World Cup 1966: Is this our final celebration?


AS football remembered the 50th anniversary of England’s finest footballing two hours, somebody in Australia tweeted, “can you believe it, they are still crowing about something that happened 50 years ago – have they not go anything better to do?”

Actually, as far as football goes, we do not have anything for notable to commemorate. Sad as that may seem, winning the World Cup in 1966 is an important historical date in modern British history. And as time goes by, its relevance will grow and the benefit of hindsight will allow academics to over-inflate its relevance. For the many people that watched the game on July 30 2016 in memory of a fine achievement, it was just great fun!

It may be, though, that the 50th anniversary may signal the end of the “great anniversary” of 1966. By the time 75 years comes around, nobody will have been at the game – or precious few – and the men who were the red shirt of England will have passed away.

Game of the People has penned a few pieces on 1966, and here they are:

How non-league welcomed the heroes of ‘66 A lack of opportunity at the highest level led some of the 1966 squad to seek solace in non-league football. How strange it must have been to see the likes of Hurst, Moore and Peters turning up at this level after the lofty heights of their achievement.

Full story:

Last hurrah: The meaning of 1966 Time has a habit of distorting history and, to some extent, that’s happening right now. Some people would  like to think there’s some deep link between the World Cup “coming home” and the “Swinging Sixties”. In terms of chronology, they cannot be disconnected, but England’s success on the football field has no relation to the artistic and popular cultural movements of the time.

Full story:

England really were world champions in 1966 Were England really the best team in the world when they beat West Germany 4-2 in the final in 1966? Actually, they pretty much were not far off it. Over a four-year period between 1963 and the end of 1966, England’s record was almost the best in the world.

Full story:

Football Read Review: A new slant on that 1966 story – 1966 and not all that Anyone who wants to know about football before, during and after 1966 should read this, if only to receive confirmation that some things never change. Before the final, the Daily Mail commented: “If Germany beat us today at our national sport, we can always point out to them that we have recently beaten them twice at theirs.”

Full story:

The [almost] forgotten men of 1966 World Cups can often be the end or beginning of a glittering international career. For the men that lined-up on that glorious afternoon for English football, the World Cup final of 1966 meant they could benefit from the loyalty of Sir Alf Ramsey for some time – critics might say too much time. For the other 11, their international careers barely lasted beyond the celebrations.

Full story:

Finally, Game of the People proposed that July 30 is an annual day of commemoration of England’s World Cup triumph. We wrote to a number of bodies to see if we could drum up support for “Association Day”. Click here to see the article





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