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283 vs. Ireland
284
U23 vs. Italy ~ b13 vs. Scotland
b14 vs. West Germany

285 vs. Scotland

Wednesday, 25 November 1953
International Friendly Match

England 3 Hungary 6 [2-4]
 

 

Match Summary
England Party
Hungary Party

Empire Stadium, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Attendance: 100,000;
Receipts: Ł49,900; Kick-off: 2.15pm GMT
Second half live on BBC (UK) - Commentator: Kenneth Wolstenholme

Hungary - Nándor Hidegkutu (sixteen yard right-footed drive into the top corner 1 0:42, ten yard drive that Eckersley failed to stop 20 19:56, six-yard volley from a Puskás looping cross 56 hattrick 55:17), Ferenc Puskás (clever dragback and six-yard strike into the near post 24 23:36, a twenty-yard Bozsik free-kick that Puskás backheeled in from twelve-yards 27 26:54), József Bozsik (twenty-yard right-footed drive into the top corner 52 51:55).
England - Jackie Sewell (twelve yard left-footed far-post shot from a Mortensen pass 15 14:46), Stan Mortensen (beat man after man set up by Robb 38 37:23), Alf Ramsey (a side-footed penalty kick to Grosic's left 59 58:56)
Results 1950-1955

England won the toss, Hungary kicked-off. ? minutes (? & ?).

 

Match Summary

Officials from Netherlands

England

Type

Hungary
Referee ("clad in a grey suit") - Leonard Horn
x (-).

Linesmen - Charles Schipper (flame flag) and Jon Bronkhorst (orange flag)

Teams presented to the Earl of Athlone, the FA President.

The Continental 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  
  Possession  

England Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd to 4th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Billy Wright, fortieth captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 40 (31 March 1913), appointed director of coaching on 8 July 1946, and team manager in May 1947;
58th match, W 37 - D 12 - L 9 - F 174 - A 77, one abandoned. Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Harold Shentall on Thursday, 19 November 1953.
England Lineup
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 31
303 days
26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC 17 27 GA
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 33
307 days
22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 32 3
3 Eckersley, William 28
132 days
16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC 17 0
4 Wright, William A. 29
292 days
6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

55 3
5 Johnston, Harry 34
60 days
26 September 1919 CHB Blackpool FC 10 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 28
215 days
24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

32 0
7 Matthews, Stanley 38
297 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 36 10
8 Taylor, Ernest 28
84 days
2 September 1925 IR Blackpool FC 1 0
9 Mortensen, Stanley H. 32
183 days
26 May 1921 CF Blackpool FC 25 23
10 Sewell, John 26
305 days
24 January 1927 IL Sheffield Wednesday FC 5 3
11 Robb, George 27
177 days
1 June 1926 OL Tottenham Hotspur FC 1 0

reserves:

Bert Williams (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Joe Kennedy (West Bromwich Albion FC) and Harold Hassall (Bolton Wanderers FC)

team notes:

Tom Finney (Preston North End FC) was the original named outside-left, a groin injury forced his withdrawal on 22 November. He was replaced by Robb the day after. Either player would make this team the oldest starting XI since 1920, adding 61 days to the existing record.
The England team were set up in their Hendon headquarters prior to this match, training on Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge ground.... at the same time as the dog-racing trials, and at the Bank of England ground at Roehampton the day before the match.
Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally.
 
2-3-5 Merrick -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
Wright, Johnston, Dickinson -
Matthews, Taylor, Mortensen, Sewell, Robb.

Averages:

Age 30.4 (214 days) Appearances/Goals 21.0 3.5

 

Hungary Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd to 1st
Colours: "Cherry Red" buttoned-up collared jerseys, white shorts, green socks with white hoop
Capt: Ferenc Puskás Manager: Selection Committee headed by Gusztáv Sebes
Team chosen in London on Monday, 23 November 1953.
Hungary Lineup
1 Grosics, Gyula, injured off 83rd min. 27 4 February 1926 G Budapest Honvéd SE 28 21 GA
2 Buzánszky, Jenő 28 4 May 1925 RB Dorogi FC 20 0
3 Lantos, Mihály 25 29 September 1928 LB Vörös Lobogó SE 27 1
4 Lóránt, Gyula 30 6 February 1923 CHB Budapest Honvéd SE 22 0
5 Bozsik MP, József 27 28 November 1925 CM Budapest Honvéd SE 45 4
6 Zakariás, József 29 25 March 1924 CHB Vörös Lobogó SE 28 0
7 Budai, László 25 19 July 1928 OR Budapest Honvéd SE 19 7
8 Kocsis, Sándor P. 24 21 September 1929 CF Budapest Honvéd SE 33 35
9
Hidegkuti, Nándor 31 3 March 1922 AM Vörös Lobogó SE 33 24
10 Puskás, Ferenc 26 1 April 1927 CF Budapest Honvéd SE 52 61
11 Czibor, Zoltán 24 23 August 1929 OL Budapest Honvéd SE 26 6
Hungary Substitutes
  Gellér, Sándor, on 83rd min. for Grosics 28 12 July 1925
born in Romania
G Vörös Lobogó SE 4 1 GA

reserves:

Imre Kovács (Vörös Lobogó SE), Lajos Csordás (Budapesti Vasas SE), Péter Palotás and Károly Sándor (both Vörös Lobogó SE), Mihály Tóth and Pál Várhidi (Budapesti Dózsa SE).

team notes:

Ferenc Puskás extends his record appearance and goal tallies.
Grosics was eventually replaced after 83 minutes because of an arm injury he sustained in attempting to save Ramsey's penalty.
 
2-3-3-2(5) Grosics (Geller) -
Buzánszky, Lantos -
Lóránt, Bozsik, Zakariás -
Budai, Hidegkuti, Czibor -
Kocsis, P
uskás.

Averages:

Age 26.9 Appearances/Goals 30.3 12.0

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

There can be no words to adequately describe the feelings of the 100,000 people present at Wembley Stadium on this dull and grey November afternoon. The game, which was talked about for as long as football is played, produced one of the most exciting and breathtaking team performances the world has ever seen.

The disappointment that was felt by England, at last losing their long and distinguished unbeaten home record against forein opposition, was certainly tempered by the knowledge that the record was finally taken by such a superb team. The current Olympic champions were simply magnificent!

Hungary tore through the home defence almost at will and the goal tally in no way flattered them. Indeed, England had a rude awakening to the true realities of world football. Many regular supporters had realised before the game that the writing had been on the wall for some time. Recent performances had not been good but the sheer devastation of this result will take some getting over.

Hungary scored after only 60 seconds. A forceful burst by Bozsik, Zakariás and Hidegkuti ended with the centre-forward selling the England defence a perfect dummy before crashing home a firece shot.

England were stunned and never really fully recovered. To be fair they did have their moments and they equalised after 15 minutes play. Just before that goal, though, Hungary produced a brilliant move between Czibor and the marvellous Puskás which was finished off by Hidegkuti. Thankfully, from England's point of view, it was disallowed by the Dutch referee for offside, but if it had counted it would have been one of the greatest goals ever. As it was, England came away and somehow snatched an equalizer.

This too came following a splendid move. Harry Johnstone picked the ball up in his own half and fed a good pass forward for Stan Mortensen to run on to. He, in turn, found Jackie Sewell and the inside-left scored with a lovely left-foot shot wide of the driving Grosics. Any thoughts England had of victory were soon nipped in the bud as within 13 devastating minutes Hungary had forged a 4-1 lead.

They ripped open the heart of the England defence with some scintillating football. On 20 minutes superb play by Puskás, Czibor and Kocsis gave Hidegkuti the chance to score from close range, Straight after that, Kocsis sent Czibor away down the right. Bill Eckersley had no answer to his skills and the winger passed inside to Puskás. The podgy inside-forward then produced a piece of sheer magic, a drag back that totally fooled Billy Wright, and enabled hime to drill home a ferocious left-foot shot into the roof of the net between Gil Merrick and the near post.

Minutes later, Bozsik took a free-kick and the ball flew past Merrick off of Puskás heel. England were in total disarray, having no answer to the cherry red shirted marvels. To their credit and mainly due to the skills of Stanley Matthews and Mortensen they managed a slight rally which brought them a second goal. George Robb forced Grosics into a spectacular save and then Mortensen sped through after receiving a throw-in to score with a glorious shot. The crowd rose to that goal and it was reminiscent of earlier glory days of English football.

Alas, it was the only glimpse the crowd would get this day of England at their beast as after the break the Hungarians put the finishing touch to their famous victory. Only ten minutes of the second half had gone when the score was 6-2. First Boszik hit a tremendous rising shot for number five and then Hidegkuti completed his personal treble when he volleyed home after a lob by Puskás.

Although England had the last say in the goalscoring they never looked like producing the miracle they needed to come back from such a scoreline. The final goal came from the penalty spot after Mortensen was brought down on the hour. Alf Ramsey was the scorer.

England's proud record was shattered. They were beaten in every aspect of the game and history must now be rewritten. Hungary had everything and their game was made up of long and short passing with absolutely lethal finishing. The capacity crowd would never forget them.
   

    Match Report by Norman Giller

This was England's first defeat by foreign opponents on home territory, and the match that changed the face of English football. The Hungarians, Olympic champions and on a run of twenty-nine successive matches without defeat, played to a flexible 4-2-4 formation and made England's 2-3-5 pattern seem about as outdated as a hansom cab on a motorway. Nandor Hidegkuti, a deep-lying centre-forward, nipped in for a hat-trick as two-goal Ferenc Puskas pulled the defence inside out. England were flattered by the 6-3 scoreline. Alf Ramsey, Bill Eckersley, Harry Johnston, Ernie Taylor, Stan Mortensen and George Robb never played for England again. Taylor and Robb were making their debuts. Hungary had given just a taste of what was to come in the first minute when Hidegkuti collected a through ball from Puskas, deceived centre-half Johnston with  a distracting dummy and then fired the ball high into the net from twenty yards. Gil Merrick was left flapping at mid-air. Moments after Sewell had equalised in the fifteenth minute England were flattened by a thirteen minute burst of Magyar magic. Two goals from the purist Puskas and another from the elusive Hidegkuti made it England 1, Hungary 4. The 100,000 Wembley spectators could not believe their eyes. Stan Mortensen pulled it back to 4-2 by half-time. But any hope England had of getting back into the game died within ten minutes of the second half. First the cultured Jozef Bozsik scored with a rising drive, and then Hidegkuti completed his hurricane hat-trick when he put the finishing touch to a dazzling succession of passes that ripped the England defence apart. Alf Ramsey scored a late penalty after his Tottenham team-mate George Robb, a schoolmaster, was pulled down by goalkeeper Grosics. The final scoreline could easily have read 10-3 to the Hungarians. Billy Wright had never been given such a chasing in all his life as the one he got from Ferenc Puskas.
  

Source Notes

TheFA.com
Magyarfutball.hu
Original newspaper reports
Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record (Breedon Books Publishing Company, Derby, U.K., 1993)
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record (SportsBooks Ltd, 2006)

Norman Giller
, Football Author

____________________

CG