The Black-and-White Years: Tom Finney skins Belgian defender at the 1954 World Cup

Ollie Irish

18th, December 2009



England winger Tom Finney beats Belgian defender Marcel Dries and prepares to cross from the left flank, during England’s opening group game at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.

The match in Basel was a thriller and ended 4-4, as a Jimmy Dickinson own goal in the 94th minute robbed the English of the win. England still topped their pool thanks to a 2-0 win over the hosts – but they were then knocked out by Uruguay in the quarter finals.

I love this picture. It puts you out there on the pitch – you can feel the Belgian’s desperation as he tries to scramble back and tackle Finney. The composed look on Finney’s face is also priceless – a master at work, totally sure in his every step; England has not produced many better players than the Preston Plumber.

Photo: Topham Picturepoint/PA (Right-click image to see the full-sized version)