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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Swinging along route to '66
By John May

Images of the 1960s

Has there ever been a decade quite like the 1960s?

It was a time of momentous events from President Kennedy's assassination to man's first steps on the moon.

Woodstock, The Beatles and The Stones, Flower Power, the Summer Of Love and the Pill defined the culture of a generation, which reverberates to this day.

And, of course, there was England's World Cup victory in 1966 which cemented the country's place as the centre of the Swinging Sixties.

ALSO IN 1966
March: Labour wins General Election
May: The Beach Boys release Pet Sounds
August: Beatles play their last concert in San Francisco
October: Aberfan disaster kills 144

In the second of our three-part feature on England's triumph, two figures with different memories recall those heady days.

As a playing member of England's squad, former Southampton winger Terry Paine provides an insight into living the World Cup winning-dream.

Alan Simpson, in tandem with Ray Galton, wrote some of the 1960s' definitive comedy, with Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour.


Terry Paine

"We drew the first game against Uruguay 0-0 and there was a bit of unrest but Alf Ramsey put that to rest by taking us to Pinewood Studios. We met all the stars of the day like Sean Connery, Yul Brynner and Norman Wisdom.

"I got called into the team for the game against Mexico and I'm probably one of the few people to have played in the World Cup and not know anything about it.

"I was concussed early on when a Mexican defender headed me on the back of my head.

"Substitutes weren't allowed in those days so I had to carry on. The only thing I can remember is waking up on the treatment table. To this day I haven't got a clue how I played.

Former Southampton and England winger Terry Paine
Perhaps I shouldn't say this - but that goal never crossed the line
Terry Paine

"I felt groggy over the next five or six days and Alf called Alan Ball in and we know what a good job he did.

"Had I not been injured I might well have stayed in the team and played all the way through to the final, but it didn't work out like that.

"Within the squad the players had decided early on that whatever came from prize money or bonuses would be split among all 22 of us.

"Alf got us playing like a club side. It's a huge honour to be a member of that squad, the only disappointment is that I didn't get a medal. In those days, only those who played in the final got one.

"Alf did everything he could to make sure that no member of the squad felt left out at any time.

Average weekly wage - Male: 23.47
Average weekly wage - Female: 12.11
Average house price 1966: 5,000
Alan Simpson's nine-game World Cup ticket: 25 guineas (27.25)

"Obviously, in the days before substitutes, we weren't allowed on the bench, but had seats in the stands.

"On the day of the final we had strict instructions to make sure we made our way down to the touchline 10 minutes before the final whistle to be part of the celebrations.

"I was making my way down with George Eastham until we heard a roar and the Germans had equalised. We went back upstairs, but were down there for the end."

Alan Simpson

"I saw nine games - six games in England's qualifying group, the quarter-final, semi-final and final - in a good central seat for 25 guineas.

"It was wonderful to see England win the World Cup, but looking at it afterwards, they were quite dull.

"I think the team that went to Mexico in 1970 was better than the team that won the World Cup, but the 1966 team had everything go their way.

"Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton were world-class players but at the time you wouldn't have said too many of the others were.

"It was a functional team picked to do a job, which it did.

"As an Englishman, perhaps I shouldn't be saying this, but that third goal in the final never crossed the line!"


Alan Simpson

"There was a General Election in 1966 and the Prime Minister Harold Wilson was supposed to have asked the BBC to put back the transmission of Steptoe and Son.

"He was worried Labour voters would be watching that and wouldn't get down to vote. The BBC, rightly, refused to bow to his request.

Comedy write Alan Simpson
The stars of the 60s are still stars today
Writer Alan Simpson

"Socially, the 60s were a time of great freedom.

"The 50s had been a drab decade. The war was still in most people's minds and the legacy of that was that rationing was still in force

"The Swinging Sixties came as a result of the relaxing of tight morals and one of the biggest contributions to that was the Pill.

"The 60s were a revolution, it was the transmission from my grandmother's time, when she did the washing in a copper (boiler), to today.

" I suppose both Tony Hancock and Harold Steptoe were anti-heroes of the 1960s, they were both outsiders.

"The whole point of Tony's character was that he hadn't come to terms with the 1960s, while Harold was on the outside looking in, desperately trying to be part of it but held back by his father.

"I was into modern jazz, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson and Dizzie Gillespie.

Average weekly wage - Male: 571
Average weekly wage - Female: 437
Average house price: 186,431
Nine match tickets similar to Simpson's package: 1,351

"But it's interesting that the stars of the 60s are still stars today.

"The Beatles' music lives on, The Stones, The Who and Pink Floyd are still going."

Terry Paine

"Although we didn't earn the type of money players do today, the 1960s were still a great time to be a young man in a profession like football.

"We worked hard at our game, but we knew how to have a good time away from the pitch.

"Luxury items were increasingly in the price range of the working man. Most houses had fridges, which they didn't in the 1950s, and car ownership became the norm instead of the exception.

"Music-wise, I was always a big Elvis Presley fan. Although the Flower Power era came in around 1967, I was never into kaftans and beads and continued to wear long sideburns.

"I think at the end of the World Cup, there was a feeling that England was on top of the world, and the place to be.

"The music, the style, the fashions and the World Cup made England the centre of world attention."

1966: What do you remember?
24 May 06 |  World Cup 2006
World Cup 1966 flashback
06 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006


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