Fifty years ago England played ‘Rest of the World’ to celebrate The FA’s centenary
On 23 October 1963 at Wembley Stadium, England played a ‘Rest of the World’ team selected by FIFA to celebrate The FA’s centenary.
The Three Lions edged a thrilling encounter 2-1 with the winner coming three minutes from the end.
It was Alf Ramsey’s eighth match in charge and only his third at Wembley. It was refereed by a Scotsman and watched by a capacity crowd of 100,000.
The first half was goalless but certainly not without thrills. Jimmy Greaves, the Spurs striker, threaded his way through the ‘World’ defence before firing high into the net from a narrow angle.
The crowd went crazy but the referee had whistled for an infringement – in England’s favour.
The first goal came on 70 minutes. A Greaves shot was blocked and Southampton winger Terry Paine reacted quickest to shoot past Soskic, the substitute ‘keeper from Yugoslavia.
With just seven minutes left, Denis Law, combining brilliantly with Di Stefano and Puskas, turned sharply to beat Gordon Banks for 1-1. Greaves hit the woodwork as England pushed forward in search of the winner.
Soskic couldn’t hold a dipping, swerving shot from Bobby Charlton and Greaves nipped in to put the ball in the net for a famous victory.
The match was played on a Wednesday afternoon, the nearest to 26 October, the day on which The FA was founded back in 1863. It definitely had the right result.
1 Gordon Banks, 2 Jimmy Armfield (c), 3 Ray Wilson, 4 Gordon Milne, 5 Maurice Norman, 6 Bobby Moore, 7 Terry Paine, 8 Jimmy Greaves, 9 Bobby Smith, 10 George Eastham, 11 Bobby Charlton
Subs 12 Tony Waiters, 13 Ken Shellito, 14 Ron Flowers, 15 Tony Kay, 16 Joe Baker
Terry Paine 66, Jimmy Greaves 90
Rest of the World
1 Lev Yashin, 2 Djalma Santos, 3 Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, 4 Svatopluk Pluskal, 5 Ján Popluhár, 6 Josef Masopust, 7 Raymond Kopa, 8 Denis Law, 9 Alfredo di Stéfano (c), 10 Eusébio, 11 Francisco Gento
Subs 6 Jim Baxter, 1 Milutin Šoškić, 9 Uwe Seeler, 10 Ferenc Puskas, 2 Luis Eyzaguirre
Bob Davidson (Scotland)
This coming Saturday, The FA will celebrate another anniversary with a gala dinner at the Connaught Rooms in central London, on the site where it was formed exactly 150 years earlier.