- Tony Burns
- Don Howe
- Peter Storey
- Frank McLintock
- Terry Neill
- David Court
- Alan Skirton
- Jon Sammels
- Joe Baker
- George Eastham
- George Armstrong
- Gilson Porto
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
Tuesday, November 16, 1965
A chilly November evening in 1965 witnessed a much anticipated fixture in north London as the exotic Samba skills of world champions Brazil headed to Highbury to take on Billy Wright's Arsenal. Brazil were on a European Tour which acted as a useful fact finding mission with the World Cup, hosted in England of course, just eight months away.
For the Gunners faithful, the prospect of seeing undoubtedly the world's best player in his prime was a major incentive and the matchday programmes leading up to the fixture included a full page picture of the man in question emblazoned with "The Great Pele is here on November 16".
Unfortunately Pele's club Santos withdrew their players in the lead up to the game, which denied the fans a glimpse of the already legendary striker, who was also supposed to be presenting a gold medallion to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on the day the fixture also marked a celebration of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme which was in its tenth year.
Though no Santos players were involved, Brazil did still have some star names in their squad, primarily from the Corinthians club. These included experienced internationals Marcial, Dino Sani, who had replaced Jimmy Greaves at AC Milan earlier in his career, Marcos and Flavio, who had scored in Brazil's 3-0 victory over Russia four months earlier.
The youngest member of the travelling squad was 20 year-old midfielder Rivelino, also from Corinthians, who went on to be an all-time great for Brazil playing in three World Cups and winning 122 caps, scoring 43 goals.
Arsenal fielded a young team which included five players (Tony Burns, Peter Storey, David Court, Jon Sammels and George Armstrong) who were 21 or younger and they proved to have too much zest for the occasion as they comfortably beat Brazil playing in a change kit of blue shirts and shorts - with a goal in each half from Jon Sammels.
It was a great result for a team struggling in the league Arsenal finished 14th that season, spelling the end of Billy Wright's reign as manager.
With thanks to Andy Exley and the Arsenal programme team. Read the full story in Saturday's Brazil v Argentina programme.Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Aug 2006