Who scored the first ever goal for England at the FIFA World Cup finals?
Having joined the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in 1906, the Football Association (FA) left, for the second time, in 1928, following a dispute over the definition of amateurism and did not rejoin until 1946. Consequently, England did not enter the FIFA World Cup in 1930, 1934 or 1938 and, with the competition cancelled in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II, was not invited to take part until 1950.
England qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals, held in Brazil, by virtue of winning the 1949/50 Home Championship at the expense of Scotland, who also qualified, but withdrew from the competition. In Brazil, England was drawn in a first round group, or ‘pool’, consisting of Spain, Chile and the USA, with just the group winners to progress to the final round.
England started brightly enough, defeating Chile 2-0 at the do Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. Blackpool centre forward Stanley ‘Stan’ Mortensen scored the first ever goal for England in the tournament proper just before half-time and Middlesbrough inside forward Wilfred ‘Wilf’ Mannion, a.k.a. ‘The Golden Boy’, added a second afterwards. Sadly, though, England did not score again, suffering a shock 1-0 defeat by the USA at Estádio Independência in Belo Horizonte and losing to Spain, by the same scoreline, back at Estádio do Maracanã in the final group match.