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Results 1946-1950                       Page Last Updated 24 November 2017


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255 vs. Belgium

Sunday, 21 September 1947
Belgian F.A. Golden Jubilee Celebration Match

Belgium 2 England 5 [1-3]


Match Summary
Belgium Party
England Party

Stade du Heysel, Plateau du Heysel, Bruxelles
Kick-off (CET): 4.00pm tbc BST

unknown kicked-off  
[1-3] Jef Mermans 33
 deflected in by Hardwick's legs
[2-3] Torreke Lemberecht 55
 nicely placed header scraped under the bar

Belgian FA state that de Cleyn scored their second, as does Clifford Webb
[0-1] Tommy Lawton 1 0:12
header from a Matthews cross
[0-2] Stan Mortensen 15
scored from a Lawton header, from a Matthews pass
[0-3] Tom Finney 19
headed in a Matthews free-kick

[2-4] Tommy Lawton 60

another header from a Matthews free-kick
[2-5] Tom Finney 63
header from a 30-yard Matthews run and cross

Match Summary

Officials from Scotland




Referee (-) - James M. Martin
x (-), Blairgowrie.

Linesmen - M. Andrew Watt, Edinburgh, and H.W.G. Livingstone

"Before the Boy Scout Band, which played the pre-match music, had had time to park their instruments, England had one in the net. I made it exactly 12 seconds from kick-off" - Clifford Webb, The Daily Herald, Monday, 22 September 1947.

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  

Belgium Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 48th
Colours: Probably red jerseys, red shorts, red socks 
Capt: Bert de Cleyn Manager: William Joseph Gormlie (b.mid-1911 in Toxteth Park, England)
Belgium Lineup
  Daenen, François 28 25 August 1919 G Royal Tilleur FC 10 25 GA
2 Aernaudts, Léon 29 10 August 1918 RB Royal Berchem Sport 5 0
3 Pannaye, Joseph 25 29 July 1922 LB Royal Tilleur FC 13 0
4 Coppens, Hendrik 28 30 October 1918 RHB Royal FC Malinois 10 3
5 Henriet, Jules 29 13 February 1918 CHB Royal Charleroi SC 6 0
6 Massay, Fernand 27 20 December 1919 LHB Royal Standard de Liege 4 0
7 Lemberecht, Victor 23 15 May 1924 OR Royal FC Malinois 12 3
8 Mermans, Joseph 25 16 February 1922 IR RSC Anderlecht 5 1
9 de Cleyn, Albert 30 28 June 1917 CF Royal FC Malinois 10 8
10 Anoul, Léopold R.J.V. 25 19 August 1922 IL Royal Standard de Liege 4 3
11 Thirifays, René 26 8 October 1920 OL ROC de Charleroi-Marchienne 6 1

unused substitutes:

Rie Meert, Joseph Hoble, Adolf de Buck, Antoine Puttaert.

team notes:

Although dubbed as a Jubilee match, the Belgian FA actually celebrated their fiftieth anniversary two years previously, in 1945.
2-3-5 Daenen -
Aernoudts, Pannaye -
Coppens, Henriet, Massay -
Lemberecht, Mermans, Decleyn, Anoul, Thirifays.


Age 26.8 Appearances/Goals 7.7 1.5


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: The 1946 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: George Hardwick, ninth captaincy. Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 34 (31 March 1913), appointed director of coaching on 8 July 1946, and team manager in May 1947;
9th match, W 7 - D 1 - L 1 - F 38 - A 8.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, on Thursday, 11 September.
England Lineup
  Swift, Frank V. 33 26 December 1913 G Manchester City FC 9 8 GA
2 Scott, Lawrence 30 23 April 1917 RB

Arsenal FC

9 0
3 Hardwick, George F.M. 27 2 February 1920 LB

Middlesbrough FC

9 0
4 Ward, V. Timothy 30 16 September 1917 RHB Derby County FC 1 0
5 Franklin, Cornelius 25 24 January 1922 CHB

Stoke City FC

9 0
6 Wright, William A. 23 6 February 1924 LHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

9 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 32 1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 21 9
8 Mortensen, Stanley H. 26 26 May 1921 IR Blackpool FC 2 5
9 Lawton, Thomas 27 6 October 1919 CF Chelsea FC 17 18
10 Mannion, Wilfred J. 29 16 May 1918 IL Middlesbrough FC 9 7
11 Finney, Thomas 25 5 April 1922 OL

Preston North End FC

7 7

unused substitutes:

Willie Watson (Sunderland AFC).

team notes:

This is the most experience post-war team so far.
2-3-5 Swift  -
Scott, Hardwick -
Ward, Franklin, Wright -
Matthews, Mortensen, Lawton, Mannion, Finney.


Age 25.6 Appearances/Goals 9.3 3.7


    Match Report by Mike Payne

Most of Belgium's political VIPs were amongst the spectators in the Heysel Stadium to witness a fine performance by an England side inspired by the magic of Stanley Matthews.

Rain threatened at the start but it took England only one minute to take the lead. A lovely move, in which all the forwards featured, ended with Tommy Lawton scoring from Matthews' pass.

By now the rain was lashing down but more delightful play soon gave England their second goal. Again Matthews was involved. His cross was headed down into some space by Lawton and Stan Mortensen burst through to beat Daenen with a good shot.

That goal had come after 15 minutes and. almost at once, Matthews set up another goal. This time his cross to the far post was met by Tom Finney, who made it 3-0.

Belgium hit back before half-time when Mermans put in a fine header that was well saved by Frank Swift. The inside-right was not to be denied though and shortly afterwards he took a pass from De Cleyn and shot home via a deflection off George Hardwick's legs. The goal ended an eventful first 45 minutes.

After the berak the rain stopped and the sun came out. It spurred Belgium on and ten minutes into the second half, they really opened up the game with a second goal. Swift was drawn badly out of position and Lemberecht was able to head into an empty net.

The Belgians then threw everything at England trying desperately to find an equalizer. But Matthews had other ideas. A superb dribble, in which he beat man after man, ended with him setting up Finney with the easiest of chances for the goal that settled the issue.

Before the end, England underlined their superiority with a fifth goal. The incredible Matthews again made the running before Lawton headed past the goalkeeper.

    Match Report by Norman Giller

Many observers considered this the finest match Stanley Matthews ever played for England. The "Wizard of Dribble" laid on all five goals and at the final whistle got a standing ovation from the Belgian crowd. Stanley started the slaughter after just 35 seconds when he crossed for Tommy Lawton to score with one of his typical headers.  It was raining cats and dogs and goals as England raced 3-0 clear before the Belgians pulled one back just before half-time. Belgium began to get a grip on the game as the sun came out in the second-half, and they made it 3-2 before Matthews took over again, laying on decisive goals for first Tom Finney and - finishing as he had started - crossing the ball for Lawton to head his second goal and England's fifth. Derby County right-half Tim Ward made his debut, with Billy playing in the number six shirt. The game was played at the Heysel Stadium, the scene of the tragic crowd disaster during the 1985 European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus. The ground had been used as a park for German tanks during the war and the pitch had been re-laid. It started to cut up in the downpour. The Belgian defenders were slipping and sliding all over the place as Stanley ran rings round them. It was an astonishing performance by the Maestro. Five Belgians tried to get the ball off him when he set up the fourth goal. He beat each one of them, then dribbled round another for a second time before passing to Tom Finney, who had the simple task of placing the ball into the net for his second goal that had Matthews written all over it. Even by Stanley's standards, this was something very special.

Source Notes


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