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Tuesday, 29 July 2008 22:12

AUSTRALIA VS ENGLAND - 1951

In 1951 an English professional team toured Australia, playing 20 games over a gruelling 10 week period. Despite missing players the quality of Milburn, Finney and Lofthouse, the Australian sides they met were no match for the seasoned professionals. Players such as Sewell, Hagan and Langton showed their class and were too competent for their Australian counterparts.

On June 30th, in Sydney, on a water soaked ground, the Australian side suffered their worst ever loss in International football, 17-0, at the time a world record defeat. This, along with the 1997 WC Qualifying 2-2 draw with Iran, is seen as the darkest days of Australian football.

There were many excuses as to why the Australians failed so dismally that day.

  • Players and officals agreed that England had built a brilliant combination in the 12 previous matches it had played on tour.
  • The waterlogged pitch was also to blame, as the muddy conditions robbed Australia of it's only weapon, speed.
  • The Englishman had lot more experience playing surfaces of this type, and
  • The Australian team, had not had one training run together before the match.

Former Australian International "Tugger" Bryant, analysing the match for the Sydney Morning Herald wrote, "Australian could not handle the mud whereas England revelled in it and ran rings around the Australians. It became farcical. Our players spent more times on the backs in the mud than on their feet. One spectator commented, "The only time they were on their feets was when the band played "God Save the Queen."

"At no time the home team show cohesive football. None of the defenders properly marked his opponent. Goalkeeper Norman Conquest faced a hopeless task, with the Englishman walking through our defence to deliver a barrage of shots. Australian centre-half Tom Jack was the only player in defence who showed any test form. Inside right Eric Hulme was outstanding in attack but had little support. England's forward line - Broome, Hagan, Clarke, Sewell and Hurst - had a field day and scored as the liked. England's defence was sound but hardly needed."

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The English FA recognises these games a 'B' Internationals.

The 1951 touring team comprised :

Goalkeepers    
E Burgin Sheffield United  
S Bartram Charlton Athletic  
     
Backs    
H Bamford Bristol Rovers

J McCue Stoke City  
F Lock Charlton Athletic  
     
Half Backs    
D Parker West Ham United  
R Flewin Portsmouth  
S Owen Luton Town  
J Shaw Sheffield United  
L Kieran Tranmere Rovers  
     
Forwards    
F Broome Notts County  
H Webster Bolton Wanderers  
W Smith Birmingham City  
I Clarke Portsmouth  
J Sewell Sheffield Wednesday  
J Hagan Sheffield United  
R Langton Bolton Wanderers  
G Hurst Charlton Athletic  

May 9 - England 4 - South Coast 0

May 16 - England 8 - NSW 1

May 22 - England 6 - Metropolis 2

May 26 - Australia 1 - England 4 (test) @ Sydney

Australia : Norman Conquest, Kevin O'Neill, Cec Drummond, Bob Lawrie (c), Tom Jack (vc), Eric Duff, Dick Kemp, George Russell, Frank Parsons, Malcolm Wild, Harry Robertson

Goal : Parsons 42'

England : Sam Bartram, Harry Bamford, Frank Lock, Joe Shaw, Reg Flewin (c), Leo Keiran, Gordon Hurst, Jack Sewell, Ike Clarke, Jim Hagan, Bobby Langton

Goals : Sewell 3' 15' Clarke 23' Hurst

May 30 - England 7 - Northern Districts 1

June 2 - England 3 - NSW 1

June 6 - England 5 - Victorian Country XI 0

June 9 - England 7 - Victoria 0

June 11 - Australian XI 1 - England 6 @ Melbourne

Australian XI : Ron Lord, Eric Heath, Cec Drummond, Bob Lawrie (c), Tom Jack, Eric Duff, Joe Wilson, George Russell, Gordon Nunn, Alec Heaney, J.MacKenzie

Goal : Flewin Own Goal

England : Edward Burgin, Harry Bamford, John McCue, John Shaw, Reg Flewin (c), Leo Kieran, Gordon Hurst, Jack Sewell, Ike Clarke, Bill Smith, Bobby Langton

Goals : Clarke (x3), Sewell (x2), Smith

June 16 - England 11 - Tasmania 0

June 19 - England 17 - Tasmania 0

June 23 - England 13 - Australian XI 1

Australian XI : Norman Conquest, G Coombes, Cec Drummond, E Busodini, Hedley Parkes, Kevin O'Neill, Jock Hodge, Eric Hulme, Gordon Nunn, Malcolm Wild, J.MacKenzie

England : Edward Burgin, Harry Bamford, John McCue, John Shaw, Reg Flewin (c), Leo Kieren, Jack Sewell, Jim Hgan, Ike Clarke, Frank Broome, Bobby Langton

Goals : Clarke (x4), Hagan (x4), Broome (x2), Sewell (x2), Langton

June 30 - Australia 0 - England 17 (test) 0 @ Sydney

Australia : Norman Conquest, Hedley Parkes, Cec Drummond, Bob Lawrie (c), Tom Jack, Eric Duff, Dick Kemp, Eric Hulme, Reg Date, Malcolm Wild, R MacKenzie

England : Sam Bartram, Harry Bamford, John McCue, Derek Parker, Reg Flewin (c), Joe Shaw, Gordon Hurst, Jack Sewell, Ike Clarke, Jim Hagan, Frank Broome

Goals : Sewell x6, Clarke x4, Hagan x3, Broome x3, Hurst

July 4 - England 7 - Queensland 1

July 7 - Australia 1 - England 4 (test) @ Brisbane

After the debacle in Sydney a week earlier, the Australian players got together 2 days before this match to try to develop a combination.

Having revelled in the mud of Sydney, the Englishmen this time mastered the granite type surface in Brisbane winning 4-1 infront of a crowd of over 23,000. They displayed their best form of the tour, in the opening 15 minutes, scoring 3 goals. They then went on the defensive, later explained by Wiseman, the English team manager, that the players did not want to take risks on the hard ground because they wanted to be fit when they returned home to their clubs.

(pictured right : Clarke scores in the 1st minute of the match past Ron Lord. Cec Drummond (No.3) and Bob Bignall (No.5) look on)

Australia : Ron Lord, Kevin O'Neill, Cec Drummond, Bob Lawrie (c), Bob Bignall, Eric Duff, Jock Hodge, Eric Hulme, Gordon Nunn, John McMahon, Harry Robertson

Goal : Robertson 29'

England : Sam Bartram, Harry Bamford, John McCue, Reg Flewin (c), Joe Shaw, Derek Parker, Gordon Hurst, Jack Sewell, Jim Hagan, Bobby Langton, Ike Clarke

Goals : Clarke x2, Hagan, Langton

July 11 - England 13 - Central Queensland 1

July 14 - Australia 1 - England 6 (test) @ Sydney

Australia : Ron Lord, Kevin O'Neill, Cec Drummond, Bob Lawrie (c), Robert Bignall, Eric Duff, Kevin Lake, Eric Hulme, Frank Parsons, John McMahon, Harry Robertson

Goal : Hulme pk

England : Sam Bartram, Harry Bamford, John McCue, Frank Lock, Syd Owen (c), Joe Shaw, Gordon Hurst, Frank Broome (Harry Webster), Jack Sewell, Ike Clarke, Bobby Langton

Goals : Webster (x3), Clarke, Hurst, Sewell

July 18 - England 5 - Granville 2

July 21 - Australia 0 - England 5 @ Newcastle

Australia : Ron Lord, Bob Bignall, Kevin O'Neill, Bob Lawrie (c), Tom Jack, Lex Gibb, Sid North, Eric Hulme, Gordon Nunn, Alec Heaney, Harry Robertson

England : Edward Burgin, Harry Bamford, John McCue, Derek Parker, Reg Flewin (c), Joe Shaw, Gordon Hurst, Jack Sewell, Ike Clarke, Bill Smith, Bobby Langton

Goals : Clarke x2, Sewell, Smith, Hurst

July 22 - England 2 - South Coast 0

Next - 1971 tour