Arriving in Rio de Janeiro the team stayed on Copacabana Beach. Bert was impressed by the statue of “Christ the Redeemer” on Copacabana mountain. So impressed was he that he named his house after it - “Corcovado”. Rio was so different to European cities; the night life was so boisterous that the England team moved up into the mountains to a gold mining village as guests of the Monte Ray Gold Mining Company. The team had one opportunity of travelling to Sugar Loaf Mountain and took the cable car to the top.
The first game to be played in the competition was Brazil against Mexico. The following day England played their first game against Chile in the same stadium. England won 2-0 but the conditions they were playing in were totally alien to the England players. It was so hot and humid and they were not surprised to find that oxygen and breathing aids were on hand in the dressing room.
Four days later England met the USA in Bela Horizonte. The facilities were nowhere near as good as England expected for a World Cup venue. The match against the USA has been well documented but Bert thought that taking into consideration the amount of possession England had they could have won 10-1. One of the reasons for this result was that this was the first-time England had experienced the difficulties of playing against a side who chose to play with 10 defenders.
A sad footnote to the game was that the player who scored for the USA was Joe Gaetjens. He came from Haiti and returned home to his dry-cleaning business. During the reign of Papa Doc Duvalier, Joe was taken away and believed to have been shot by the Tonton Macoute.
The results of the games are as follows: