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270 vs. Italy

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349 vs. Italy
Wednesday, 6 May 1959
End of Season Friendly Match

England 2 Italy 2
Empire Stadium, Empire Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Kick-off (BST):

'90,000'; other sources state 91,000
Billy Wright won the toss Sergio Brighenti kicked off
[1-0] Bobby Charlton 27
 'hit a pass from Ronnie Clayton with his left foot straight against the iron stanchion in the far corner of the net'.
[2-0] Warren Bradley 38
 'Haynes shot for goal, hit a defender and a second rebound went to Bradley. He hooked it into the net with his left foot'.
1.0 Beunydd 2.0 Cricket Scores 2.05 Schools: Science and life 2.30 Watch With Mother: The Flowerpot Men
2.45 Football: England v. Italy
5.0 Children 6.0 News and Sport 6.20 A Dog's Chance 6.45 Tonight 7.25 News
Ron Flowers head injury 10 men 49

Ron Flowers return 11 men 61

[2-1] Sergio Brighenti 56
'held off Shaw's challenge in the right-hand corner of area and coolly lobbed the ball over Hopkinson.'
[2-2] Amos Mariani 61
'a hefty clearance found Giancarlo Galli. He put the ball through to Mariani who ran two smooth strides and smashed in a beautiful angled shot.'
Players lost since last match
Percy Humphreys (13 April) 78

This week's Music Charts

Commentator: Kenneth Wostenholme
"OH! BILLY BOY! CALL IT A DAY" Peter Wilson, Daily Mirror
Officials from West Germany England Party FIFA ruling on substitutes Italy
Referee (black)
Albert Dusch
46 (6 December 1912), Kaiserslautern
Before the match, the Empire Stadium band (the Massed Bands of the Green Jackets) played Marcia Reale for Italy's national anthem. It should have been Inno di Mameli.

THE FACTS as reported in the Daily News...
Shots—by England 16 (10 furst half), by Italy 22 (13 first half).
—to England 2, to Italy 6. Goal-kicks—by England 12, by Italy 8.
Off-side—by England fowards 7, by Italy 4. Fouls—by England 2 by Italy 16.
   flame flag           Linesmen              orange flag
A. Meissner
H. Fischer
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours The 1954 Umbro home uniform - White v-necked short-sleeved continental jerseys, dark blue shorts, red socks with white calf hoop.
P 36th of 43, W 18 - D 12 - L 6 - F 92 - A 47.
Captain Billy Wright Manager Walter Winterbottom, 46 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
rec. 86th of 90, W 48 - D 21 - L 17 - F 214 - A 123. Trainer: Harold Shepherdson P 104th of 139, W 61 - D 25 - L 18 - F 288 - A 144, one abandoned.
  ³   Team chosen by Selection Committee, headed by Joe Mears, on 20 April.
England Lineup
  one change to the previous match (Bradley>Douglas) league position (20 April)  
  Hopkinson, Edward 23
189 days
29 October 1935 G Bolton Wanderers FC (FL 4th) 8 11ᵍᵃ
2 Howe, Donald 23
206 days
12 October 1935 RB West Bromwich Albion FC (FL 8th) 16 0
3 Shaw, Graham L. 24
301 days
9 July 1934 LB Sheffield United FC (FL2 3rd) 4 0
Clayton, Ronald 24
274 days
5 August 1934 RHB Blackburn Rovers FC (FL 9th) 26 0
5 Wright, William A. 35
89 days
6 February 1924 CHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP) 101 3
most apps 1946-59
6 Flowers, Ronald, injured 49th min. 24
282 days
28 July 1934 LHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP) 4 0
777 7
Bradley, Warren 25
282 days
20 June 1933 OR Manchester United FC (FL 2nd) 1 1
the 21st United player to represent England
8 Broadbent, Peter F. 25
356 days
15 May 1933 IR Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP) 5 2
Charlton, Robert 21
207 days
11 October 1937 CF Manchester United FC (FL 2nd) 8 8
10 Haynes, John N. 24
201 days
17 October 1934 IL/
Fulham FC (FL2 2nd) 28 12
11 Holden, A. Douglas 28
220 days
28 September 1930 OL Bolton Wanderers FC (FL 4th) 2 0
reserves: Ron Baynham (Luton Town FC (FL 18th)), Norman Deeley (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL TOP)), Roy Gratrix (Blackpool FC (FL 6th)), Wilf McGuinness (Manchester United FC (FL 2nd)), Derek Kevan (West Bromwich Albion FC (FL 8th)).
team notes: Billy Wright extends his record appearance tally, in his record 66th consecutive match.
Warren Bradley, although the 147th player to score on his England debut, becomes just the tenth to score on his England debut at the Empire Stadium.
Graham Shaw and Ronnie Clayton become the seventieth players to have made four-or-more England appearances under Winterbottom/ISC/post-war.
Ron Flowers received a head injury following a mid-air collision with Sergio Brighenti. It was while he was off the field that the Italians got their two goals. He returned after twelve minutes treatment with a fractured nose.
The England party stayed in Hendon Hall and trained on the Bank of England Sports Ground in Roehampton.
2-3-5 Hopkinson -
Howe, Shaw -
Clayton, Wright, Flowers -
Bradley, Broadbent, Charlton, Haynes, Holden.
notes: when Flowers was injured, it was Haynes who dropped back in defence
Averages: Age 25 years 275 days Appearances/Goals 18.5 2.3
Italy Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 18th
Colours Blue crew necked long-sleeved jerseys, white socks, blue socks with two thin white hoops.
Captain Aramndo Segato Selection Federacion Technical Committee
Team announced on Monday, 20 April.
Member-in-charge: Bruno Zauli
Trainer: Giovanni Ferrari
Italy Lineup
1 Buffon, Lorenzo 29
138 days
19 December 1929 G AC Milan 4 6ᵍᵃ
2 Robotti, Enzo 23
327 days
13 June 1935 RB AC Fiorentina 3 0
3 Castelletti, Sergio 21
149 days
30 December 1937 LB AC Fiorentina 3 0
4 Zaglio, Franco 22
142 days
23 December 1936 RHB AS Roma 2 0
final app 1959
5 Bernasconi, Gaudenzio 26
271 days
8 August 1932 CHB UC Sampdoria 6 0
final app 1956-59
6 Segato, Armando 29
3 days
3 May 1930 LHB AC Fiorentina 19 0
Mariani, Amos 28
37 days
30 March 1931 OR AC Padova 3 2
8 Gratton, Guido 26
225 days
23 September 1932 IR AC Fiorentina 11 3
final app 1953-59
Brighenti, Sergio 26
225 days
23 September 1932 CF AC Padova 1 1
Galli, Giancarlo 28
61 days
6 March 1931 IL AC Milan 12 4
11 Petris, Gianfranco 21
252 days
27 August 1936 OL AC Fiorentina 2 1
reserves: Luciano Panetti (AS Roma), Benito Sarti (UC Sampdoria), Umberto Colombo (Juventus FC) and Mario Mazzoni (AS Bari).
team changes: There was one player change which forced numerous positional changes to the team originally announced. The inclusion of Mariani forced the changes. Galli was named as the original outside-right and Giampiero Boniperti on his inside. Gratton was named as the inside-left. Boniperti is carrying an injury.
team notes: The Italian Federation chose seventeen players to report for training on 22 April. They arrived at London Airport on Thursday, 4th May, with fifteen players.
The Italians were fielding the first all home-born team for twenty-five years following a ruling from FIFA that in future teams could not include players capped by another country.
The Italians made full use of the Arsenal Stadium ground at Highbury, before and after the England-Young England fixture.
2-3-5 Buffon -
Robotti, Castelletti -
Zaglio, Bernasconi, Segato -
Mariani, Gratton, Brighenti, Galli, Petris
Averages: Age 25 years 311 days Appearances/Goals 6.0 0.8
Following the match, both sets of players enjoyed a traditional banquet at the Park Lane Hotel. Traffic delayed the start until 7.40pm. 'The menu was smoked salmon and buttered shrimps; sole; medallion of beef, potatoes; and a soufflé followed by coffee.'
              Match Report by Mike Payne

WEMBLEY Stadium was packed with 91,000 people to see an entertaining match, albeit with an indifferent display by England. Sometimes they were brilliant, other times dismal, too often the latter for the home fans. In the end the Italians deserved their draw, delighting the huge following that England provided them with. Indeed, every Italian restaurant in London must have been deserted as the afternoon was turned into a Roman holiday.

England began brightly and the inside trio of Peter Broadbent, Bobby Charlton and Johnny Haynes were quickly into their stride. However, it was the Italians who had the first two dangerous strikes at goal. Don Howe and Graham Shaw both came to England's rescue with goal-line clearances after Eddie Hopkinson was beaten by shots from Mariani and Galli. Immediately, though, Charlton struck back. A superb side-step and a thunderous left-foot shot was brilliantly tipped away by Buffon. Seconds later, in the 26th minute, Charlton gave England the lead with a real beauty.
Picking up a pass from Broadbent, he cleverly skipped around Bernasconi, moved forward and hit a superb low left-foot shot just inside the post fro the edge of the penalty area. It was typical Charlton.

By this time England were moving well and five minutes before the break they increased their lead with another splendid goal. A lovely interpassing movement involving Haynes, Charlton and Haynes again, then brought Doug Holden into the move down the right. His deep cross was met on the volley by Haynes and although the shot was blocked, Warren Bradley did some clever poaching to turn sharply before hitting home the rebound.

Despite holding a comfortable lead, the game had certainly not been all England's  and several times Hopkinson's goal was put under extreme pressure by the eager Italian forwards. Indeed, even in those remaining minutes of the first half, Betris missed two golden chances.

Early in the second half Ron Flowers was stretchered off, after a collision left him with a suspected broken nose. Although he managed to return to the action, patched up, about 15 minutes later, by then the damage had been done as Italy rocked England with two goals.

A long through-ball produced a terrible misunderstanding between Hopkinson and Shaw. The ball ran loose and Brighenti accepted the free gift with glee to pull one goal back. Then within minutes it was 2-2. Gratton, taking advantage of some poor defensive play put Mariani through to shoot home the equaliser. Again Hopkinson might have done better with his attempted save.

After this burst of activity, Flowers returned to the fray and the game settled down again to an even pattern. Bradley and Charlton both saw efforts cleared off the line but by the end of the 90 minutes it was England who seemed more relieved to hear the final whistle. After their long-hard season the forthcoming summer tour seemed to be something that the players did not really want and their current form was such that a trip to visit the current World Champions, Brazil, was the last thing they need. But that is exactly what England had to do the following Wednesday.


              Match Report by Norman Giller

England were reduced to ten men when Ron Flowers went off with a broken nose with England leading 2-0. The goals were scored in the first-half by Manchester United team-mates Bobby Charlton and Warren Bradley, a schoolmaster who was making his debut on the right wing. By the time Flowers returned to the defence seventeen minutes later the young, experimental Italian team had drawn level. The Italians were fielding the first all home-born team for twenty-five years following a ruling from FIFA that in future teams could not include players capped by another country. There was an embarrassing start to the game. When they stood to attention before the match the Italian players were astonished to hear the banned Mussolini-era national anthem being played. This had been replaced after the war. Every Italian restaurant in Britain must have been short of staff because Italy had thousands of supporters in the crowd, and they whistled and hooted as the anthem was played. But for some cracking saves by goalkeeper Eddie Hopkinson the Italian fans would have had a victory to cheer.

              Match Report by Glen Isherwood

Italy had failed to qualify for the previous year's World Cup, having been surprisingly knocked out by Northern Ireland. They had never beaten England in six previous meetings and had lost on both their previous visits to England.
Midway through the first half Haynes worked an opening and Bobby Charlton smacked in a low shot from the edge of the area to give England the lead. Twelve minutes later a shot from Haynes was blocked and Warren Bradley turned swiftly to score. Eight minutes into the second half Flowers took a bang on the nose in a heading duel and was carried off. This unsettled England and the Italians seized the initiative. A terrible mix-up between Shaw and Hopkinson allowed Sergio Brighenti in for an easy goal. Then, from a pass by Gratton, Amos Mariani shot past Hopkinson for the equaliser. Flowers returned to learn that they had squandered their two-goal lead.
Italy failed to progress beyond the first round in the 1962 World Cup after a violent confrontation with the hosts Chile and they were not to beat England until 1973.


              Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1959-60 pages 34 & 35

England were in some ways unlucky in this match at Wembley, for they were leading by two goals when Flowers was forced to leave the field for treatment to a face injury during the second half. When he returned the score was 2-all. It cannot, however, be denied that Italy thoroughly deserved to draw, for they played fine open football, and could be faulted only in finishing. It was they, too, who took the initiative from the start, and it was against the run of play when Charlton put England in the lead midway through the first half. Before halftime Bradley made it 2-0 with a fierce shot from a rebound, and it appeared England would win after all. But then Flower's injury upset the balance of the English defence, and Brighenti scored following a misunderstanding between Shaw and Hopkinson. The equaliser came from Mariani. England di not impress, and Wright had perhaps his poorest International; Shaw had difficulty in holding Mariani; only Clayton and, in patches, Charlton earned credit.

Other Football Results   
Scotland 3 West Germany 2
Hampden Park, Glasgow (103,415)
White 1, Weir 7, Leggat  23 ~
Seeler 14, Juskowiak 37 (pen)
An impressive performance from the Scots against a powerful German side, who failed to completely recover from going two goals down in the first seven minutes.
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-final first leg:
Birmingham City 1 Zagreb 0
St Andrew's, Birmingham (21,411)
Following a narrow first-leg victory against the Zagreb representative squad, Birmingham set off on a tour of Switzerland, and arrived in Zagreb for the second leg, 18 days later.
     In Other News....
It was on 6 May 1959 that 31-year-old Doctor Ravindranath Bhonsle appeared before Wolverhampton Magistrates charged with the murder of  45-year-old nurse, Martha Giles, who had been stabbed and beaten before her body was found on a bowling green within the grounds of the hospital where they both worked. Police found blood-stained clothing in his flat, though not unusual for a doctor, and Dr Bhonsle attempted suicide after being questioned by police, but he was revived before the drugs could take effect. The prosecution implied that there had been a relationship between the two, but he was found not guilty, two months later, and no-one else was ever charged with the murder. Dr Bhonsle re-located to the Netherlands, before settling at St Austell in Cornwall, where he became a very popular member of the community, whilst continuing as a GP and surgeon. He was affectionately known as 'Robbie' and died at the age of 93, in 2021.
              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
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