This film is part of Free

Great Britain v Rest of Europe (1955)

Teams comprising the best players from home and abroad compete in front of Belfast crowd.

Sponsored film 1955 3 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


Played in Belfast to celebrate the Irish Football Association's 75th anniversary, the game saw the GB team adopt Northern Ireland's green strip. The match was the last time all four home nations would join forces in a competitive fixture. Despite the presence of the great Stanley Matthews, the GB team were soundly beaten, Bernard Vukas scoring an 11-minute hat-trick as the Rest of Europe won 4-1.

Aside from Matthews, the GB team boasted a number of iconic footballers. The home crowd would have been especially delighted to note the presence of local boys Danny Blanchflower and Jimmy McIlroy. Representing Scotland was Liverpool legend Billy Liddell, whilst the formidable all-rounder John Charles was foremost amongst the Welsh contingent. Aside from hat-trick hero Vukas, the Rest of the World team boasted the great French footballer, Raymond Kopa. In 1956, Kopa joined Real Madrid and became part of one of the greatest club sides ever, claiming consecutive European Cups between 1957-59. These colourful rushes by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board come from National Museums Northern Ireland.