England beat Germany on this day in the year before war was declared.
England faced Germany in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on this day in 1938. The Second World War was only 16 months away.
It was an infamous match for two reasons. The England team were obliged to give the raised arm ‘Nazi’ salute to an enormous crowd of 110,000 that included Goebbels and Goering, and then proceeded to thrash their hosts.
There would have been huge political dividends from a German victory over the football’s inventors and its unofficial World Champions. They had trained hard for two weeks in the Black Forest and were clearly desperate to win.
But England were too good for them, Sheffield Wednesday’s Jackie Robinson scoring twice in a 6-3 victory. He was only 19.
When West Ham’s Len Goulden fired in a volley for the sixth goal, the net actually came away from the crossbar. It was the final insult.
Eddie Hapgood, England’s captain, said: “I’ve been in a shipwreck, a train cash, and inches short of a plane crash but the worst (thing) of my life was giving the Nazi salute in Berlin."