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Results 1950-1955                    Page Last Updated 30 January 2024


284 vs. Hungary
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341 vs. Hungary
Sunday, 23 May 1954
End-of-Season East-European Tour Match

Hungary 7 England 1
Népstadion, Istvánmezõ, Budapest
Kick-off (CEST & BST): 5.30pm
Attendance: '92,000'; Receipts: 'about £42,000'.
Ferenc Puskás won the toss England kicked off
[1-0] Mihály Lantos 8
 'Puskás placed the ball and before the defenders were ready Lantos flashed the 20 yard free-kick into the net.'
Ferenc Puskás 22
 close range right-footed shot after first shot was blocked on the line by Ramsey
[3-0] Sándor Kocsis half volley 31

 8-yard left-footed half volley

5.0 Play: Southward Lies Freedom 5.45 Meet The Huggetts
Association Football
News and Newsreel 7.45 Grand Hotel
[4-0] Sándor Kocsis 56
7-yard strike from a long Zoltán Czibor dribble down the left
[5-0] József Tóth 60

from close range netting a loose ball after Merrick saved his initial shot
[6-0] Nándor Hidegkuti 62
18-yard low left-footed strike into the near post

[7-1] Ferenc Puskás 73
12-yard strike running onto a perfect Nándor Hidegkuti through-ball

[6-1] Ivor Broadis half volley 69
17-yard right-footed half volley after a Dickinson free-kick was headed away into his path

This week's Music Charts

second half live on the Radio Light Programme
Officials Hungary FIFAB ruling on substitutes England Party
Referee (black blazer)
Giorgio Francesco Valentino Bernardi
36 (16 May 1912), Bologna, Italy
Only an injured goalkeeper may be substituted. This is a compromise between the IFAB rule and the FIFA ruling on allowing substitutes.
tbc tbc

"All league and championship football will be halted temporarily in Hungary from May 9th to give the Hungarian players, who meet England in Budapest on May 23rd, a spell of uninterrupted training. This was announced yesterday by the Hungarian Deputy Minister of Sports, Gustav Sebes, according to Budapest Radio."
- Thursday, 22 April 1954, The Lancashire Evening Post.

Hungary Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Colours Cherry red v-necked short-sleeved jerseys, white shorts, green socks
Captain Ferenc Puskás Manager Selection Committee headed by Gusztáv Sebes
Team chosen on Thursday, 20 May 1954.
Trainer: Gyula Mándi
Hungary Lineup
1 Grosics, Gyula, off 77th min. 28
108 days
4 February 1926 G Budapest Honvéd SE 31 22ᵍᵃ
2 Buzánszky, Jenő 29
19 days
4 May 1925 RB Dorogi FC 23 0
4 Lóránt, Gyula 31
106 days
6 February 1923 RCB Budapest Honvéd SE 24 0
6 Zakariás, József 30
59 days
25 March 1924 LCB Vörös Lobogó SE 31 0
Lantos, Mihály 25
236 days
29 September 1928 LB Vörös Lobogó SE 30 2
5 Bozsik MP, József 28
176 days
28 November 1925 DM Budapest Honvéd SE 48 4
Hidegkuti, Nándor 32
81 days
3 March 1922 AM Vörös Lobogó SE 36 26
Tóth, József 25
7 days
16 May 1929 OR Budapesti Dózsa SE 2 1
Kocsis, Sándor P. 24
244 days
21 September 1929 IR/F Budapest Honvéd SE 36 37
Puskás, Ferenc 27
52 days
1 April 1927 IL/F Budapest Honvéd SE 55 65
most apps & goals
Czibor, Zoltán 24
273 days
23 August 1929 OL Budapest Honvéd SE 22 6
Hungary Substitute
scoreline: Hungary 7 England 1
1 Gellér, Sándor, on 77th min. for Grosics 28
315 days
12 July 1925
in Veseuş, Romania
G Vörös Lobogó SE 5 1ᵍᵃ
result: Hungary 7 England 1
unused substitutes: not known
team notes: Despite agreeing only to substitute an injured goalkeeper, Grosics' substitution appeared to defy this ruling. Both goalkeepers wore black jerseys with the number one on their backs.
substitute notes: "After 77 minutes the Hungarians took advantage of their agreement with the England officials to change their goalkeeper, but it was generally understood by the British Press that this was to only operate in the event of the goalkeeper being injured. Grosics appeared to have nothing wrong with him when he retired and the reserve goalkeeper, Geller, took his place."
records: Lantos' opening free-kick goal was only the fourth time England have conceded a direct free-kick, the first time England have conceded a direct free-kick for over twenty-two years.
The Hungarians were set up at their headquarters on Margaret Island, in the Danube, near Budapest.
4-(1-1)2-4 Grosics (Gellér) -
Buzánszky, Lóránt, Zakariás, Lantos -
Bozsik -
Hidegkuti -
Tóth, Kocsis, P
uskás, Czibor.
Averages: (start)
Age 27 years 325 days
27 years 343 days
Appearances/Goals 30.7 12.2
most experienced opposing side so far
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours The 1949 home uniform - White collared short-sleeved jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
P 39th of 43, W 21 - D 9 - L 9 - F 102 - A 66.
Captain Billy Wright Manager Walter Winterbottom, 41 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
record 43rd of 90, W 25 - D 8 - L 10 - F 105 - A 66. Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC) P 61st of 139, W 38 - D 12 - L 11 - F 179 - A 87, one abandoned
  ³ Team chosen by the Selection Committee, headed by Harold Shentall, on Friday, 21 May.
England Lineup
  three changes to the previous match (Harris, Sewell & Jezzard>Allen, Nicholls, Mullen) FINAL league positions (FL1 26 April, FL2 29 April)
  Merrick, Gilbert H. 32
117 days
26 January 1922 G Birmingham City FC (FL2 7th) 20 37ᵍᵃ
the 26th player to reach the 20-app milestone first to 37ᵍᵃ
2 Staniforth, Ronald 30
40 days
13 April 1924 RB Huddersfield Town AFC (FL 3rd) 3 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 24
257 days
8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC (FL 4th) 3 0
4 Wright, William A. 30
106 days
6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL CHAMPIONS) 58 3
most apps 1952-54
5 Owen, Sydney W. 31
236 days
29 September 1922 CHB Luton Town FC (FL2 6th) 2 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 29
29 days
24 April 1925 LHB Portsmouth FC (FL 14th) 35 0
7 Harris, Peter P. 28
155 days
19 December 1925 OR Portsmouth FC (FL 14th) 2 0
final app 1954
8 Sewell, John 27
119 days
24 January 1927 IR Sheffield Wednesday FC (FL 19th) 6 3
final app 1954
732 9 Jezzard, Bedford A.G. 26
216 days
19 October 1927 CF Fulham FC (FL2 8th) 1 0
the sixth Fulham player to represent England
Broadis, Ivan A. 31
156 days
18 December 1922 IL Newcastle United FC (FL 15th) 11 6
11 Finney, Thomas 32
48 days
5 April 1922 OL Preston North End FC (FL 11th) 51 23
unused substitutes: Ted Burgin (Sheffield United FC (FL 20th)), Jackie Mansell (Portsmouth FC (FL 14th)), Ken Armstrong (Chelsea FC (FL 8th)), John Haynes (Fulham FC (FL2 8th)), Jimmy Mullen (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL CHAMPIONS)).
records: The result marks a new low in England's records, this being their new heaviest defeat. They had not conceded seven goals since 1878. Third time, post-war, they have suffered two back-to-back defeats.
Not since 1878 have England suffered three friendly defeats in a row.
This is just the fifth time England have lost three matches in a single season.
For the first time, England have conceded 22 goals in a single season.
2-3-5 Merrick -
Staniforth, Byrne -
Wright, Owen, Dickinson -
Harris, Sewell, Jezzard, Broadis, Finney.
Averages: Age 29 years 170 days Appearances/Goals 17.5 3.1
              Match Report by Mike Payne

Six months earlier at Wembley, England were given a football lesson by the magnificent Hungarian side. It was the first time they had been beaten on home soil by a continental team and it was hoped that many lessons would be learned from the experience. Sadly, on this performance against that same Hungarian side, few would believe that they have learned any.
England were once again totally outclassed. Hungary simply tore them apart with some devastating football and scored virtually at will. The old fashioned tactics that England employed were shown up to be woefully inadequate by the slick pattern  of the Hungarian formation. Quick, accurate short passing was coupled with lethal long passes which totally bemused overworked defenders. One of the most obvious differences between the two sides was in the teamwork. Whereas England played as a group of individuals doing their own jobs the Hungarians moved as one unit with Puskás, especially, pulling the strings.

The trouble began in the tenth minute when Jimmy Dickinson was somewhat harshly penalised for a foul on Hidegkuti 20 yards from goal. Puskás summoned up the powerful Lantos from the back to take the free-kick and before you could say 'Hidegkuti' the ball crashed into the England net. It was the beginning of the end for the visitors and 12 minutes later they went 2-0 down when Puskás lashed home a rebound from close range after Ron Staniforth had blocked a sharp cross by Kocsis.

The lean and skilful inside-right Kocsis was having a fine game and on the half-hour he scored a brilliant goal volleying home a pass from Puskás. Kocsis had just come back on to the field after having running repairs to an injury. How England had wished he had stayed off!

For the remainder of the half Hungary turned on the full exhibition of their skills and it was a bemused and bedraggled bunch of England players that trooped off at half-time 3-0 down. Only a good shot by Ivor Broadis which brought the best out of Grosics had given them any encouragement.

At the start of the second half England made a brief spirited reply when Peter Harris saw a shot blocked on the Hungarian goal-line but alas it was only a token gesture as within 20 minutes of the restart Hungary had conjured up some more magic to score three more goals. Kocsis, Toth and the incomparable Hidegkuti all added to the goal tally with splendid strikes rounding off marvellous passing movements. Gil Merrick hardly knew what had hit him and he had little chance.

The 92,000 crowd loved every minute of this superb performance and watched in delight as each of the goals were created following some super play.

England battled gamely on. Billy Wright, Dickinson and Staniforth all worked themselves into the ground but Roger Byrne was their best player with a cultured display despite all that went on around him. Jackie Sewell and Tom Finney also worked hard although Finney in fact missed a sitter in one attack. In the end, though, the England players were willing the referee to end their misery. Before the final whistle though they did manage to salvage some pride when Broadis met a Dickinson free-kick to pull a goal back. Hungary were not amused by this and immediately struck again with goal number seven.

This time, appropriately perhaps, it was Puskás who advanced on to a defence splitting pass by Hidegkuti to fire home the last humiliating nail into the England coffin. In the remaining minutes Hungary totally dominated and even a substitution of Grosics in goal had little effect on an England display which is best forgotten. Unfortunately, the fact that this ranks as England's biggest-ever defeat will probably mean that it will never be forgotten.

              Match Report by Norman Giller

This was the biggest defeat in England's 90-year football history (and continues to be so to this day). Just four of the England team had survived from the 6-3 slaughter at Wembley in November: Merrick, Wright, Dickinson and Finney. Fulham centre-forward Bedford Jezzard made a best-forgotten debut, while the unfortunate Peter Harris was winning his second and last cap after a gap of five years. His first cap came in the 2-0 home defeat by the Republic of Ireland in 1949. Puskas and Kocsis scored two goals each. The Hungarians, leading 3-0 at half-time, were six goals clear and cantering before Ivor Broadis opened the scoring for England. Hungary immediately replied with their seventh goal, scored by Puskas from a pass by Hidegkuti. Hungary's scorers were Puskas (2), Kocsis (2), Lantos, Toth and Hidegkuti. Billy Wright came off with his face as white as his shirt, and looking like a man who had seen a ghost come back to haunt him. As hard as this giant-hearted man tried, he could not get near to suppressing the irrepressible Puskas.

              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1954-55, pages 29-30

Several changes were made before the return match in Budapest, Harris and Jezzard being incorporated into the forward line for the first time. The only change in the Hungarian's Wembley team was that Toth replaced Budai on the right wing. Assessment of a teams ability is always a relative matter and it is not making excuses to say that England might have made a better showing in different company; as it was, they were dwarfed at the side of a team staffed by at least five geniuses and in which the rest were all first class. The Hungarian prowess was if anything greater than that shown at Wembley; they played football of a supreme order.
The first goal which came in the 10th minute, seemed to discourage England from the start: Dickinson was penalised 4 yards outside the area, yet Lantos's free-kick somehow passed through the line-up and beat Merrick. The Hungarians then went after the ball with incredible zest: goals came from Puskas and Kocsis to make the score 3-0 at the interval.
After the change of ends England at first rallied, but then came another spell of Hungarian exuberance: between the 12th and 17th minute Merrick was beaten by shots from Kocsis, Toth, and Hidegkuti, the entire forward line participating in the movements that led to the goals. England's only goal came from Broadis following a free-kick taken by Dickinson, but this was very soon matched by a further goal by Puskas. And so to the sounds of ra-ra-hajra - the Hungarian equivalent of hip-hip-hurrah - the match ended with the score at 7-1.


       In Other News....
It was on 22 May 1954 that Billy Graham, a Baptist minister from North Carolina, ended his twelve-week London Crusade by preaching at both the White City Stadium, in front of 65,000 spectators, and at Wembley Stadium, before 120,000. It was the first of eleven crusades to the United Kingdom over 37 years. Worldwide, he preached to an estimated 77 million people in person over 58 years, and to over two billion via broadcasts, reaching more people than anyone else in the history of Christianity.
              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
Official matchday programme
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record

Norman Giller, Football Author
The Complete Book of the British Charts
British Pathé