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.