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292 vs. Wales

Saturday, 10 October 1953
Home International Championship 1953-54 (59th) Match

World Cup 1954 UEFA Group Three Qualification Match

Wales 1 England 4 [1-1]

Ninian Park, Sloper Road, Cardiff, Glamorgan
Kick-off (BST): 2.56pm (four minutes early)
Attendance: 61,000.

Match Summary
Wales Party
England Party

Wales won the toss England kicked-off
[1-0] Ivor Allchurch 23
 on the turn from six yards following a Davies pass

[1-1] Dennis Wilshaw 44
headed in a Quixall free-kick
[1-2] Dennis Wilshaw 50
headed in a long Mullen cross
[1-3] Nat Lofthouse 51
headed in a Mullen pass
[1-4] Nat Lofthouse
headed in another Mullen pass
second half live on the Radio Light Programme, after  'The Goon Show'

Match Summary

Officials from Scotland




Referee (-) - Charles Edward Faultless
45 (5 March 1908), Glasgow.

Linesmen - J.P. Goodall, Glasgow (red flag), and J. Whiteside, Renfrew (yellow flag).
No substitues permitted, as per UK ruling.

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

Wales Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 21st to 24th
Colours: Made by Umbro - Red jerseys with white collars/cuffs, white shorts with red side stripe, red socks with white tops.
Capt: Wally Barnes Manager: Team chosen by Selection Commitee on Monday, 28 September 1953
Wales Lineup
  Howells, Ronald G. 23   G Cardiff City FC 1 4 GA
2 Barnes, Wallace 32   RB Arsenal FC, England    
3 Sherwood, Alfred T., injured off 35th-53rd mins. 29   LB/OL Cardiff City FC    
4 Paul, Roy 30   RHB Manchester City FC, England    
5 Daniel, Raymond W. 25   CHB Sunderland AFC, England    
6 Burgess, W.A. Ronald 36   LHB/LB Tottenham Hotspur FC, England    
7 Foulkes, William I. 25   OR Newcastle United FC, England    
8 Davies, E. Reginald     IR Newcastle United FC, England    
9 Charles, W.N. John 22   CF Leeds United AFC, England    
10 Allchurch, Ivor J. 23   IL/LHB Swansea City FC    
11 Clarke, Roy J. 27   OL/IL Manchester City FC, England    


not named

team notes:

Trevor Ford (Sunderland AFC) was the original named centre-forward. The night before the match, because of an ankle injury in Welsh training, his place went to the original inside-right, Charles. Davies was then brought in to fill the vacant inside-right position, who travelled down from Newcastle overnight.
Alf Sherwood suffered with concussion after being kicked in the head, he returned before/during/after* England's fourth goal.
*delete as applicable... depending on which newspaper report is read!
2-3-5 Howells -
Barnes, Sherwood
(Burgess) -
Paul, Daniel, Burgess
(Allchurch) -
Foulkes, Davies, Charles, Allchurch
(Clarke), Clarke (Sherwood).
notes: once Sherwood was injured, Burgess and Allchurch dropped back.


Age - Appearances/Goals - -


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th to 3rd
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Billy Wright, 37th captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 40 (31 March 1913), appointed director of coaching on 8 July 1946, and team manager in May 1947;
55th match, W 36 - D 11 - L 8 - F 164 - A 66, one abandoned. Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Harold Shentall on Sunday, 4 October 1953.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 31 26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 14 16 GA
2 Garrett, Thomas H. 26 28 February 1927 RB Blackpool FC 3 0
3 Eckersley, William 28 16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC 14 0
4 Wright, William A. 29 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

52 3
5 Johnston, Harry 34 26 September 1919 CHB Blackpool FC 8 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 28 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

29 0
7 Finney, Thomas 31 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

48 23
8 Quixall, Albert 20 9 August 1933 IR Sheffield Wednesday FC 1 0
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 28 27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 17 19
10 Wilshaw, Dennis J. 27 11 March 1926 IL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1 2
11 Mullen, James 30 6 January 1923 OL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 7 2


Ray Barlow (West Bromwich Albion FC).

team notes:

Harold Hassall (Bolton Wanderers FC) was the orginal named inside-left, he was proved unfit and Wilshaw replaced him on Thursday, 8 October.
Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Garrett, Eckersely -
Wright, Johnston, DIckinson -
Finney, Quixall, Lofthouse, Wilshaw, Mullen


Age 28.4 Appearances/Goals 17.6 4.1


    Match Report by Mike Payne

So often since the war, England have received adverse criticism after a clear win. Once again they found themselves in that situation after this visit to Cardiff, for although the scoreline looks healthy enough, the England performance in getting there was far from convincing.

With the Home Championship being used to determine Great Britain's entry for the following year's World Cup, there was extra importance on this match. Ninian Park was bulging at the seams as 61,000 people packed into the ground. Before the play started they set the atmosphere tingling by singing their hearts out as only Welshmen can.

For the first half-hour it was one-way traffic towards Gil Merrick's goal. Wales put in a storming start and at the heart of all their good play was the mighty Charles. He was magnificent! Three times he forced superb saves from the England goalkeeper with bullet-like headers and he continually had the England defenders struggling. The pressure had to tell eventually and in the 23rd minute it did.

More good play by Charles set up the goal. Combining well with Davies he sent the ball in for Allchurch to fire a good shot past Merrick, who for once was well beaten. Things looked good for the Welsh but just before the end of the first half the tide suddenly, and undeservedly, began to turn against them. First they lost Sherwood with an injury and then, in the last minute of the half, conceded an equalizer. A free-kick, given against Burgess, was curled into the box by Albert Quixall and Dennis Wilshaw popped up to head home.

The half-time score was a total travesty of the events of the half and Wales could hardly believe it. Within seven minutes after the restart they were stunned into defeat!

With England having been kept in the match by Merrick's saves in the first 45 minutes, they now turned to the lively Jimmy Mullen to spark the response at the other end. The Wolves winger began to tease Barness with his pace and body swerve.

Four minutes into the second period he took a pass from Bill Eckersley and centred for Wilshaw to score his and England's second goal. A minute later Mullen again was involved, linking well with Wilshaw before the latter's cross was headed in by Nat Lofthouse.

Sherwood then came back on to a huge roar but hardly had the cheers died down when England amazingly scored a fourth goal. Again Lofthouse was the scorer and again Mullen was the provider. So, in the space of nine minutes either side of the interval, England had completely sewn up the result.

The Welsh crowd were stunned into an eerie silence now and England comfortably controlled most of the remaining time. However, the visitors still had some obvious problems and large question-marks still hung over the inside-forwards, full-backs and centre-half. Quixall often looked bemused in his first game and Wilshaw also struggled despite his two goals which probably earned him another chance. Even Tom Finney looked well below par and England must surely have looked for an improvement in their next match.


    Match Report by Norman Giller

Dennis Wilshaw celebrated his first England cap with two goals, and Nat Lofthouse netted twice for the second successive match. All of England's goals came in the ten minutes either side of the half-time interval after Wales had taken a deserved twenty-third minute lead through Ivor Allchurch. Wales played for much of the game with left-back Alf Sherwood a passenger on the wing after he had been concussed in the thirty-second minute. Giant Leeds centre-forward John Charles might have had a hat-trick but for a succession of superb saves by England goalkeeper Gil Merrick. Albert Quixall, literally worth his weight in gold when sold by Sheffield Wednesday to Manchester United for £45,000 in 1958, made his England debut at inside-right at the age of twenty. Wales were unlucky not to have salvaged a draw from a game they often dominated. As in 1949-50, the Home Championship was used to determine Great Britain's qualifiers for the World Cup finals. There were more than 60,000 fans packed into Ninian Park, and the atmosphere was just like the Welsh stoke up for their rugby internationals. England were hugely flattered with the size of the victory. This was the beginning of the rise of the greatest Welsh football team in their history, with John Charles and Ivor Allchurch laying the foundations to their memorable careers. There has been a more gifted all-round British footballer than Big John. He was equally effective at centre-forward or centre-half, and once he had moved to Juventus from Leeds he developed into the perfect player. He not only had great technique, but also the ideal temperament. His nickname the Gentle Giant was misleading because he could be as physical as Nat Lofthouse one minute and then as beautifully balanced as Tom Finney the next. He was commanding in the air and could head with the force of a Tommy Lawton. When the conversation gets around to who has been the greatest British footballer of all time John tends to get left out of the argument because he spent so much time in Italy, but he should be in anybody's top six players.

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