London XI

Last updated

London XI
Manager Joe Mears
League Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
1955–58 Runners-up

The London XI was a football team that represented the city of London in the 1955–58 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.


The competition began in 1955, and the first tournament took three years to complete. The entrants were the major football team of each city which held a Trade Fair. Like many cities taking part, London had several strong teams; however, rules stated that there could only be a single team from each city. [1] It was decided to create a team especially for the tournament, using the best players from each London-based Football League club (at the time 11 clubs; Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge did not join the League until later, when it was linked with the National League). Membership of the team varied considerably between matches, to the effect that as many as 54 players took part in the 8 matches of the campaign.

The London XI, managed by Chelsea chairman Joe Mears, reached the final of the cup, after coming top of a group that included special XI teams from Basel and Frankfurt, and then beating Lausanne Sports. London lost 8–2 on aggregate over two legs to FC Barcelona.

The London XI only competed in the 1955–58 tournament, all future Inter-Cities Fairs Cups involving a London team were contested by individual clubs from London instead.

A unified London side competed in friendly matches even earlier: a "London" team represented the FA in the historic 1866 London v Sheffield match, there were several challenges against the Glasgow FA during the 1880s, [2] and "London" lost 4-2 to Corinthians on 21 November 1903 in front of 1500, [3] described as Corinthians "had an easy task" in a 1904 Times article. [4] Two other matches have been referenced – an "annual match" versus Birmingham on 3 October 1910 and a match versus Paris on 18 December 1910. [5]

Teams and match details

Group stage

Basel XI 0–5 London XI – 4 June 1955

Team: Ron Reynolds (Tot), Peter Sillett (Che), Jim Fotheringham (Ars), Stan Willemse (Che), Ken Armstrong (Che), Derek Saunders (Che), Harry Hooper (Wes), Johnny Haynes (Ful), Cliff Holton (Ars), Eddie Firmani (Cha), Billy Kiernan (Cha).
Substitute: Brian Nicholas (QPR), on for Saunders 37'.
Scorers: Firmani 35', Holton 37', 43', 74', Hooper 81'. [lower-alpha 1]

London XI 3–2 Frankfurt XI  – 26 October 1955 at Wembley Stadium

Team: Ted Ditchburn (Tot), Peter Sillett (Che), Stan Willemse (Che), Danny Blanchflower (Tot), Charlie Hurley (Mil), Cyril Hammond (Cha), Vic Groves (Ley), Bobby Robson (Ful), Bedford Jezzard (Ful), Roy Bentley (Che), Charlie Mitten (Ful).
Scorers: Jezzard 46', 76', Robson 60'.

London XI 1–0 Basel XI  – 4 May 1956 at White Hart Lane

Team: Jack Kelsey (Ars), Peter Sillett (Che), John Hewie (Cha), Danny Blanchflower (Tot), Stan Wicks (Che), Ken Coote (Bre), Jim Lewis (Che), Derek Tapscott (Ars), Cliff Holton (Ars), Bobby Cameron (QPR), George Robb (Tot).
Scorers: Robb 87'.

Frankfurt XI 1–0 London XI – 27 March 1957

Team: Ron Reynolds (Tot), John Bond (Wes), Peter Sillett (Che), Ken Armstrong (Che), Malcolm Allison (Wes), Tony Marchi (Tot), Terry Medwin (Tot), Stuart Leary (Cha), David Herd (Ars), Johnny Haynes (Ful), Billy Kiernan (Cha).


Lausanne Sports 2–1 London XI – 16 September 1957

Team: Ted Ditchburn (Tot), Stan Charlton (Ars), Dennis Evans (Ars), Brian Nicholas (Che), Jim Fotheringham (Ars), Phil McKnight (Ley), Peter Berry (Cry), Geoff Truett (Cry), Les Stubbs (Che), Phil Woosnam (Ley), Joe Haverty (Ars).
Scorers: Haverty 70'.

London XI 2–0 Lausanne Sports  – 23 October 1957 at Highbury

Team: Jack Kelsey (Ars), Stan Charlton (Ars), Peter Sillett (Che), Ken Coote (Bre), Bill Dodgin (Ars), Derek Saunders (Che), Roy Dwight (Ful), Jimmy Greaves (Che), Cliff Holton (Ars), Johnny Haynes (Ful), Billy Kiernan (Cha).
Scorers: Greaves 10', Holton 76'.

London won 3–2 on aggregate


London XI 2–2 CF Barcelona  – 5 March 1958 at Stamford Bridge

Team: Jack Kelsey (Ars), Peter Sillett (Che), Jim Langley (Ful), Danny Blanchflower (Tot), Maurice Norman (Tot), Ken Coote (Bre), Vic Groves (Ars), Jimmy Greaves (Che), Bobby Smith (Tot), Johnny Haynes (Ful), George Robb (Tot).
Scorers: Greaves 10', Langley (pen) 88'.

CF Barcelona 6–0 London XI – 1 May 1958

Team: Jack Kelsey (Ars), George Wright (Ley), Noel Cantwell (Wes), Danny Blanchflower (Tot), Ken Brown (Wes), Dave Bowen (Ars), Terry Medwin (Tot), Vic Groves (Ars), Bobby Smith (Tot), Jimmy Bloomfield (Ars), Jim Lewis (Che)

CF Barcelona won 8–2 on aggregate


Ars Arsenal; Bre Brentford; Cha Charlton Athletic; Che Chelsea; Cry Crystal Palace; Ful Fulham; Ley Leyton Orient; Mil Millwall; QPR Queens Park Rangers; Tot Tottenham Hotspur; Wes West Ham United

London v Glasgow

#DateVenueAtt.ScoreLondon goalscorersRef.
120 January 1883 Hampden Park (H)5,000 [9]
215 December 1883 Kennington Oval (A)3,500 [9]
320 December 1884Hampden Park (H)5000 [9]
45 December 1885Kennington Oval (H)2000 [9]
527 November 1886Hampden Park (H)4000 [9]
63 March 1888Kennington Oval (A)Lindley
Burns (2)
[9] [10]
723 March 1889Hampden Park (H)scrimmage [9] [11]
825 January 1890Kennington Oval (A) [9]

See also


  1. Some sources give the final goal to Eddie Firmani. [7] [8]

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