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1966: The day England won the World Cup

Long-suffering fans of the England football team can always look back with nostalgia on one year: 1966.

This was the year Bobby Moore's team defeated West Germany 4-2 in the World Cup final on 30 July, after a nail-biting and controversial match.

But two goals from Geoff Hurst in extra time secured a victory for the home team.

For the first - and only - time since the competition began in 1930, an England player was able to hold the Jules Rimet trophy aloft in triumph.

Your memories of England's triumph:

I remember the final well.

I was born in England and still living there at that time. My Dad was an avid hiker and so we went walking that day. I took along a small Phillips transistor and we huddled under a tree in the pouring rain during the extra time.

A great day, a great win, a great hike. Good memories.
John W Smith, Canada

I remember buying a ten-game season ticket two years prior to the World Cup Finals in 1966 - nine games at Wembley and one at White City.

I was 17 years old at the time.

I recall all of the emotions - singing, cheering and then crying at the final.

Now 40 years later, I regret one thing - not retaining a ticket stub or a programme.

The football in the 1960s was nowhere near as fast and as skillful as it is today, but the heroes of that 1966 final live on in our memories. One day, soon ... maybe ...
Graham Willsher, Canada

I was a football fan in those days, but, never dreaming England would even get past the preliminary rounds, went ahead with plans for an extended trip through Europe.

I was hitch-hiking in central Greece, on my way back from Istanbul, on the day England were playing Germany in the final. I was stuck at a small filling station in the middle of nowhere on a hot dusty day, when a young fellow came out of the office, noticed the union flag stitched on my rucksack, and began laughing and shouting at me.

I had no notion of what he meant until he began running around in the road kicking an imaginary football and then drew an outline of a "cup" in the dust.

He pointed at my flag, and shook my hand and I finally understood - England had won the world cup!

I will recall that moment for the rest of my days.
Jim F Goater, Japan

I remember the day England won the world cup very well, as it was my 15th birthday and I was on holiday on the Isle of Sheppy (sic).

I and a friend tried to get into a pub to watch the match in the childrens tv room, but we were thrown out.

So we had to listen to it on the radio. What suspense! When Germany equalised I thought it was all over, but you should never underestimate England. What hero's. They should have all been knighted!
John Wallis, Australia

My son, Paul was born on May 10th 1966. Lay on my knee during the broadcast of the game, cried when I cheered. After the game I drove into Worthing, Sussex, The main street - normally crowded on a Saturday afternoon - was deserted.
Bob Stone, Canada

I remember going out at half time for an errand and the streets were eerily quiet.

I lived in London E4 and watched the game on TV. Also being a lifelong West Ham United fan I was delighted about contributions of Moore, Hurst and Peters.
Jeffrey Nathan, Thailand

I was 17 when England beat West Germany 4-2.

My whole family watched it on TV except my dad.

He told me later that at half time Bromley high street was deserted and he could have driven down it at 70mph if he wanted.


" Even my 80-year-old grandma did a jig and she hated football. "

Peter Shepherd, Canada

Later that night I travelled to Scotland on the overnight train for my ACF camp.

I have never seen before or since the British public so emotional.

Strangers hugged me at the station, everyone was ecstatic, people were crying with joy, hugging and kissing complete strangers.

The train ride to Scotland was one big party and all the British reserve and class attitudes vanished for 24 hours.

Maybe we should do it again. Even my 80-year-old grandma did a jig and she hated football.
Peter Shepherd, Canada

I was eight and my bother was 10. He burst into tears when West Germany scored and ran out of the house. He only came home after England had won.
Keith, USA

Yes I remember this day very well. The entire nation was huddled around their TV sets.

During the match, I could not stand the strain any longer so I went out for a walk. The streets were deserted. No cars on the road or people in the street.

I walked past a neighbour's house as England scored the final goal to clinch the cup and was greeted by the householder, who came running out shouting, "We won! We Won!"
Richard Murch, US

My sister was born on the 6 July 1966. While England were on the pitch after the final whistle, my dad held her up to the TV and said, "My darling, you will never see this again in your lifetime". She is still waiting for him to be proven wrong :-)
Clare, UK

More memories
This is truly one of the most memorable days of my childhood, if not life.

July 1966 and World Cup fever had gripped our household.

My brother Steve had bought all the scrapbooks with the teams, a jigsaw, a World Cup Willy toy and other memorabilia with his pocket money.

We'd not been too interested at first but both my mother and I became enthralled as the competition progressed.

How we'd booed the Argentines! How we'd thrilled in the semi-final against Portugal! At times we could barely watch, but England had done it. We were in the Final!

However, near disaster loomed on our horizon. With a complete lack of foresight, my father managed to book our holiday to Cromer in Norfolk to start on 30 July 1966, little realising that this day would be the greatest in English soccer.

The only solution was to leave London as early as possible. So four of us, plus my Uncle Dennis, piled into his Austin A40 Farina. At 1445 we drove into Cromer. It was like a ghost town.

We made it to the guest house by 1455 and our cheery landlady greeted us with "Just drop the bags in the hall, they're just coming on to the pitch!" and ushered us into the lounge which was packed with all the other guests!

The rest, as they say, is history.
Barry Wilbourn, UK

I was there, at Wembley Stadium - an 11-year-old boy on the day that has proved to be the greatest day in our sporting history.
John A B Butler, England


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