Archivist: England v Sweden, 1947
England v Sweden, Highbury, November 1947: England great Tom Finney takes on a Swedish defender. England won the friendly match 4-2, with Blackpool striker Stan Mortensen scoring a hat-trick.
The line-ups on that day:
England: Frank Swift, Laurie Scott, George Hardwick (c), Phil Taylor, Neil Franklin, Billy Wright, Tom Finney, Stan Mortensen, Tommy Lawton, Wilf Mannion, Bob Langton
Sweden: Torsten Lindberg, Knut Nordahl, Erik Nilsson, Sune Andersson, Bertil Nordahl, Rune Emanuelsson, Malte Martensson, Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl, Nils Liedholm, Stellan Nilsson
England were once the best team in the world, and here’s the line-up to prove it (incidentally, history should judge them above Ramsey’s flawed World Cup-winning side of ’66).
Around this time, England beat Italy (basically the golden Torino side) 4-0 in Turin, crushed a not-bad Portugal 10-0 in Lisbon, beat Scotland 2-0 in Glasgow and stuffed Belgium 5-2, also away from home. They took on all-comers from Europe and beat them easily. The 1950 World Cup would be a wake-up call, with Puskas and co. in the wings, but in the five years after the end of WWII, the English press could hype their national side to the hilt with complete justification.