England Football Online
Results 1950-1955                    Page Last Updated 2 February 2022

Tuaisceart Éireann

 
FIRST MEETING vs. NORTHERN IRELAND
Nrthn Ireland are the 30th different opposition
 

288 vs. Belgium
289 vs. Switzerland

previous match
(98 days)
290 vs. Uruguay
291
next match (39 days)
292 vs. Wales


300 vs. Northern Ireland

 
3.15 Ted Heath & his Music
3.45
 Ireland v. England
4.45
Cinerama 5.0 World of Jazz
Saturday, 2 October 1954
Home International Championship 1954-55 (60th) Match


Northern Ireland 0 England 2 [0-0]
 

Northern Ireland is the 29th nation visited by England
Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, county Antrim
Kick-off (BST): 3.00pm

Attendance: '59,000'
Players lost since last match
Ernie Hart (21 July 1954) 52
Arthur Bridgett (26 July) 71

Domestic Football Results
This week's Music Charts
Northern Ireland kicked-off  
   
  [0-1] Johnny Haynes 75
'Don Revie put a pass through the gap to Haynes who beat Uprichard with surprising ease" from eight yards
[0-2] Don Revie 78
runs onto Johnny Haynes looping pass to shoot right-footed from the corner of the 6-yard box
second half live on the Radio Light Programme - commentators: tbc
  
"ONE RAY IN THE ENGLAND RABBLE" Sunday Mirror
Officials from Scotland Northern Ireland UK ruling on substitutes England
Referee (black blazer)
Charles Edward Faultless
46 (5 March 1908), Glasgow.
 
Linesmen
James Fenton
Paisley
Alexander C. Brown
Glasgow
   
Northern Ireland Team
 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 46th
Colours: Green continental jerseys with white v-neck collar/cuffs, white shorts, blue socks with white tops.
Capt: Alf McMichael Manager: Peter Dermot Doherty, 41 (5 June 1913), appointed October 1951, also manager at Doncaster Rovers FC since June 1949.
eleventh match, W 1 - D - 2 - L 8 - F 10 - A 29.
Team selected on Tuesday, 21 September 1954.
Trainer: G.Morgan (Linfield FAC)
Northern Ireland Lineup
  Uprichard, W. Norman M. 26
165 days
20 April 1928 G Portsmouth FC, England 8 19ᵍᵃ
2 Montgomery, Frank J. nk not known RB Coleraine FC 1 0
only app 1954
3 McMichael, Alfred 27
1 day
1 October 1927 LB Newcastle United FC, England 16 0
4 Blanchflower, R. Dennis 28
234 days
10 February 1926 RHB Aston Villa FC, England 14 0
5 Dickson, William 31
201 days
15 March 1923 CHB Arsenal FC, England 12 0
final app 1951-54
6 Peacock, Robert 26
3 days
29 September 1928 LHB The Celtic, Scotland 4 0
7 Bingham, William L. 23
58 days
5 August 1931 OR Sunderland AFC, England 12 0
8 Blanchflower, John 21
193 days
7 March 1933 IR Manchester United FC, England 2 0
9 Simpson, William J. 24
294 days
12 December 1929 CF Rangers FC, Scotland 5 2
10 McIlroy, James 22
342 days
25 October 1931 IL Burnley FC, England 10 0
11 McParland, Peter J. 20
160 days
25 April 1934 OL Aston Villa FC, England 2 2
reserve: Terry McCavana (Coleraine FC).
team notes: Due to an ankle injury, right-back Len Graham (Doncaster Rovers FC) was replaced by Montgomery on Tuesday, 28 September. Billy McAdam (Manchester City FC), who was the original named centre-forward, was hospitalised, his place going to Simpson on Wednesday, 29.
Danny and Jackie Blanchflower are brothers.
Manager Peter Doherty played for Ireland against England on seven separate occasions from 1935 until 1947, scoring one in 1947.
Prior to the match, the Irish team were set up in Newcastle.
 
2-3-5 Uprichard -
Montgomery, McMichael -

D.Blanchflower, Dickson, Peacock -
Bingham,
J.Blanchflower, Simpson, McIlroy, McParland.
Averages: Age 25 years 95 days Appearances/Goals 7.8 0.3
youngest opposing post war team so far
 
England Team
 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 7th to 5th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared short-sleeved jerseys, blue shorts, red socks.
43rd & last, W 23 - D 10 - L 10 - F 112 - A 74.⁴³
Capt: Billy Wright³
47th W 27 - D 9 - L 11 - F 115 - A 74.⁹⁰
Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 41 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
65th match, W 40 - D 13 - L 12 - F 189 - A 95, one abandoned.¹³⁹
Trainer: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC)
Team chosen by Selection Committee, headed by Harold Shentall, on Sunday, 26 September 1954.
England Lineup
74   Wood, Raymond E. 23
113 days
11 June 1931 G Manchester United FC 1 0ᵍᵃ
734 the 15th/16th United player to represent England
735 2 Foulkes, William A. 22
270 days
5 January 1932 RB Manchester United FC 1 0
the 15th/16th United player to represent England only app 1954
3 Byrne, Roger W. 25
24 days
8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC 7 0
736 3 Wheeler, John E. 26
68 days
26 July 1928 RHB Bolton Wanderers FC 1 0
the 19th Wanderers player to represent England only app 1954
5 Wright, William A. 30
238 days
6 February 1924 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 62 3
most apps 1952-54
737 6 Barlow, Raymond J. 28
46 days
17 August 1926 LHB West Bromwich Albion FC 1 0
the thirtieth Albion player to represent England only app 1954
7 Matthews, Stanley 39
243 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC 39 9
oldest outfield player
738 8
Revie, Donald G. 27
84 days
10 July 1927 IR Manchester City FC 1 1
the 17th City player to represent England
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 29
36 days
27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 22 23
739 10
Haynes, John N. 19
350 days
17 October 1934 IL Fulham FC 1 1
the sixth Fulham player to represent England
740 11 Pilkington, Brian 21
232 days
12 February 1933 OL Burnley FC 1 0
the sixteenth Burnley player to represent England only app 1954
reserve: Bill Slater (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC)
team notes: Prior to the match, the England party had practise matches at Maine Road and Anfield (see below), before leaving for Ireland on Wednesday, 29 September.
Tom Finney (Preston North End FC) was the original named outside-left, because of fibrositis, his place went to Pilkington on Monday, 27 September.
records: Seven debutants is the most since the nine started the first post-war match, against Ireland.
Not since the match against Switzerland in December 1948 have two players scored on their debut.
 
2-3-5 Wood -
Foulkes, Byrne -
Wheeler, Wright, Barlow -
Matthews, Revie, Lofthouse, Haynes, Pilkington.
Averages: Age 26 years 256 days Appearances/Goals 12.5 3.2
youngest post war team so far
 
              Pre-Match Notes

"ENGLAND TEAM TO GET WEEK'S LEAGUE OPPOSITION.
"Manchester City and Liverpool have been chosen as the guinea-pigs to test England's team before the first international of the season—Ireland v. England in Belfast on October 2.
So begins a new era in our approach to international football. The selected players will be together for a whole week before the game; and there will be four practise sessions, with the two League clubs supplying the opposition at Maine-road and Anfield. That, at least, will be an improvement on the old business of rushing boys over to Ireland on the Thursday night for one brief get-together—with no opposition—on the Friday. The practise games will not necessarily be straightforward 90-minute affairs. But the opportunity to try out a variety of moves will be fully utilised."
- Clifford Webb, The Daily Herald, Monday, 6 September 1954.

"MATTHEWS MISSES FIRST PRACTISE
"Stanley Matthews, the Blackpool outside-right, was absent from the England team's practise at Maine-road, Manchester, to-day―the first of two training spells in preparation for the international against Ireland on Saturday. Mr. Walter Winterbottom, the F.A. team manager, said that Matthews was having treatment for a slight injury, but would definitely take part in the second practise, against Liverpool at Anfield to-morrow. To-day, a team of Manchester City players provided the opposition to the England side. The practise was divided into two periods of 20 minutes each, the first a warming-up spell, and the second an all-out effort. The England backs tried out a defensive plan against corner kicks, in which the understanding between the Manchester United trio, Wood, Foulkes and Byrne was clearly evident."
- Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday, 28 September 1954.

"The England team were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool in a 35-minute practise match at Anfield yesterday. On Tuesday the national side were held to a 2-2 draw by Manchester City at Maine-road. The result of the trial, which began in heavy rain, could not have worried Walter Winterbottom however. Before it began he replied to criticisms of the side's performance on Tuesday, saying: 'It is nonsense to judge the potential of a side, or even individual players, on a training game. I must emphasise that these are games to enable players to get the feel of each other's ways. It gives them an opportunity to play as a team against different opposition, to work out moves and devise ways of overcoming weaknesses. The result hardly has any bearing on the matter. Players, far from impressive at practise often play fine games under the stimulus of match conditions.'  Matthews, who missed Tuesday's training because of a slight thigh injury played in the eleven, which was:—Wood; Slater, Byrne; Wheeler, Wright, Barlow; Matthews, Revie, Lofthouse, Haynes, Pilkington.
Foulkes, the Manchester United full-back, was originally selected to play in the practise but he received a slight knock at Maine Road, and it was decided not to risk him yesterday. Salter came into the side. Winterbottom said that Foulkes was certain to be fit to play in Belfast."
- The Birmingham Post, Thursday, 30 September 1954.
   

              Match Report by Mike Payne

England, home from a crushing defeat by Hungary and failure in the World Cup, travelled across the Irish Sea for their match against Northern Ireland. The result followed the usual pattern of previous clashes between the two sides with England, once again, coming out on top. Every game they have played in Ireland since 1927, apart from a solitary draw in 1952, had ended the same way and the fixture now had a monotonous ring about it. With all the problems of the summer now hopefully behind them, England were now looking to begin a new era.

With seven new caps in the side they were hoping to open their season with an encouraging performance. Alas, what followed proved to be an anti-climax as England produced a mediocre display.

There had been lots of words both written and spoken since the summer all suggesting ideas and tactics that England could use to climb back up the football tree. Indeed, get-togethers had been arranged in both Manchester and Liverpool during last week to emphasise the concern everyone felt
for improving the side.

But all the talking came to nothing as Northern Ireland pinned England back for long periods. It, in fact, took England 75 minutes to produce a worthwhile moment.

Ireland were not convincing or strong enough and despite all their possession they showed little up front. They missed their chance of victory mainly in the 20-minute spell leading up to half-time. Simpson was put through by Jackie Blanchflower and, with England standing vainly appealing for offside, the centre-forward missed a golden chance, shooting tamely at Ray Wood.

Then, two minutes before the break, Simpson missed another opening when he headed Bingham's centre straight at Wood's body when it seemed easier to score. Surely, Ireland would have gone on to win had they taken either of those two fine chances?

Immediately after half-time, Ray Wood became the hero for England when he did well to save efforts from McIlroy, Jackie Blanchflower and McParland. Showing anticipation and agility, the goalkeeper did all that was asked of him on his debut.

Billy Wright, Ray Barlow and Wood all showed up well in this period with Wright outstanding in his new role of centre-half. He was rarely beaten, both in the air and on the ground and showed true world class. He was the shining beacon in the dullest of dull games.

The other new players all struggled for England, Johnny Wheeler, Bill Foulkes and Roger Byrne all looked vulnerable and Don Revie and Johnny Haynes often failed in their passing.

Despite the criticism of this England performance they did have the satisfaction of the win. This came thanks to a couple of minutes of inspired play a quarter of an hour from the end.

Stanley Matthews, who had began to wander in search of the ball, set up the first goal. Picking it up in the inside-left channel, he found Brian Pilkington with a good pass. The winger's touch gave Haynes the chance to at last get in a defence-splitting pass which found Revie. Haynes then did well to move into a position to receive Revie's return pass before side-stepping a defender and shooting past Uprichard.

Within seconds it was 2-0. Wright again sent Matthews free and swift passing between Matthews, Revie, Lofthouse and Haynes ended with Revie firmly shooting the second goal.

So, amazingly, England had transformed the match with their only moments of worthwhile football. It failed, however, to hide all the problems that the team must face up to. The referee was Mr Faultless of Scotland! Oh for an England performance of the same name.
   

              Match Report by Norman Giller

Don Revie and Johnny Haynes got their first taste of international football together and scored a goal each. There were five other new caps in a team that had been completely re-modelled following the quarter-final exit from the World Cup finals: Ray Wood, Bill Foulkes, Johnny Wheeler, Ray Barlow and Brian Pilkington, who played in place of the injured Tom Finney. Foulkes, Wheeler, Barlow and Pilkington were not capped again after this victory.  The Irish worked desperately hard in a bid for their first victory over England since 1927, but the wind was knocked out of them by two goals inside two minutes late in the second half. Haynes exchanged a one-two pass with Revie before shooting wide of Portsmouth goalkeeper Norman Uprichard. Within a minute it was 2-0, Revie running on to a pass from Haynes and steering the ball low into the net. Haynes was just nineteen, and he already looked an assured and confident player who could hit accurate forty yard passes with either foot.  But the powers-that-be decided he was too young to trust with the role of midfield general, and he was dropped along with Don Revie and six other players.
  

              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1955-56 page 26

England started the 1954-55 season fully conscious that great efforts would have to be made if she was to keep abreast of the intensively trained International teams of the Continent. Although in the previous season she had won the Home Championship and had performed by no means badly in the World Cup, the bitter defeats of the 1954 Spring tour, especially by Hungary, still rankled.
At a meeting of managers from many of the clubs whose players had taken part in International matches it was arranged that the England team should be given opportunities of practising against club sides. It was also hoped that it would be possible to keep the team together for several matches running. At the start of the season, however, owing to serious injury or loss of form, only few who had played against Uruguay were selected to meet Ireland; among the seven newcomers were four players who had appeared in the 'Under 23' side.
During the actual season England did well - the 7-2 victory over Scotland clinched the Home Championship and Germany were beaten 3-1 - but the hopes  placed in the younger players, particularly after the resounding wins of the 'Under-23's' against Italy and Scotland, were disappointed in the Spring tour to France, Spain and Portugal.
There is no baulking the issue: England has a long way to go before she reaches the higher standards required  to give her back her old mastery over Europe and the world. The quality of her Continental rivals is such that success will only come if the rising generation of players learns to be even faster in getting to the ball, faster in controlling it, and more intelligent when using it. But the greatest need of all is far more accuracy and determination in front of goal.

England got away to a lucky start by undeservedly beating Ireland at Belfast in the first International match of the season by 2 goals to nil. Except for a short spell in the second half when the two goals were scored, it was Ireland who played the better football, especially in mid-field. That they failed to turn this skill to full account was due partly to some good defensive work by Wright.  The goals were scored within two minutes of each other and both very good ones. Matthews, Pilkington, Haynes, Revie, Haynes was the pattern of the first one; a similar movement, commenced this time by a shrewd backpass from Lofthouse, enabled Revie to make the final score still more unjust to Ireland. Perhaps, with seven new caps in the England side, it was not to be expected that the team would at once settle down and become a world-beating side. All the same, several of the new players were disappointing.

  

              Source Notes
TheFA.com
Original newspaper reports
Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats
The Complete Book of the British Charts
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record

Norman Giller, Football Author
British Pathé

Drew Herbertson, Scottish FA historian
cg