Finney, Thomas 5 April 1922 36 OL Preston North End FC 72 0 72 28 0
Haynes, John N. 17 October 1934 23 IL Fulham FC 19 0 19 8 0
Hopkinson, Edward 29 October 1935 22 GK Bolton Wanderers FC 6 0 6 9ᵍᵃ 0
Howe, Donald 12 October 1935 22 FB West Bromwich Albion FC 6 0 6 0 0
Kevan, Derek T. 6 March 1935 23 CF West Bromwich Albion FC 6 0 6 3 0
Langley, E. James 7 February 1929 29 LB Fulham FC 3 0 3 0 0
McDonald, Colin A. 15 October 1930 27 GK Burnley FC 0 0 0 0ᵍᵃ 0
Norman, Maurice 21 January 1933 25 CHB Tottenham Hotspur FC 0 0 0 0 0
Robson, Robert W. 18 February 1933 25 IR West Bromwich Albion FC 1 0 1 2 0
Sillett, R. Peter T. 1 February 1933 25 RB Chelsea FC 3 0 3 0 0
Slater, William J. 29 April 1927 31 LHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 5 0 5 0 0
Wright, William A. 6 February 1924 34 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 91 0 91 3 76

All information is complete to and including England's last match, the sixth of the 1957-58 season, against Yugoslavia on 11 May 1958.


Thursday, 28 March 1957 - England are to play to matches against Russia - in Moscow on 18 May 1958, probably at the Lenin Stadium, and in London, at Wembley, on October 22.

Tuesday, 22 April 1958 - The International Selection Committee, headed by Joe Mears, and with involvement from Team Manager Walter Winterbottom, have named a forty-man strong party from whom 22 players will be chosen for their World Cup Finals party in Sweden. Twenty of the party also include those travelling behind the Iron Curtain for the East European tour in Belgrade and Moscow, and the fourteen man party for the friendly match with Portugal at Wembley at the beginning of May.
Of the forty mean, thirteen come from the Black Country. League Champions Wolverhampton Wanderers providing seven, four of them half-backs, and neighbours West Bromwich Albion with six players. The team which beat Scotland on Saturday are included, and along with nine other players, make up the core of the travelling party to Yugoslavia and USSR.
The big surprise in the forty is the inclusion of Manchester United's Dennis Viollet, who has never played for England, and was one of the last players released from hospital following the Munich Air Disaster. And since then, has played one first team match and one reserve match. The list of forty has to be cut to 22 by 31 May.
The selectors also have a chance of watching the players against each other in a World Cup trial match at Stamford Bridge on 2 May when a 'full' team will face an under-23 team.

Friday, 2 May 1958 - World Cup Trial Match: England 4 England U23 Past & Present 2 - The Football Association decided to dispense with the over-thirties team and let the full international side (less the following day's FA Cup finalists) take on a "past and present" Young England. Three players were over the age of 23 (Broadbent, 24, Hall, 28 and Sillett, 25). Six of the eleven had senior appearances and all were included in the initial World Cup Party of forty players. Stamford Bridge hosted the match for the first time. England held the edge with their experience, but it wasn't a convincing performance.
England: Colin McDonald, Don Howe, Jim Langley, Ronnie Clayton, Billy Wright ͨ, Bill Slater, Bryan Douglas, Bobby Robson, Derek Kevan, Johnny Haynes, Tom Finney.
Young England: Alan Hodgkinson, Jeff Hall, Peter Sillett ͨ, Maurice Setters, Maurice Norman, Eddie Clamp, Peter Brabrook, Joe Hayes, Brian Clough, Peter Broadbent, Alan A'Court.

(Jimmy Greaves was replaced by Hayes)


Wednesday, 7 May 1958 - England 2 Portugal 1 - "Portugal, eliminated from the World Cup, made England's hope of winning it look sick at Wembley tonight. The side which strolled away to 4—0 victory against the Scots at Hampden Park looked a bunch of strugglers. Neither the wing halves nor the inside forwards managed to take a grip on the game and it was a miracle that England walked in at the interval leading 1—0. The threat was plain enough early on. In the sixth minute, centre forward Jose Augusto was perfectly placed to receive a cross from the left wing. With only goalkeeper Eddie Hopkinson to beat, he blazed wildly over the crossbar and left winger Hernani da Silva sat beating his hands on the turf in anguish. It sparked England into action—but what ragged action! They never combined in those sweeping, copybook moves so carefully worked out by team manager Walter Winterbottom. Right back Don Howe came brilliantly upfield, beating three men in a solo run, to show the forwards how it should be done. As defenders massed towards him he pushed the ball out to the wing for Douglas to loft it across to outside left Tom Finney. Finney, in a scoring position himself, unselfishly nodded the ball to the better placed Haynes, and Johnny's header was pulled out magnificently by Gomez. It was a moment of greatness. But Gomez was lucky to turn a Douglas shot around the post with his body . . . and then a soft, long-range shot from Bobby Charlton went inside the post for England's first-half goal. Haynes had slipped the ball through, Charlton hitting it on the run, but so caressingly that Gomez should have had ample time to cover it. That was the twenty-fourth minute, and immediately Portugal hit back, looking more menacing than England. Duarte gained possession in his own penalty area, came forward and put through to inside left Francisco Rocha. Da Silva carried on the move, shot and left back Jim Langley leaped miraculously to head away for a corner. Typically, the Portuguese pulled the old substitute trick a minute before half-time. . . .Augusto was called off and on went Travassos. After fifty-one minutes Portugal scored. A left wing move cracked England's defence and although Langley stemmed one shot the ball went to Duarte, who cracked the ball home. Ten minutes later, Charlton hammered home a goal that will live in Wembley history—a left foot thunderbolt that Gomez knew nothing about. Douglas crashed a shot on the bar and Finney was brought down in the penalty area by left back Martins. As he was being treated on the touchline, Langley took his first penalty for England...and MISSED! His shot hit an upright and the ball was cleared. Back came Finney and, at last, England were on top." - Bill Holden, Daily Mirror

Thursday, 8 May 1958 - Walter Winterbottom has revealed that Jim Langley is perfectly fit and available for the match in Belgrade on Sunday. Langley hurt his toe in the first half against Portugal yesterday and an x-ray today showed that he suffered a crack in his little toe. Tom Finney, who bruised a knee, is also fit.

The England party, twenty players, including five possible full-backs and nine forwards, set off from London Airport on board the B.E.A. Viscount, Sir Richard Burton, bound for Zeman via Zürich, for their Iron Curtain tour, starting in Belgrade on Sunday. The team will not be named until tomorrow. The side which beat Portugal will almost certainly get another chance. There was a 150-minute delay in Zürich, which ended any chance of Winterbottom and three other selectors, Joe Mears, Harold Shentall and Harold French, of naming the team tonight.
Team Manager Walter Winterbottom told a welcoming party of Yugoslav officials and journalists: 'This game on Sunday is NOT a practice romp for us—we will field our strongest possible side. The match is vital to our World Cup preparations—and the efficiency of our team must be tested to the full.'
Despite twelve hours of travelling in hot and steamy conditions, the party spent the evening doing a practice session.

Saturday, 10 May 1958 - Walter Winterbottom was involved in a row with Yugoslav Football Association officials before the team trained at the Red Army stadium. He was told that his players could not practice there. When Winterbottom queried, he was told that it was because the Yugoslavs could not train at Wembley eighteen months years ago. England party were sent to work out on the boys' pitch. The England team did eventually train at the stadium after Winterbottom again protested over the fact that boys' pitch had not even been mowed. The England team were wearing new dove grey track suits, and their light training took an hour, as temperatures were over 80°.
The team is announced, naming an unchanged side, but not until Jim Langley had a late fitness test on his broken little toe.
This evening, the party attended a cocktail party in their honour at the British Embassy in Belgrade, given by the British Charge d'Affaires, Mr. Terence Garvey, before visiting the Belgrade Circus.
Heatwave conditions with temperatures of over 90° were forecast for tomorrow's international match.

Sunday, 11 May 1958 - Yugoslavia 5 England 0 -
"Hundreds of victory-drunk Jugoslavs lit newspapers and hoisted flaming torches high into the blue Belgrade skies at the end of this Soccer slaying in the sun. For the madly cheering Slav this was the traditional symbolic gesture of success. For 11 staggered, crushed Englishmen—and a handful more of their stunned countrymen in the stands—it was a funeral pyre of their World Cup dreams. The height of humiliation in this, England's biggest Soccer humbling since the 7-1 massacre by the Hungarians in Budapest four years ago, came four minutes from time, when dancing inside-right Svetosar Veselinovic slammed in No. 5 . . . and the electric scoreboard towering above this sun-soaked Partizan Stadium (shade temperature 90 degrees) could not find room for his name! What a shattering K.O. blow for England in a match which was supposed to be a soft touch . . .a warm-up game for the vital first-ever clash with mighty Russia in Moscow next Sunday. Unhappily, barely three weeks away after that, comes our first match in the World Cup. On today's form our chances in Sweden have gone up in the smoke of the flaming torches that still smoulder all around me. Incredibly, we were lucky to escape so lightly. It could have been ten times worse. Such was the mastery of these Jugoslav wizards. Rather than try to list the England failures, it's quicker and simpler to record that on this humiliating afternoon only one of our limp eleven even looked an England player. The glowing exception was 22-year-old 'keeper Eddie Hopkinson, surely the busiest man on the Continent today" -
Peter Lorenzo, Daily Herald
"It was the worst exhibition by an England team I have seen" - Walter Winterbottom.
Because of the strained relationships between the Football Association and the Press, there were three journalists who were barred from the after-match official banquet, including Peter Lorenzo (Daily Herald) and Frank McGhee (Daily Mirror)

Monday, 12 May 1958 - As the England team embark on a sight-seeing ride along the River Danube in Belgrade, Walter Winterbottom confirms that the team to face Russia will not be chosen until after training in Moscow, on either Wednesday or Thursday. All nine reserves, and Bobby Charlton, were out training this morning-given a two hour gruelling by Winterbottom and trainer Harold Shepherdson.
For the first time ever, the Yugoslavian leading newspaper, Borba, makes football a front page item: "Bravo boys for a mighty spectacular success over the famous teachers of the cradle of football. The Englishmen were disappointing. They were no image of the teams of 1939 and 1954. Manchester United left a much better impression. These men of England are too tame." Another newspaper, Politica, said: "Jugoslavia could have won by ten goals."

Tuesday, 13 May 1958 - The England party fly to Moscow tonight, via Budapest, in a new Soviet TU 104A 550mph seventy-seater jet-plane for their first ever match in the new Lenin Stadium. Sir Stanley Rous and Hungarian officials in Budapest agreed to a fixture between the two countries to be played in 1959.
During the two hour flight from Budapest, it was confirmed that Edouard Strelsov will definitely play for the Soviets against England next Sunday. Streslov had been suspended for drinking too much vodka. The deputy coach of the Russian national team, Mikhail Yakushin, who confirmed the news, had been in Belgrade watching England.
The twenty players and six officials were met by Valentin Granatkin, head of the State Football Committee, and other State officials. They presented the English party with bouquets. Chairman of the Selectors, Joe Mears confirmed
that the team would probably be named on Friday, with three or four changes implemented. But they would not be panicked into wholesale changes.

Wednesday, 14 May 1958 - Nineteen players trained for more than three hours on one of the twenty practice pitches outside the Lenin Stadium, before a nine-a-side match within the stadium. Goalkeeper Colin MacDonald missed out because of feeling poorly. Walter Winterbottom was making experiments following Sunday's 5-0 thrashing. Fulham's Jimmy Langley found himself in goal for the 'outcasts', with Tommy Banks playing behind Billy Wright in England's likely defence. Others who will line up for their debuts, on the indications of today's work-out, are Brian Clough and Eddie Clamp. The hard-tackling Clamp replaced Clayton and stepped straight into a Wolves half-back line of Clamp, Wright and Slater. Both Bobby Charlton and Bobby Chosen alternated in the inside-right position. The players are stunned by the magnificence of the Lenin Stadium, but complained that the pitch was no better than that of a Third Division side.
In the afternoon, the part went sight-seeing tour around Moscow.

Thursday, 15 May 1958 - The party visited the Kremlin this morning before training in the afternoon. Training, on the stadium pitch, was a full-scale 90 minute practice match to the loud non-stop accompaniment of music from Tchaikovsky, Edmundo Ros and Johann Strauss blaring out through the loud speakers. For the second practice match, Banks, Clamp and Clough were again playing for the first team. The experimental changes fell on Bobby Charlton, who played for first team as an inside-left and inside-right, and then as a centre-forward for the reserve team. The first team attack started with Finney, Robson, Clough, Haynes and Charlton. At half-time, Douglas was brought in at inside-right, with Finney switching to the left to the exclusion of Charlton. But after ten minutes, Charlton replaced Robson to lead the attack.

Midday, Friday, 16 May 1958 - The selectors, including Billy Wright, Tom Finney and Johnny Haynes as advisors, have dropped Bobby Charlton from the team to face Russia on Sunday, his place going to Bobby Robson. Almost as sensational is the decision to retain Derek Kevan. Three other changes, all making their first senior appearance, Colin McDonald in for Hopkinson. Tommy Banks replaces Langley and Eddie Clamp replaces Clayton to form an entire Wolverhampton Wanderers half-back line. The team was chosen after a short work-out at the Lenin Stadium this morning in dull, rainy weather, a sharp contrast to the recent spring weather of the last few days. Remarkably, the last kick of the match was from Bobby Charlton, he rose and met the left sided cross, with a scissor-kick, it went screaming into the net.
A planned visit of Moscow University is cancelled to allow the team to rest.

Saturday, 17 May 1958 - A planned visit of one of Moscow's Art Gallery is cancelled to allow the team to rest after this morning's training session. However, a visit to the circus this evening is still planned.
"Billy Wright will be England's next team boss. This was revealed  after the calling in of Wright and two other senior professionals—Haynes and Finney—to help pick the team against Russia emphasises a new deal in Soccer selection. The captain's advice—on M.C.C. lines—will always be sought on future occasions, at least when on tour and especially for the World Cup. This new step points the shape of things to come within the F.A. when Sir Stanley Rous gives up his secretaryship. He will be followed in office by Walter Winterbottom, with Wright taking over from Winterbottom as team manager."
- Maurice Smith, The People

England Form: last six games
W L W W W L  f 16:a success: 67%
315 19 October 1957 - Wales 0 England 4 [0-2]
Ninian Park, Cardiff (58,000)
Hopkins OG, Haynes (2), Finney BC AW
316 6 November 1957 -
England 2 Northern Ireland 3
Empire Stadium, Wembley (40,000)
A'Court, Edwards
Hopkinson OG, McCrory, Simpson
317 27 November 1957 - England 4 France 0 [3-0]
Empire Stadium, Wembley (64,349)
Taylor (2), Robson (2) Fr HW
318 19 April 1958 - Scotland 0 England 4 [0-2]
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Douglas, Kevan (2), Charlton BC AW
319 7 May 1958 - England 2 Portugal 1 [1-0]
Empire Stadium, Wembley (72,000)
Charlton (2)
320 11 May 1958 - Yugoslavia 5 England 0 [1-0]
ion JNA, Beograd (55,000-60,000)
Milutinović, Petaković (3), Veselinović tour AL