After the controversial fixture in Berlin in 1938 it would be sixteen years until Germany and England would lock horns on the football field again; during that time, the Second World War had thrown both countries and much of the rest of the world into six years of long and bloody conflict that made football something of an irrelevance.
The 1950s had seen a series of small shocks for the England team – first they were beaten by an unheralded United States in the 1950 World Cup finals, and three years later their long and proud unbeaten record at Fortress Wembley was unceremoniously destroyed by the magicians from Hungary, who were then expected to sweep aside all before them in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.
Germany meanwhile had found itself excluded from the world footballing community and had not played a part in the 1950 tournament, but against all odds had overcome the might of the Magical Magyars to win the title in Bern. When they made their first visit to Wembley in 1954 they were no longer a second-rate team England would have expected to beat with their eyes closed, but World Champions.
World Champions they might have been, but an inexperienced German side shorn of a number of the heroes of Bern provided little in the way of resistance in facing a solid but ageing England team, falling to a comprehensive 3-1 defeat. The composition of both teams would be reversed when a more experienced German team took on a youthful England in Berlin two years later, but the scoreline would remain the same as in 1954 as the young lions strolled to an easy victory as Germany once more failed to break their duck.