Media Index
England Football Online
Page Last Updated 9 May 2024


World Cup

Media Coverage
England on Television
Post-War (1947-50)

*Double Summer Time (GMT+2)

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The BBC re-launched its television service in 1946, but outside broadcasts were still limited to London. England games at Wembley, Highbury and Tottenham were transmitted live, although viewers missed out on the Sweden game in November 1947, because the cameras were being used for the following day's Royal Wedding of the Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen) and the Duke of Edinburgh. As a result, the only international match broadcast during that season was against the French amateur team at Ilford.

Jimmy Jewell*, who had refereed the first FA Cup Final to be televised in its entirety, in 1938, when he famously awarded the penalty that decided the game, in the last minute of extra time, was the BBC's first main football commentator after the war. He had also been manager of Norwich City, when war broke out. As well as the Cup Finals, Jewell also commentated on the 1948 Olympics and all of the England games, up until his sudden death, from a massive stroke, in October 1952.

Because of the geographical restrictions, whilst England were beating Scotland at Hampden Park in 1950, television viewers had to make do with live coverage of Wembley's first schoolboy international. This was an unexpected ten-goal treat, though, with a 15-year-old Johnny Haynes inspiring England to an 8-2 victory against their Scottish counterparts.

The 1950 World Cup in Brazil just came too early for TV pictures of the tournament to be beamed around the world, so stories of England's embarrassing demise at the hands of the United States took a little longer before the reality hit home.

* For more on Jimmy Jewell's extraordinary life, listen to BBC Radio's podcast that was created following the publication of this page - 'The Lost Voice of Football".

Thanks to Nick Gilbey for his help in identifying the Jimmy Jewell commentaries, to Robert Pedley for confirming the broadcast of the Switzerland game and to Paul Hayes for his extensive research leading to a definitive record of televised football during this period.



Saturday, 12 April 1947 - England 1 Scotland 1 [0-1]
Empire Stadium, Wembley - Kick-off 3.00pm BST
Television (BBC) - 4:05pm - 4:40pm
Jimmy Jewell
(last 35 minutes only)


Saturday, 3 May 1947 - England 3 France 0 [0-0]
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury - Kick-off 3.30pm DST*
Television (BBC) - 3:20pm - 5:10pm
Jimmy Jewell and Alan Clarke

Other England Internationals Saturday 3rd April 1948 - Amateur
Lynn Road, Ilford
England 0 France 2 - Television (BBC) - 3.10pm - 4:55pm
commentator Jimmy Jewell



Thursday, 2 December 1948 -
England 6
Switzerland 0
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
- Kick-off 2.15pm GMT
Television (BBC) - 3:05pm - 4:00pm
Jimmy Jewell and Pat Landsberg
(second half only)
Notes This game was due to have been played the day before and the whole game broadcast live, but a thick blanket of fog stretching all over the east of the country forced a postponement for 24 hours.


Saturday, 9 April 1949 - England 1 Scotland 3 [0-1]
Empire Stadium, Wembley - Kick-off 3.00pm BST
Television (BBC) - 2:45pm - 4:40pm
Jimmy Jewell and Peter Lloyd



Wednesday, 30 November 1949 - England 2 Italy 0 [0-0]
White Hart Lane, Tottenham - Kick-off 2.15pm GMT
Television (BBC) - 2:05pm - 4:05pm
Jimmy Jewell and Peter Lloyd
Newsreel (BBC) - Friday 2nd December
8:30pm - 8:45pm
(following News at a Glance)
(recorded highlights - first half only)
Other England Internationals Saturday 15th April 1950 - Schoolboys
Empire Stadium, Wembley
England 8 Scotland 2 - Television (BBC) - 2:45pm - 4:30pm
commentators Jimmy Jewell and Peter Lloyd