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England win the World Cup

30 July 1966

England win the World Cup

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  • Intro

    The 1960s were a jubilant and confident time for English popular culture: England beating West Germany 4–2 at home to win the football World Cup was a particular highlight. There had been refereeing controversy aplenty in the matches before the final of 30 July, which provided even more. In the last minute of match time, with England 2–1 up, the Germans equalised after a handball unseen by the referee. In extra time, a shot by England’s Geoff Hurst bounced off the bar and just inside – or perhaps just outside – the goal-line. But the ‘Russian’ linesman (actually from Azerbaijan) confidently signalled a goal. In the last minute, with the players virtually immobile from exhaustion, Hurst, intending to kick the ball out of play to waste time, scored a spectacular long-range goal, his third of the match. A nation celebrated. With no repeat success since, it remains the most memorable day in the history of British football. The now legendary closing words of TV commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme have entered English folklore: ‘Some people are on the pitch! They think it’s all over! ... It is now!’

     

    Image Copyright: John Frost Newspaper Archive

     

    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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