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Match of the Century
England v Hungary 1953

Match of the Century

England v Hungary 1953

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England refuse tactical advice and get walloped 6-3
George Raynor (pictured above) has been mentioned previously here on footysphere. He is the most successful English international manager of all-time; not with England but with Sweden. On the eve of tonight’s England match with Hungary it’s worth mentioning some advice he gave to the English FA back in 1953.
Raynor was in charge of the Swedish team that travelled to Budapest in November of 1953. The Hungarians at this time were known as the Golden Team and history has proven them to be one of the finest international sides of all-time. Between 1949 and 1956 the Hungarians were unbeatable at home but Raynor did his homework and his tactics ensured that the Swedes left with a creditable 2-2 draw under their belts. One of only four times that the Hungarians failed to win in Budapest during this era.
Ten days after the draw with Sweden the Hungarians travelled to Wembley for a showdown with England who were undefeated at home to continental opposition. Raynor tried to give the English some sound tactical advice. Man-marking Nandor Hidegkuti was he claimed the key to stopping the Hungarians. His advice met with opposition and by all accounts he was told, “Can you really expect Stanley Matthews to track back?”
Of course Hidegkuti wasn’t man-marked and he went on to score a hattrick as Hungary demolished England 6-3 in what became known as the Match of the Century.
Exporting International Managers

England refuse tactical advice and get walloped 6-3

George Raynor (pictured above) has been mentioned previously here on footysphere. He is the most successful English international manager of all-time; not with England but with Sweden. On the eve of tonight’s England match with Hungary it’s worth mentioning some advice he gave to the English FA back in 1953.

Raynor was in charge of the Swedish team that travelled to Budapest in November of 1953. The Hungarians at this time were known as the Golden Team and history has proven them to be one of the finest international sides of all-time. Between 1949 and 1956 the Hungarians were unbeatable at home but Raynor did his homework and his tactics ensured that the Swedes left with a creditable 2-2 draw under their belts. One of only four times that the Hungarians failed to win in Budapest during this era.

Ten days after the draw with Sweden the Hungarians travelled to Wembley for a showdown with England who were undefeated at home to continental opposition. Raynor tried to give the English some sound tactical advice. Man-marking Nandor Hidegkuti was he claimed the key to stopping the Hungarians. His advice met with opposition and by all accounts he was told, “Can you really expect Stanley Matthews to track back?”

Of course Hidegkuti wasn’t man-marked and he went on to score a hattrick as Hungary demolished England 6-3 in what became known as the Match of the Century.

The Hungarians were so happy about their 6-3 victory they produced a special commemorative football stamp. Contrary to popular belief this wasn’t England’s first loss at home to foreign opposition. It was the first loss to continental opposition. Ireland (Eire) had been the first non-UK team to win on English soil when they beat England 2-0 at Goodison Park in 1949.

The Hungarians were so happy about their 6-3 victory they produced a special commemorative football stamp. Contrary to popular belief this wasn’t England’s first loss at home to foreign opposition. It was the first loss to continental opposition. Ireland (Eire) had been the first non-UK team to win on English soil when they beat England 2-0 at Goodison Park in 1949.

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Match of the Century 1953 England 3-6 Hungary

First floodlit fixture at White Hart Lane

Tottenham Hotspur v Racing Club de Paris (France) 1953

Tottenham Hotspur v Racing Club de Paris 29/09/53

  • A thrilling game that Spurs won 5-3 in front of nearly 28000 fans. It is claimed that the 2nd half was televised which would make this the first instance of a floodlit match shown on the television. However in the book A Complete Record of Sheffield United (page199) it is claimed that the 2nd half of the Millwall v Sheffield United game played on 29th March 1954 was the first floodlit football match to be televised. I don’t know which claim is correct.