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Peter Farrell


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Apparently posthumously honoured by FAI earlier today at Abbotstown.


I think it's similar to Everton Giants.. except for all time Ireland greats.


IanC may have more information on this.


This is a related article from a now defunct website regarding about Farrell and being part of the first team to beat England at home.


The game featured Peter Corr, Peter Farrell and future Everton manager Johnny Carey whom captained Ireland.


"Mission Impossible" screamed the headline. It continued, "fifty years ago, in an unknown country behind the Iron Curtain, a plan was hatched to create a team of football supermen who would destroy mighty England on their own turf. And it worked."


Hang on a second, I thought to myself. This is from the revered pages of Four Four Two – one of your better football publications on the market. An in-depth five page article detailing the achievements of those mighty Magyars from Hungary and the enormity of their historic victories over England during the 1953-54 season. If you were to believe all you read, Hungary became the first overseas side to defeat the then mighty England on home soil. Fact or fiction?


Some records will peddle the story as being factual but the truth of the matter is that England's very first defeat on home soil happened not in 1953 – but four seasons before, on September 21 in 1949, at Everton's Goodison Park. Who were the opponents that day? Not the mighty Ferenc Puskas led Magyars from Hungary but rather a depleted Republic of Ireland team who included not one but two Everton players in the ranks.


It really has become one of those results buried deep into the distant memory, and away from the public domain. Even the mightiest of sides suffer humiliation on home turf. It's not as 'sexy' to say you lost your unbeaten record to an unfashionable side when you can spin the myth that the legendary Hungarian side of the 1950s became the first overseas side to inflict defeat upon the unofficial "best team in the world" in their own back yard. Take your pick – who would you prefer to see stealing your thunder? The legendary Ferenc Puskas or Everton's own Peter Farrell?


I have always wondered why the English FA remains reluctant to accept that it was the Irish, and not the Hungarians, who inflicted that first defeat. Was there a sense of national shame with losing to an Irish eleven?


The English language is a wonderful beast; the play on words can sometimes tell one story and hide another. The official website of the Football Association willingly informs the reader that "more remarkable, though, is the fact that it was not until 1953, 81 years after the first international, that England lost at home to a national side from Europe, Hungary winning 6-3." Okay then, we've altered history and killed two birds with one stone – the defeat at Goodison Park never happened and Ireland is now outside Europe! Is it any wonder that the FA is in such a mess?


So, what happened that Wednesday afternoon at Goodison Park, late September 1949? It was the second meeting in three years between the sides. The very first international match between the two nations took place in 1946, at Dalymount Park in Dublin, where the visitors recorded a 1-0 victory, the decisive goal coming from the legendary Tom Finney. The second meeting between England and the Republic of Ireland, at Everton's Goodison Park, was arguably another home game for the travelling Irish as Liverpool, the city, has always been a home from home for the Irish. With Peter Farrell captaining Everton and playing for Ireland at the time, there was added interest locally.


Despite playing on his home ground, few people gave Farrell and his fellow Irishmen any chance of defeating England. Some things were set in stone in those days - the notion of an English side, laden with quality, being undone at home was not open for discussion.


However, it was to be a famous day for Irish soccer. Johnny (Jackie) Carey, footballer of the year in 1949, was to shackle Preston's Finney, ensuring there would be no repeat of the previous scoreline between the teams. He was a towering, elegant player whose versatility made the game look easy, always finding time and space to find a team mate. His leadership qualities would help shape the fortunes of Matt Busby's Manchester United over the coming years and after he hung up his boots he went into management – most famously at Everton of all places, where he managed for three seasons, from 1958 to 1961 before then Everton chairman, Sir John Moores, famously sacked him in the back of a taxi after a meeting in London.


Ireland opened the scoring, just past the half hour, when Aston Villa's centre half Con Martin scored from the penalty spot. Martin had previously played in goal for Ireland against Spain! Despite constant pressure throughout the entire second half, the Irish held firm and victory was secured with little more than five minutes remaining when Everton captain, Peter Farrell, skipped past his marker and coolly lofted the ball over advancing English keeper, Bert Williams, into an empty net. The Gwladys Street terrace celebrated one of their own as Farrell settled matters. History was made. The unthinkable had happened. England had been beaten on home soil by an overseas team for the first time. A full time scoreline reading England 0 Republic of Ireland 2 was not envisaged but happen it did.


The Liverpool Echo match report indicated the nation's frustration with England's shock defeat – "to think that Eire, who had extreme difficulty in raising eleven men of sufficient calibre for such a match should be the first 'outside' country to beat us on home ground. It shows plainly how far we have fallen from the all-conquering England of a few seasons ago. They have fairly put the cat amongst the England selectors' pigeons."


Goodison Park had witnessed football history. Some record books can state that Hungary were the first foreign conquerors of England but the 52,000 people who attended the international fixture between England and the Republic of Ireland on September 21st, 1949 know otherwise. The original 'mission impossible' had just been achieved.

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This is a related article from a now defunct website regarding about Farrell and being part of the first team to beat England at home.

They weren't the first team to beat England at home, home nations had already done that many times (Scotland had won at Wembley earlier the same year); it's just a question of whether Ireland were condsidered "British Isles" and thus not "overseas," or "European".


Good story though :) .

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