“They think it’s all over…it is now!”
Nineteen-Sixty Six. This was the year the BBC announced plans to broadcast
television in colour. This was the year James Meredith, the first man to brave the colour
bar at the University of Mississippi, was shot and wounded. This was the year American
Movie producer, pioneer of animated cartoons, Walt Disney, died of lung cancer.
All these were significant moments in the year Nineteen-Sixty Six, but the year Nineteen-
Sixty Six is the year that most imperatively resonates through English history. The year
England won the World Cup, formerly known as the Jules Rimet.
England kicked off it’s World cup campaign with a disappointing 0-0 draw in front of
87,000 fans, who were left discontented by England’s lack of killer instinct in
front of the goal.
In it‘s second game against the Mexicans, England showed no signs of disintegrating
under the possessive nations high expectations .England relentlessly attacked the
Mexican goal. The English team played superbly and it was inevitable that England
would break the deadlock, and in the 37th minute ,Bobby Charlton received the ball out
wide, with a deft touch he brought the ball inside. Remaining poised he danced past
two Mexicans before striking the ball into the corner of the net from 30 yards out,
sending the English fans into raptures.
As the game drew to a close, Roger Hunt won the ball from a deep cross. Controlling
the ball with his left boot, and then in a blink of an eye shifting to his right, he
calmly placed the ball past Ignacio Calderon. This was the last goal as England ran out
England faced France in their penultimate group match. The French were lying bottom of
the group with a solitary point, their performances were below standard.
England’s hopes of winning the Jules Rimet were thrown into doubt when Jimmy
Greaves was carried off with a gashed leg after just after 15 minutes of play. Little did
they know it would be Greaves replacement, Geoff Hurst, who fulfilled England’s
expectations. Even without Greaves, England looked commendable.
Roger Hunt! Roger Hunt! Roger Hunt! As a loud shriek signalled the end of the game;
this was the chant reverberating around Wembley stadium. England had defied
expectations by going through the preliminary rounds.
England vs. Argentina. In years to come a contest which would incite fierce rivalry and
deep bitterness. The two teams met in the Quarter-Finals of the tournament and England
won 1-0 thanks to a goal from striker Geoff Hurst. In a performance described as an
However, the game was particularly distinguished for the sending-off of Argentine
captain Antonio Rattin. There was 10 minutes till half time, the referee blew his whistle
“free-kick to England” signalled the referee. The Argentine captain Rattin was infuriated
by this decision. He furiously approached the referee, arguing that he did not impede
Charlton claiming it was a 50-50 challenge. The referee stood by his decision “Free kick
to England”, Rattin who was already cautioned, foolishly continued to protest his
innocence. As a result for his “violence of tongue“. He was shown a subsequent booking
resulting in a red card. Rattin profoundly incensed with the decision, believing the
referee to be biased in favour of England, he initially refused to leave the field..
Eventually, he had to be escorted from the field by two police officers. England made
heavy weather of their extra man, until Hurst made his first impression, scoring the
winner which took England to the world cup Semi-Finals for the very first time.
After the match, England manager Alf Ramsey promptly marched onto the pitch.
Showing resentment Ramsey walked up to his players “do not swap shirts with these
animals” ordered Ramsey. This was only the beginning of an intense rivalry.