International colleagues

Bert’s international colleagues pictured in 1949
from left to right, Hancocks, Pye, Mullen, Williams, Wright and Smyth

In October 1949 Billy Wright was making his 29th appearance for England against Wales in Cardiff and four of his teammates had played for England at this time Hancocks (2), Pye (2), Mullen (3) and Williams (6) while Smyth had played 6 times for Ireland.

Bert Williams is pictured here with another great goalkeeper, Frank Swift, from whom he took over in goal for England.  Frank was a wonderful man, a natural comedian and the life and soul of any party.  Bert recalls with affection his wonderful ventriloquist act with Stan Mortenson sitting on his knee.  Frank was over 6 feet tall and Stan 5 feet 9 inches.  Frank would put his hand up the back of Stan’s jacket and the act would commence, much to the amusement of the entire squad.

The team often flew BEA (British European Airways) and this menu card from Bert’s collection is quite revealing.  Currency regulations in 1950 informed the players that they could not take more than £5 sterling abroad.

© Soccer Nostalgia 2017

Designed and maintained by David Ainsworth