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291 vs. Northern Ireland

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301 vs. Spain

Wednesday, 2 November 1955
Home International Championship 1955-56 (61st) Match

England 3 Northern Ireland 0

Empire Stadium, Empire Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (GMT): 2.15pm
Attendance: '58,000'; Receipts: '£22,000' (a new record for this fixture)

This week's Music Charts
Billy Wright won the toss Frank Coyle kicked-off
[0-0] Beddy Jezzard shot saved on line by Graham   
307 vs. Northern Ireland

3.0 Football-England v. Ireland
Watch With Mother The Flowerpot Men 4.15 Mainly For Women 4.45 Time For Play 5.0-6.0 Children's Television
[1-0] Dennis Wilshaw 53
 rounded Uprichard to score right-footed from 12 yards following a Johnny Haynes pass
[2-0] Dennis Wilshaw header 55
 beat Uprichard to a Bill Perry looping cross with a backward flick of his head from 3 yards out
[2-0] Tom Finney shot hit the post 60
[3-0] Tom Finney 86
 8-yard low, strong right-footed drive from a Johnny Haynes pass

100th goal scored in November
Second half live - Commentator: Kenneth Wolstenholme
"The second half of the Soccer international between England and Ireland at Wembley to-day will be screened 'live' by both B.B.C. and I.T.A. Permission has been granted by the Football Association as there has been a big increase in the sale of tickets during the last few days."
Officials from Wales England UK ruling on substitutes Northern Ireland
Referee (black)
Benjamin Mervyn Griffiths
46 (17 January 1909), Abertillery, Monmouthshire
flame flag               Linesmen            orange flag
G.T. Powell
D. King
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 6th
Colours The 1954 Umbro home uniform - White v-necked short-sleeved continental jerseys, blue shorts, red socks with white tops.
P eighth of 43, W 4 - D 1 - L 3 - F 21 - A 12.
Captain Billy Wright Manager Walter Winterbottom, 42 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
record 56th of 90, W 32 - D 10 - L 14 - F 139 - A 87 P 74th of 139, W 45 - D 14 - L 15 - F 213 - A 108, one abandoned.
  ³ Team chosen by Selection Committee, headed by Joe Mears, on Thursday, 27 October
England Lineup
five changes to the previous match (Williams, McGarry, Matthews, Revie & Lofthouse) league position (27 October)
  Baynham, Ronald L. 26
145 days
10 June 1929 G Luton Town FC (FL 9th) 2 1ᵍᵃ
2 Hall, Jeffrey J. 26
56 days
7 September 1929 RB Birmingham City FC (FL 7th) 3 0
3 Byrne, Roger W. 26
55 days
8 September 1929 LB Manchester United FC (FL 2nd) 16 0
751 4 Clayton, Ronald 21
89 days
5 August 1934 RHB Blackburn Rovers FC (FL2 10th) 1 0
the 36th Rover to represent England
5 Wright, William A. 31
269 days
6 February 1924 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 11th) 71 3
most apps 1952-55
6 Dickinson, James W. 30
192 days
24 April 1925 LHB Portsmouth FC (FL 15th) 43 0
Finney, Thomas 33
211 days
5 April 1922 OR Preston North End FC (FL 13th) 58 25
4th player (oldest & slowest) to reach the 25-goal milestone (9yrs 35dys)
Haynes, John N. 21
16 days
17 October 1934 IR Fulham FC (FL2 2nd) 2 1
9 Jezzard, Bedford A.G. 28
14 days
19 October 1927 CF Fulham FC (FL2 2nd) 2 0
final app 1954-55
Wilshaw, Dennis J. 29
236 days
11 March 1926 IL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 11th) 9 9
the 178th (45th post-war) brace scored
752 11
Perry, William A. 24
53 days
10 September 1930
in Johannesburg, South Africa
OL Blackpool FC (FL 3rd) 1 0
the ninth Blackpool player to represent England
reserve: Bob Morton (Luton Town FC (FL 9th))
team notes: Ronnie Clayton and Bill Perry become the one hundredth players to be picked in the starting XI by the Selection Committee in the Winterbottom era.
pre-match: The team trained at Stamford Bridge and played Chelsea FC in a practise match on Monday, 31 (0-0 in a match that consisted of two twenty-minute halves). They trained again at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, with no practise match arranged.
records: Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally, in his record 36th consecutive match.
England win a record four matches in a row at Wembley for the first time, beating the pre-war record.
2-3-5 Baynham -
Hall, Byrne -
Clayton, Wright, Dickinson -
Finney, Haynes, Jezzard, Wilshaw, Perry
Averages: Age 27 years 90 days Appearances/Goals 18.9 3.2
Northern Ireland Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 45th
Colours Green continental jerseys with white v-neck collar/cuffs, white shorts, blue socks with white tops.
Captain Terry McCavana Manager Peter Dermot Doherty, 42 (5 June 1913), appointed October 1951, also manager at Doncaster Rovers FC since June 1949.
team chosen on Tuesday, 25 October
Team Attendant Gerry Morgan fifteenth match, W 2 - D - 3 - L 10 - F 16 - A 38.
Northern Ireland Lineup
  Uprichard, W. Norman M. 27
196 days
20 April 1928 G Portsmouth FC, England 12 28ᵍᵃ
2 Cunningham, William E. 25
255 days
20 February 1930 RB Leicester City FC, England 6 0
3 Graham, W.G. Leonard 30
16 days
17 October 1925 RB Doncaster Rovers FC, England 13 0
4 Blanchflower, R. Dennis 29
265 days
10 February 1926 RHB Tottenham Hotspur FC, England 18 0
5 McCavana, W. Terence 34
282 days
24 January 1921 CHB Coleraine FC 3 0
final app 1954-55
6 Peacock, Robert 27
34 days
29 September 1928 LHB The Celtic, Scotland 7 0
7 Bingham, William L. 24
89 days
5 August 1931 OR Sunderland AFC, England 16 2
8 McIlroy, James 24
8 days
25 October 1931 IR Burnley FC, England 14 0
9 Coyle, Francis 22
215 days
1 April 1933 CF Coleraine FC 2 0
10 Tully, Charles P. 31
114 days
11 July 1924 IL The Celtic FC, Scotland 9 3
11 McParland, Peter J. 21
191 days
25 April 1934 OL Aston Villa FC, England 5 2
reserve: Jackie Blanchflower (Manchester United FC), Wilbur Cush (Glenavon FC)
team notes: This is first ever visit to the Empire Stadium by either of the Irish teams, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the IFA.
Manager Peter Doherty played for Ireland against England on seven separate occasions from 1935 until 1947, scoring one in 1947.
The team trained in Weybridge prior to the match, training on a recreation ground near their hotel, The Oatlands Park, and then they stayed at the Charing Cross Hotel.
2-3-5 Uprichard -
Cunningham, Graham -
Blanchflower, McCavana, Peacock -
Bingham, McIlroy, Coyle, Tully, McParland
Averages: Age 27 years 53 days Appearances/Goals 9.5 0.6

"Park your brains on the touchline, son — you won't be needing them in our team. And if you want to be a ball-player, laddie, go right ahead—but you can forget about playing for your country if your country happens to be England. That is the clear manifesto presented to the footballers of England by the F.A. selectors. Matthews is out of the England team to play Ireland at Wembley next Wednesday, Revie is out, Lofthouse is out and Jezzard is in his place. Johnny Haynes is in, but not at inside left. That is too easy. Oh no, make him an inside RIGHT. There are two new caps, Ronnie Clayton, of Blackburn, and Bill Perry, of Blackpool. Banish the ball-players, bring in the bashers and runners and bumpers and borers." - Bob Ferrier, The Daily Mirror, Friday, 28 October 1955

              Match Report by Mike Payne

To help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Irish FA, England decided, for the first time, to play them at Wembley. Alas, the game did not live up to the extra prestige of the venue and it will be quickly forgotten. The football matched the greyness of the day and the first half was dull and unimaginative. Ireland had a good deal of the play but neither side threatened much in front of goal.

The one shining light in all this gloom was the youthful Johnny Haynes. Here was a player of real class, who showed a maturity well beyond his years. His superb passing and two footed skills were the main features of this match.

Ireland looked out of place at Wembley. One of the smallest crowds ever assembled for an important international, only 62,000 had little to warm their hearts. True, there was plenty of effort but the general play fell well short of what is expected at this level. The only memorable incident of the first-half came when one of the many passes by Haynes found Bedford Jezzard who beat Uprichard with a shot, only for Graham to save the day with a goal-line clearance.

At the other end, Ron Baynham looked decidedly shaky on crosses and the wing-halves. Ronnie Clayton and Jimmy Dickinson, never imposed themselves on the play. Up front Tom Finney never made the impact that Stan Matthews might have done, despite making several runs. Finney seemed to find it difficult at times to raise his game on the big occasions as Matthews does.

Predictably, the half ended goalless, but five minutes into the second period the match suddenly burst into life. Baynham made a superb point-blank save from Tully and then play swung brilliantly to the other end via a fine triangular move involving Haynes, Dennis Wilshaw and Jezzard. Haynes finally delivered a defence-splitting reverse diagonal pass for Wilshaw to take possession, side-step Uprichard and shoot into the empty net.

If ever a pass won a match, it was Haynes' at that moment. Ireland were now down, and two minutes later they were out as England scored again. This time Jezzard sent Finney away. The winger sent over a deep centre which was lobbed back into the middle by Bill Perry. It dropped under the crossbar and Wilshaw was on the spot to head home. It was ironic in some ways as the Wolves striker had been largely anonymous, and yet here he was with two goals under his belt.

The victory was rounded off by Finney in the 88th minute. Haynes was again at the heart of the move and when Finney received Jezzard's square pass, his change of direction and acceleration took him inside Graham before a diagonal shot beat Uprichard and found the far corner. It was Finney's first goal since the World Cup match against Uruguay.

It was a disappointing performance from England who needed to improve for the forthcoming visit of Spain.

              Match Report by Norman Giller

Fulham clubmates Johnny Haynes and Bedford Jezzard played alongside each other for the only time in an England international. Haynes, partnering Tom Finney on the right wing, played farther upfield than usual to confuse his marker, Danny Blanchflower, and it was mainly because of his probing passes that England won comfortably with two goals from Dennis Wilshaw and another from Finney. Jezzard's career was ended a year later by an ankle injury. South African-born Bill Perry came into the attack in place of his Blackpool team-mate Stanley Matthews, and Ronnie Clayton won the first of his thirty-five caps. This was Northern Ireland's first appearance at Wembley, and the only time they threatened to mark the occasion with a goal was when Charlie Tully had a point-blank shot superbly saved by goalkeeper Ron Baynham in the second half.

              Match Report by Glen Isherwood

England were aiming for a third successive outright British Championship, but had already lost 2-1 to Wales at Ninian Park. Northern Ireland had beaten Scotland 2-1 at Windsor Park and were making their first appearance at Wembley. They had not beaten England since 1927 when they won 2-0 at Windsor Park.
The Irish defence held out until just after half-time. A brilliant pass from Haynes left Dennis Wilshaw with only Uprichard to beat which he did with ease. Two minutes later from Finney's cross, Perry lobbed for Wilshaw to head his second over the 'keeper. In the 89th minute, from a pass by Jezzard, Tom Finney cut inside and shot into the corner for England's third.
This was the only occasion that all four teams shared the British Championship. England had now won a record five successive titles while Northern Ireland's success was their first since 1914. They would be back two years later to secure a memorable victory.

              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1956-57 page 29

This match, played at Wembley on November 2nd, turned out to be rather an undistinguished game. Apart from another immaculate defensive display by Wright, the outstanding feature was the proof that the youthful Haynes had blossomed into a really good inside-forward, whose use of the long through-pass was both astute and accurate. After an uninspiring first-half a grand midfield movement between Wilshaw, Jezzard, and Haynes resulted in the first-named scoring. Two minutes later Wilshaw headed a second to finish off another combined movement, and England remained comfortably on top, with Finney scoring the third and final goal shortly before the end.

        In Other News....
It was on 2 November 1955 that New York police arrested a convicted burglar, Paul Wirths, in connection with the death of wealthy international playboy, Billy Woodward, who had inherited his father's fortune and was a very successful horse breeder. He had been shot by his wife, Ann, outside his bedroom door, three days earlier, when she had claimed to have heard a noise on the roof and mistaken him in the dark for a burglar. Though a jury decided, three weeks later, that the death was accidental, suspicions persisted for years, and when author, Truman Capote published a short story, twenty years later, in Esquire magazine, obviously basing a character on her and labelling her as a murderer, she killed herself with cyanide. In a further tragic footnote to the story, both of their sons also took their own lives in subsequent years.
              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
The Complete Book of the British Charts
Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record
Norman Giller, Football Author
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record
British Pathé