Modern Non-League History
England Representative Football 1950s
Another unbeaten season for England who had BIll Slater as an ‘ever present’ and a cap for Denis Saunders who had led Pegasus to their wonderful FA Amateur Cup triumph at Wembley in front of 100,000.
England appear to be very strong at this level and recorded an impressive 20 goals in 5 games. Good to see an Ashton United player selected which reflects well on the team talent scouts who must be watching many levels of the amateur game.
Fourth consecutive unbeaten season for England’s Amateurs in which The Pegasus successes were rewarded with caps for FC Alexander, G.H.McKenna, RG Lunn and HA Pawson
After regular ‘friendly’ amateur internationals between the ‘home’ countries, an official Amateur Home International Tournament was launched in 1953. Wales who had previously not been happy with the idea of fixtures with Ireland, were included and England, after four unbeaten years, were obvious favourites.
The Irish selected their squad from their own leagues, the Welsh players were spread across the British competitions, while Scotland relied heavily on Queens Park, the only Amateur club in the Scottish Football League. England obviously had a massive choice of talent, but here was the perfect stage for ‘the underdog’, especially if they were representing their country. Scotland certainly enjoyed their 4-1 victory at Wembley.
The Irish won the first title and England only avoided bottom place by beating Wales!Ireland skipper Frank Montgomery of Coleraine recieved the Trophy which had been presented for the competition by The Welsh F.A.
Much to the delight of the other three nations, England Amateurs’ pride had been severely dented after the first home countries championship. So with the experience of three of the powerful Bishop Auckland squad added to Wathamstow Avenue’s Vic Groves and Denzil
Flanagan plus stalwarts Laurie Topp, Ron Heckman, Dennis Studley and David Lewin
England Manager Norman Creek selected a squad that beat the Irish champions 5-0 in their first match. An exciting 3-3 draw in Scotland, a victory over the Welsh and a draw in a ‘friendly’ in France, followed to confirm a very satisfying first ‘home championship’ for the England Amateurs and an unbeaten season.
The home championship was a much closer affair with goal difference enabling England to retain the title. Once Again Bishop Auckland supplied the back bone of the squads with seven of their squad capped during the season but Wales first championship victory over England opened the championship up for an exciting finish.
Henry Dodkins (Ilford) and Les Farrar (Walthamstow Avenue) played in all five fixtures, which included ‘friendlies‘ against France and Germany, but their 4-1 victory over Ireland proved vital, as both countries finished with four points and Englands’ goal difference or average was superior.
Another championship title for England and a special memory for Hayes striker Champelovier whose hat trick against Wales inspired a wonderful 5-0 victory.The Welsh
had produced their best tournament results by finishing in second place with four points.
Three countries with four points underlined the fact that the competition was getting very much better balanced and this year it was the Welsh dropping back again with there losses.
The other countries all won two matches with Scotland thrilled to achieve a 3-2 victory at Wembley, but once again the English managed to score the goals that mattered in their victories and they finished on top of the table.
England 6 Ireland 2
England 0 Wales 0
Wales 3 Ireland 4
Ireland 0 Scotland 0
Wales 1 Scotland 3
Scotland 1 England 1
England 3 Finland 2
England 2 South Africa 2
France 1 England 0
Holland 1 England 3
Luxembourg 3 England 1
Germany 2 England 0
Once again goals mattered. For the third time since the inception of the Home Amateur International Championship there was no outright winner and for the third time England’s forwards produced title winning goal difference.
The England Amateurs were being given more fixtures but the result against Luxembourg
was certainly a shock. During the season, 35 amateur players won England caps with just Barnet’s centre half Alf D’arcy an ever present in the nine internationals.
I remember travelling down to Southend to see England clinch the championship with a 2-0 victory over Scotland. Two of my team mates at Corinthian-Casuals, Robin Trimby and Pat Neill, had won caps earlier in the season but missed this fixture and there were just four ‘ever presents’ for the season. The back three, Pinner, Gardener and Thompson plus Bobby Brown who had enjoyed a good season with Barnet and Fulham.
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