1946 - 1959


Walter Winterbottom becomes the first National Coach of England.

England re-joins FIFA after the 1928 dispute.

Derby County win the first FA Cup in the aftermath of the war by beating Charlton Athletic 4-1 at Wembley.


Tommy Lawton becomes the first £20,000 transfer when he moves from Chelsea to Notts County.

Charlton beat Burnley 1-0 in the FA Cup Final.


Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews wins the first Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award.

The total attendance for the season rose again, topping 40 million for the first time and it would pass 41.2 million the following year.


England suffer their first defeat on home soil by a foreign country losing 0-2 to the Republic of Ireland at Goodison Park in front of 52,000 spectators on September 21st.

A record Football League attendance was set on December 27th, 1949 of 1,272,155 spectators.

Sports Report” is broadcast by BBC Radio for the first time.


The Football League increases the number of clubs from 88 to 92.

England take part in the World Cup for the first time.  The event was held in Brazil and won by Uruguay.

Portsmouth win the League championship for the second consecutive year.  The unexpected post-war success of the club was because the club attracted many ex-servicemen stationed in the town.


The increased use of floodlights, which were banned between 1930 and 1950, prompted the introduction of the white football.

The port of Manchester, trying to clear a backlog of ships caused by a strike, banned their workers from attending Manchester United’s FA Cup game with Arsenal.

The Football League reversed its decision to ban the broadcast of live commentaries from matches.


Hungary beat England 6-3 at Wembley, England’s second official defeat on home soil.

Alex James, the Raith Rovers, Preston North End, Arsenal and Scotland inside forward died aged 51.  He was one of the famous “Wembley Wizards” who thrashed England 5-1 at Wembley in 1928, scoring two of the goals.


UEFA, Union of European Football Associations is formed.

The fifth World Cup is held in Switzerland and won by West Germany.


First floodlit England international is played between England and Spain at Wembley.

First floodlit FA Cup game is played between Brierley Hill and Kidderminster.

Birmingham City become the first English club to participate in a European competition when they entered the Inter-City Fairs Cup and lost to Barcelona in the semi-final.


Portsmouth against Newcastle United becomes the first league game to be played under floodlights.

Real Madrid win the first European Cup.  Chelsea had been invited to play but were instructed to decline the invitation.

ITV’s first televised game was an FA Cup game between Bedford Town and Arsenal.

Football was finally exempted from entertainment tax, a temporary levy introduced by the government in 1916 to raise money for the first world war.


Juventus buy John Charles from Leeds United for a record £67,000.

Manchester United become the first British club to enter the European Cup, probably against the wishes of the Football Association.

Chelsea become the first team to fly to a League game when they flew to meet Newcastle United.

Len Shackleton, the “Clown Prince”, was finally forced to retire because of a recurring ankle injury.  A true great of the game and a wonderful entertainer he died in Grange-over-Sands in 2000 and was cremated in Lancaster on a cold, wet day.


The sixth World Cup is held in Sweden and was won by Brazil.  This tournament became the first World Cup to be televised.

Tottenham Hotspur celebrated the appointment of Bill Nicholson as their manager by beating Everton 10-4 in the highest scoring match in the First Division this century.

Everton become the first club to install under-soil heating to protect the pitch from frost.

Manchester United lose 8 of their players when the team’s plane crashes at Munich Airport returning from a European Cup match against Red Star Belgrade.


Billy Wright, the England captain, wins his 100th international cap and retires on 105.

The Third Division North and South are scrapped in favour of a national Third & Fourth Division.

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