The England Squad



England was drawn in Pool II, which also consisted of Chile, Spain and the United States. Chile and the United States were both unknown quantities, but Spain had been the first team non-British team to beat England in Madrid in 1929. England arrived five days before their first match.
England played their first World Cup Finals match in the Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro on the 25th June against Chile.

The team was a settled one apart from at centre-half where Neil Franklin had been replaced by Laurie Hughes, who was suspended by the FA for breaking his contract with Stoke. Chile only had one full-time professional who had played in England. The team struggled to win the match 2-0, with goals from Stan Mortensen (27th minute) and Wilf Mannion (52nd minute) with Chile hitting the English woodwork twice.

England v Chile
Venue: Rio de Janeiro - Estadio Maracana
Date: 25th June 1950
Attendance: 29,703
Score: England 2 v 0 Chile
ENGLAND: Williams, Ramsey, Aston, Wright, Hughes, Dickinson, Finney, Mortensen, Bentley, Mannion, Mullen.
CHILE: Livingstone, Farias, Roldan, Alvarez, Busquet, Carvalho, Mayanes, Cremaschi, Robledo, Muñoz, Diaz.
Goals: England: Mortensen 27 Mannion 52

The next match against the United States at the Estadio Miniero, Belo Horizonte on the 29th June provided the biggest shock of the competition. The greatly unfancied United States team beat England 1-0 with a goal from Joe Gaetjens (37th minute), despite almost constant English attacking, to inflict their first World Cup Finals defeat.

England v USA

Venue: Belo Horizonte- Estadio Mineiro
Date: June 29th
Attendance: 10,151
Score: USA 1 v 0 England
UNITED STATES: Borghi, Keough, Maca, McIlvenny, Colombo, Bahr, Wallace, J. Souza, Gaetjens, Pariani, E. Souza.
ENGLAND: Williams, Ramsey, Aston, Wright, Hughes, Dickinson, Finney, Mortensen, Bentley, Mannion, Mullen.
Goals: USA Gaetjens 37

England could still qualify if they beat Spain, but despite wholesale changes (bringing in Stanley Matthews and Bill Eckersley, switching Tom Finney to the left side, and replacing Roy Bentley and Wilf Mannion with Jackie Milburn and Eddie Bailey) they lost the final group match at the Estadio Maracana on the 2nd July to Spain 1-0.

England v Spain

Venue: Rio de Janeiro - Estadio Maracana
Date: 2nd July
Attendance: 74,462
Score: Spain 1 v 0 England
SPAIN: Ramallets, Alonzo, Parra, J.Gonzalvo, M.Gonzalvo, Puchades, Basora, Panizo, Zarra, Igoa, Gainza.
ENGLAND: Williams, Ramsey, Eckersley, Wright, Hughes, Dickinson, Finney, Mortensen, Matthews, Bailey, Milburn.
Goals: Spain: Zarra 48

The English, who had been known as the “Kings of Football," went out in humiliation.