The ‘beautiful’ game?

What was the 'battle of Highbury?'

In November 1934, Italy, winners that summer of the second football World Cup, came to Highbury, Arsenal’s ground, to play England in a ‘friendly’ international. England had not taken part in the World Cup and the match was billed as a game to decide the ‘real’ world champions. The match, in the words of a contemporary newspaper account, was “of an unusually robust character”. England’s captain, Eddie Hapgood, had his nose broken, Italy’s centre-half Luis Monti broke his foot, and other players suffered injuries. England won the ‘battle of Highbury’ 3–2.