World Cup Wanderers: Sweden 1958

Ahead of this summer's competition in Russia, gets in the mood by reviewing all former editions of the biggest tournament in football and the World Cup Wanderers who were in action!

With less than three weeks to go until the start of the 2018 World Cup, our preview series continues with Sweden 1958 our next port of call!

Appearances: 4
Goals: 0
Stage reached: Group-stages

Appearances: 0
Goals: 0
Stage reached: Group-stages

Northern Ireland
Appearances: 5
Goals: 0
Stage reached: Quarter-finals

With Nat Lofthouse controversially left out of England's final 22-man squad for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, Tommy Banks and Eddie Hopkinson were Wanderers' sole representatives at the tournment after winning the FA Cup that summer, with further Whites manager Jimmy McIlory also named in the Northern Ireland squad.

Banks and Hopkinson were both relative newcomers to the Three Lions' set-up with the former earning his maiden call-up just before the tournament after the tragic passing of Roger Byrne in the Munich Air Disaster in February 1958.

Handed his international debut against USSR a month before the World Cup, the full-back was an ever-present for England as they suffered a disappointing group-stage exit.

Goals from Derek Kevan and Tom Finney saw the Three Lions recover from 2-0 down to claim a late draw against the USSR in their opening match before they drew 0-0 with eventual winners Brazil.

Twice coming from behind to claim another 2-2 draw, this time against Austria, in their final group game, a 1-0 play-off defeat to USSR ended Banks and England's World Cup before the knockout-stages with the full-back winning just one more international cap after the tournament.

Meanwhile, Hopkinson had started all three of England's British Home Championships fixtures that season as they won the competition along with Ireland, but would serve as reserve to Colin McDonald throughout the tournament as he remained an unused squad member.  

The shot-stopper would win a further eight caps the following year, sharing another British Home Championships title with Ireland along the way, before his international career also came to an end. 

Elsewhere, McIIroy was an ever-present for Northern Ireland as they reached the quarter-finals in their first ever World Cup appearance.

The Irish opened the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Czechoslovakia before conceding an early lead as they lost 3-1 in their next outing against Argentina.

Twice taking the lead against West Germany in their final regular group game, Northern Ireland drew 2-2 to set up a play-off fixture against Czechoslovakia in what proved to be the tightest group in the competition. 

Coming from behind to triumph 2-1 AET to reach the knockout-stages, Northern Ireland and McIlroy's tournament was ended by a Just Fontaine-inspired France in the quarter-finals as they suffered a 4-0 defeat.

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