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  Page Last Updated 19 March 2022



221 vs. Norway
223 vs. Scotland

Wednesday, 16 November 1938
Home International Championship 1938-39 (51st) Match

England 7 Ireland 0 [4-0]

Match Summary
England Party

Ireland Party

Old Trafford, Warwick Road North, Stretford, Manchester, Lancashire
Attendance: 40,386
; Receipts £3305 2s.; Kick-off: 2.30pm GMT

England - Tommy Lawton (eighteen-yard magnificent shot set up by Matthews 6), Willie Hall (unstoppable left foot drive from a Matthews cross 35, low into an open goal 37, from a move down the left 38, overhead kick 55, Matthews dribble then short pass 65), Stanley Matthews (run from the halfway line then shot from a tight angle 75)
Results 1930-39

Ireland won the toss, England kicked-off.


Match Summary





Referee - Peter Craigmyle

Linesmen - not known

The FA Cup first round draw preceded the match.

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

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 7th
Colours: The 1935 home uniform - White collared jerseys, navy blue shorts, black socks topped with two white hoops
Capt: Eddie Hapgood, eighteenth captaincy. Selectors: The fourteen-man FA International Selection Committee, following the Norway match, on Wednesday, 9 November 1938.
189th match, W 121 - D 30 - L 38 - F 571 - A 220.
England Lineup
  Woodley, Victor R. 28 26 February 1910 G Chelsea FC 15 19 GA
2 Morris, William W. 25 26 March 1913 RB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1 0
3 Hapgood, Edris A. 30 24 September 1908 LB Arsenal FC 27 0
4 Willingham, C. Kenneth 25 1 December 1912 RH Huddersfield Town AFC 9 1
5 Cullis, Stanley 22 25 October 1916 CH Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 8 0
6 Mercer, Joseph 24 9 August 1914 LH Everton FC 1 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 23 1 February 1915 OR Stoke City FC 14 8
Hall, G. William 26 12 March 1912 IR Tottenham Hotspur FC 7 8
9 Lawton, Thomas 19 6 October 1919 CF Everton FC 4 4
10 Stephenson, J. Eric 24 4 September 1914 IL Leeds United AFC 2 0
11 Smith, J.C.R. Reginald 26 20 January 1912 OL Millwall FC 2 2


Frank Broome (Aston Villa FC) and George Taylor (Bolton Wanderers FC)

team notes:

The original right-back was Manchester City FC's Bert Sproston, but injury prevented him from taking his place. The vacant spot going to Billy Morris.
In scoring five goals Hall created an England international record and equalled the feat of Hugh Gallacher, who scored five for Scotland against Ireland in 1929. Joe Bambrick holds the international record with six goals against Wales in 1930. Hall's hat-trick in three minutes is international fast scoring record.
England have equalled their record of managing three home clean sheets in a row.
2-3-5 Woodley -
Morris, Hapgood -
Willingham, Cullis, Mercer -
Matthews, Hall, Lawton, Stephenson, Smith
For the last five minutes, an injury to Cullis moved him to outside-left


Age 24.7 Appearances/Goals 8.2 1.5


Ireland Team


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 35th
Colours: Green jerseys with white white winged collars, white shorts.
Capt: Billy Cook Selectors: Team Selection by Committee, on Monday, 7 November 1938.
Ireland Lineup
  Twomey, James F. 24 13 April 1914 G Leeds United AFC, England 2 7 GA
2 Hayes, William E. 23 7 November 1915 RB Huddersfield Town AFC, England 4 0
3 Cook, William 29 20 January 1909 LB Everton FC, England 14 0
4 Brolly, Thomas H. 26 1 June 1912 RH Millwall FC, England 3 0
5 McMillen, Walter S. 24 24 November 1913 CH Chesterfield AFC, England 7 0
6 Browne, Robert J. 26 9 February 1912 LH Leeds United AFC, England 6 0
7 Cochrane, David A. 18 14 August 1920 OR Leeds United AFC, England 1 0
8 Stevenson, Alexander E. 26 9 August 1912 IR Everton FC, England 13 4
9 Baird, Henry 24 17 August 1913 CF Huddersfield Town AFC, England 1 0
10 Doherty, Peter D. 24 5 June 1913 IL Manchester City FC, England 9 1
11 Brown, John, injured 24 8 November 1914 OL Birmingham FC, England 9 1


reserves not known

team notes:

Manchester United FC's Tommy Breen was the original chosen goalkeeper, but was unable to take his place. Jim Twomey was handed the role on 10 November.
For the first time, the entire Irish team players are all from English-based clubs.
John Brown collided with Billy Morris and had to be carried off the field with a leg injury shortly before half-time. He returned for the second half, limping badly.
2-3-5 Twomey -
Hayes, Cook -
Brolly, McMillen, Browne -
Cochrane, Stevenson, Baird, Doherty, Brown.


Age 24.4 Appearances/Goals 6.3 0.5




   The action of the England selectors in dropping Ronald Dix, the Derby County inside-left, in favour of Stephenson, of Leeds, for the match with Ireland, has been much criticised.
   It is difficult, indeed, to understand the Selectors' attitude. In two representative games Dix has scored three goals. Against the Scottish League he was one of the outstanding successes, and yesterday, he played well against Norway.
   Dix, without doubt, has been the most brilliant inside-left in the country this season. Besides being a football artist he has the match-winning shot.

   What do the Selectors want? They have done surprising things before, but this change is bordering on the ridiculous.
   My views are shared by others. Here are views from national newspapers:
   Charles Buchan in the News Chronicle:
   "After England had beaten Norway at Newcastle the F.A. Selectors sprang their usual surprise by dropping Dix from team to oppose Ireland next Wednesday at Old Trafford. Dix played very well both against the Scottish League and Norway, so his omission is as surprising as was that of Goulden.
   "Stephenson, the clever little Leeds forward, has been preferred. It is more remarkable because Stephenson has only recently resumed player after being off for some weeks with a broken toe."
   Clifford Webb in the Daily Herald:
   "The big surprise in my opinion is the dropping of Ronald Dix, although, if it comes to that, there was really no reason why Goulden should have had his international career interrupted because of one listless display against the Europeans at Highbury.
   "Stephenson has been tried before in international football, but flopped badly against the Scots at Wembley last season.
   "I imagine that there will be yet another change in this position when the England team to meet Scotland at Hampden Park comes to be chosen. But I wish the selectors could make up their minds."
   Daily Express: "Big surprise is the dropping of Dix, most brilliant inside forward of the season."
   Frank Coles Daily Telegraph:
   "The one big surprise in the team to oppose Ireland is the dropping of Ronald Dix. It is true that his second-half finishing this afternoon was indifferent, but that charge can be laid against all the forwards."
   Sporting Life: "The dropping of Dix is a major surprise. He did well enough to support the view that he would be retained, especially as he had displayed such talent in recent matches.
   "Stephenson, who takes his place, is certainly one of the best inside-forwards in the game, and an artist with the ball, but he was not a success when tried against Scotland at Wembley last season."
- Derby Evening Telegraph, Thursday, 10 November 1938.

    Match Report

England beat Ireland at Old Trafford yesterday by seven goals to none. Five of these seven goals were scored by Hall, and that feat in itself would seem to indicate that Hall was the hero of the match. As it happened the man who did more than anyone else to win the game for England was Matthews...

England scored the first of her seven goals after only eight minutes' play. The movement started in the English goalmouth ; Willingham pushed the ball deliberately through to Matthews, and Matthews turned in and gave Lawton a through pass. So far the movement had been perfect, and Lawton, far from spoiling what had been so brilliantly begun, consumated it with a drive that gave Twoomey no sort of chance...

The first of Hall's goals seemed unnecessary. Matthews put over a centre which looked innocent enough, but the Irish defence faltered and Hall was able to shoot through. Almost immediately after the kick-off Hall scored again, this time from the inside-left position. His shot went low into the corner of the net, and immediately afterwards came another goal. The ball came from the left, Twoomey came out, and before he was properly back and on his balance Hall had taken his third chance.

Hall might have scored yet another before half-time, but even as it was he had only to wait for 10 minutes afterwards. Matthews put the ball into the centre, and somehow or other Hall managed with his back to the goal to hook an awkwardly bouncing ball high into the net--an incredible goal, but England were playing the football that deserved it. A dribble by Matthews which beat two men and a perfect flick of a pass paved the way for Hall's fifth goal...

...four minutes before time a breakaway gave Matthews his opportunity to get his name in the records. He raced away, did the one thing an anxious defender did not want him to do, and shot through from an angle which looked impossibly acute. - The Times - Thursday 17th November, 1938

   Football League

Division Three (South) Cup second round match played on 16 November 1938:

C.Morgan, Gallacher, M.Morgan 2, Mardon 2
670 (Ashton Gate, Bristol)

Cardiff were able to offer little resistance to their hosts once goalkeeper, Bob Jones had been carried off after a collision with a team mate.


It was on 16 November 1938 that the British government formally recognised the territories occupied in east Africa, including Ethiopia, as a part of the Italian Empire, in the hope that the pact might stop Benito Mussolini from forming an alliance with Adolf Hitler. It proved fruitless, as just six months later, the leaders of Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel.

Source Notes

Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats
Original Newspaper Reports
Rothman's Yearbooks
FA Yearbooks 1950-60