Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Team Pages: England  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather


Click on a name for more detailed team information:

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Nigeria
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Rep of Ireland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Tunisia
Turkey
USA
Uruguay

Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
England disappointed before '66
Stanley Matthews (l), Duncan Edwards and captain Billy Wright train with England in 1957
England missed the first three World Cups
England's World Cup win of 1966 was a bolt from the blue if their form in previous tournaments was anything to go by.

England had only reached the quarter-finals twice in four attempts up to that point.

And they also suffered the humiliation of defeat to the USA in their first competition in 1950, one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930, nearly three decades after Fifa - the world's governing body set up in 1904 - had first mooted it.

It was set up as a showpiece for the world's best professionals, who were officially barred from the amateur Olympic tournaments of 1924 and 1928, both won by Uruguay.

Stanley Matthews
Stanley Matthews played in Switzerland in 1954 at the age of 39
Most players were professionals in all but name anyway.

But the British refused to embrace the new era and split from Fifa over the issue of payment to amateurs.

So England missed the first tournament, won by the hosts, as well as Italy in 1934 and France in 1938.

They rejoined Fifa in 1946 and went to Brazil four years later as one of the favourites.

England were captained by Billy Wright and included the likes of Tom Finney, Wilf Mannion and the evergreen Stanley Matthews, still at his best at the age of 35.

Humiliating

At the still unfinished 200,000 capacity Maracana stadium England beat Chile 2-0 in their opening match.

They subsequently trooped off to Belo Horizonte - a small stadium with an uneven pitch - for a formality against the USA.

The Americans were largely made up of expatriates from England and Scotland who had become professionals in the fledgling US leagues.

Bobby Charlton scored on his debut against Scotland in 1958
Bobby Charlton sat on the bench throughout the 1958 tournament
Even USA manager Bill Jeffrey admitted his side had no chance and several of his players stayed up into the small hours the night before the game.

England duly set up camp in America's half but could not find the back of the net.

And eight minutes before half-time America's Bahr shot from the left and Gaetjens headed it home.

England continued to press forward but the USA held firm for a famous victory.

England also lost to Spain in their final group match and made a humiliating early exit.

Exciting

Four years later the tournament moved to Switzerland and England progressed to the quarter-finals.

But they were dumped out 4-2 by 1930 and 1950 champions Uruguay.

England arrived in Sweden 1958 with no Matthews or Nat Lofthouse, despite formidable form domestically.

Instead they featured a youthful Bobby Robson and exciting Manchester United talent Bobby Charlton, who had survived the Munich aircrash only months earlier.

He was selected for the trip after scoring against Scotland on his debut, the first of a record 49 goals for England from 106 games.

But Charlton was left on the bench for the entire tournament while a 17-year-old Brazilian called Pele dazzled the world.

Striker Jimmy Greaves played in the 1962 World Cup
Striker Jimmy Greaves played in the 1962 World Cup
England were beaten in a play-off for a place in the quarter-finals by the Soviet Union.

In Chile in 1962 England sported a young Cockney striking sensation called Jimmy Greaves and a fresh but solid right-half by the name of Bobby Moore.

England progressed to the quarter-finals but after drawing 1-1 at half-time with Brazil they slumped 3-1 to the eventual champions.

But four years later England would be celebrating as Bobby Moore would lift the Jules Rimet trophy on home soil.

INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
ENGLAND
 TEAMS
 ENGLAND
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
 SQUAD PROFILES
 RESULTS/REPORTS

GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

 WATCH/LISTEN
 BBC SPORT BULLETINS
 OUR BEST VIDEO
More Audio/Video




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy