It’s 100 years since Hungary became the first team from outside of the British Isles to compete in the UFWC. Here’s a flashback.

HUNGARY 2-4 ENGLAND, 29 May 1909
Friendly, Millenaris Sporttelep, Budapest
Scorers: Kesmarky, Grosz (Hungary); Woodward (2), Bridgett, Fleming (England)

In the UFWC’s 99th title match Hungary became the very first team from outside of the British home nations to take a bite at the UFWC.

For 37 years the title was passed exclusively between England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. England had already played European opposition outside of the UFWC, beating Hungary – and Austria and Bohemia – in the previous year. Now, having taken the title from Wales in March and successfully defended it against Scotland in April, England took the title into a short post-season continental tour.

Hungary were one of the oldest continental international football teams, having played their first international match against Austria in 1902. They were also one of the earliest members of the recently-formed FIFA. They had won more games than they had lost, but those games had been against fellow fledgling footballing nations, and Hungary were no real match for the experienced English.

Sunderland’s George Bridgett scored the first goal in front of 10,000 spectators after just five minutes. Vivian Woodward of Spurs and Harold Fleming of Swindon Town added to the score to give England a 3-1 half-time lead. Skipper Woodward netted a fourth in the second half to achieve the 4-2 victory.

Two days later the sides met for a rematch – and the landmark 100th UFWC title match. England named the same 11, and raced to a 5-0 half-time lead. The final score was 8-2, with Woodward hitting four, Fleming grabbing two, and George Holley of Sunderland also netting twice. The match marked the final international appearance of Evelyn Lintott, the Bradford City right half, who was killed in heroic circumstances at the Somme in 1916.

The day after beating Hungary 8-2, the same team – minus Lintott – beat Austria 8-1 in Vienna. But England would not play outside of the British Isles again until 1921, and the UFWC title continued to be passed between the British home nations.

About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.