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Seven Gunners selected for England

Story Highlights
  • The Battle of Highbury 1934
  • Arsenal players in England's 1934 squad
  • Frank Moss, George Male, Eddie Hapgood, Wilf Copping, Ray Bowden, Ted Drake, and Cliff Bastin
  • Injuries in the 1934 England vs Italy match
  • England's 3-2 victory over Italy in 1934
  • Arsenal's influence on English football in 1934
On the foggy afternoon of November 14, 1934, Highbury, the fortress of Arsenal, witnessed a historic moment as it hosted an international friendly between England and the world champions, Italy. The game was no ordinary match; it was a thrilling clash that later got dubbed ‘The Battle of Highbury.’ England secured a 3-2 victory, but the highlight of the match was the extraordinary contribution by Arsenal to England’s squad. As Arsenal is fondly called, the Gunners had an unprecedented seven players in England’s starting lineup, a record that remains unbroken today. The selected players included stalwarts like Frank Moss, George Male, Eddie Hapgood, Wilf Copping, Ray Bowden, Ted Drake, and Cliff Bastin. The occasion was doubly special for Hapgood, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time, and for Drake and Male, who earned their first caps for England.

Arsenal players in England’s 1934 squad!

The intense competition on the field was marked by bruising challenges, leading to several injuries. Drake’s tackle left Italy’s center-half Monti with a broken foot, reducing the Azzurri to 10 men for almost the entire match. However, the Italians didn’t go down without a fight. Meazza’s brace in the second half added a nerve-wracking edge to the game, but England, courtesy of an early three-goal lead and a sterling performance from Arsenal’s goalkeeper Moss, managed to seal the win.
“Frank Moss, George Male, Eddie Hapgood, Wilf Copping, Ray Bowden, Ted Drake, and Cliff Bastin”.skycleat.com

The ‘Battle of Highbury’ was more than just a friendly match. It was considered the ‘real’ World Cup Final in England, given Italy’s first game since their triumph in the 1934 World Cup. Even though England had not participated in the tournament, their victorious performance, backed by Arsenal’s strong representation, established them as one of Europe’s strongest teams. This match serves as a glowing testament to Arsenal’s profound influence on English football, marking an unforgettable chapter in the annals of the sport.

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