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Last Updated: Monday, 26 May, 2003, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Q&A: George Cohen
George Cohen after receiving his MBE at Buckingham Palace

1966 World Cup winner George Cohen joined us to answer your e-mails.

Cohen played right-back in England's finest hour and was an ever-present in the 1966 tournament.

He made his name playing for Fulham and was singled out by George Best as "the best full-back I ever played against".

His book, "George Cohen: The Autobiography", also tells of his fight against cancer and the tragic murder of his brother (the father of England rugby international Ben Cohen).

ALL the people whose questions are published below win signed copies of George's book.


Phil Lloyd-Bushell, England

Do you still keep in contact with the England players from the 1966 World Cup?

Every year we have three days together at a particular venue around the country and play a bit of golf and individually we see each other quite a lot. It's always good to see certain individuals every six or seven weeks.


Steve Curley, Lincoln

George, do you think you will ever see the English team win a World Cup again?

I think it's going to be very difficult. World Cups are going to be regionalised now and it's hard for Englishmen to play in the southern hemisphere in that heat and humidity as we saw in Japan last year.

We've been going through a difficult time, I think the amount of foreign imports into the English game and the Premiership has hindered the international game and stopped the youngsters coming through the ranks.


Chris Lupton, Harrogate

Obviously football has evolved over the years, but do you think the game as a whole was better when you played, or nowadays, with all the money, much more coverage, and the chance for players from all over the globe to be seen and admired by the fans?

At the moment great players are coming from Brazil. But when I played it was far tougher and more physical. The pitches and balls were appalling, but we still turned out some wonderful players, like Puskas, Pele, Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves.

They were all world-class players, but unfortunately today's fans would never really have seen them in action.


Andy Alcock, Moira, Leicestershire

Be honest, how many players in the '66 squad wanted Sir Alf to play Jimmy Greaves in the final rather than stick with Geoff Hurst?

Most of the squad knew Jimmy had a rather nasty injury. He could never have played in the match after France so when we changed to a 4-4-2 with Roger and Geoff up front, it worked so well that Sir Alf didn't really have any choice. It was obviously working so Sir Alf chose to keep it. We just accepted the fact that Jimmy wasn't there.


Chris Mackie, London

George, as a Fulham legend, what are your thoughts concerning the apparent failure of the Craven Cottage redevelopment project?

It's an evolving situation. We could not exist with the amount of fans that needed to get in there, especially sitting down. The new stadium was far more expensive than we first thought.

I'm hoping we can go back and improve the capacity of the Cottage if it's economically possible to. It's going to be difficult, but there is always the possibility of sharing Stamford Bridge.


Mark, Wiltshire

Do you think players' wages demands today are unreasonable?

They were unreasonable four years ago, you cannot exist the way transfer fees and salaries are going. It can't happen any longer, clubs should be refusing agents' demands before the banks do. Unless clubs start to modify their wage demands we're going to be in dire straits if we're not already.


John Connolly, Dublin, Ireland

Lance Armstrong has described himself as two people - the Lance before cancer and the Lance after. Has your fight with the illness had a similar impact on how you live your life today?

I think you do appreciate what you have a bit more, it obviously made a difference to my life, you understand and appreciate everything more.

You must enjoy what you have. While you don't lose your ambition you have to look at what you have with a great deal of joy.


James Hopkins, Birkenhead

Do you think that modern full-backs or wing-backs (eg. Ashley Cole) are, although very quick and good going forward, less reliable in defence than they used to be?

I think Cole could be fantastic as a wide player. Going forward he is very good but I haven't seen very many good defenders that can also go forward and attack the opposition. However, I'd prefer to see him moved forward, wide on the left, with Wayne Bridge left-back.


Howard, Bridlington

As someone who has played under the great Bobby Moore what did you make of having four captains in England's last friendly match?

I think it's absurd having four captains in one match, it's absurd having all those players coming on to be honest. England caps should be given on merit. We seem to be giving caps away, and it's very disappointing.





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