How England Won the World Cup
Last Update: 10 Dec 2006
HOW ENGLAND WON THE WORLD CUP
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1966 is a year that resonates throughout English football. As a 40th
anniversary celebration of Englands momentous World Cup victory and
as a curtain-raiser to the 2006 competition in Germany in June, this
documentary will bring Englands triumph to life in a way that most of
us never saw it at the time, with our black and white TV sets...in
glorious colour. Together with other amazing archive footage, this film
is a guided tour of Englands journey from the preparation and opening
draw against Uruguay to the epic battle with West Germany at Wembley,
highlighted with exclusive interviews with original team members.
The World Cup is upon us once again. As Embrace drone out of every radio
station and the pubs stock up with watered-down booze, the nations knees
quiver with anticipation for the usual series of triumphant matches followed
by the inevitable dejection when England gets knocked out. But once upon a
time, we actually won.
On 30 July 1966, England and West Germanys teams strode out onto
the Wembley turf for the World Cup Final, unaware that they were about
to make football history. Three years earlier, England manager Alf Ramsey
had arrogantly pronounced that his men would achieve the ultimate prize.
His confidence was contagious and the team had faith that Alf would lead
them to victory - the elements conspired and the outcome was magical.
We tackle the question that has plagued all subsequent teams: how did they
Using original colour footage and
narrated by Sean Bean
, this documentary
tells the story of how Ramseys promise was fulfilled. All ten surviving World
Cup winners are interviewed: Alan Ball, Roger Hunt, Sir Geoff Hurst, George
Cohen, Ray Wilson, Sir Bobby Charlton and Jack Charlton. They remember
reverently how Ramsey moulded the team in his own image, creating a
side that was tough, taciturn and destined for greatness.
In 1962, Ipswich manager Alf Ramsey was offered the chance of a lifetime,
to lead England to the World Cup, and was formally appointed as the first
professional England manager. Ramsey had a reputation for being a difficult
and distant character, but he was passionate and a master tactician. Two
years into his reign he began to experiment with a new, midfield-bolstering
4-3-3 formation. This new fluid and flexible system baffled the opposition,
and, after using it to beat Spain in a 1965 friendly, England began to play
with a new-found consistency and confidence. Ramseys 22-man squad,
based around Englands youngest-ever captain, Bobby Moore, settled into
their Hendon HQ days before the tournament, preparing to improve on
Englands notoriously poor performance on the world stage. This tournament
would be their chance to re-establish some much-needed national pride.
The first match was disheartening. On 11 July, the England team walked
out in front of an 87,000-strong Wembley crowd, full of hope, but a dismal
0-0 draw against Uruguay saw England fail to score at Wembley for the first
time since 1938; Sir Bobby Charlton recalls thinking maybe its going to be
a little bit harder than we thought.
Four days later, a re-jigged team beat Mexico 2-0 and England were through
to the final eight, next squaring up to the irrepressible Argentina. Still
juggling his team, Ramsey warned them not to retaliate against Argentinas
famous predilection for underhand tactics. Even when South Americans
captain, Antonio Rattin, was sent off, the Argies were a force to be reckoned
with and England struggled against the ten-man team, finally thrashing
them with a goal from Geoff Hurst. Ramsey became public enemy number
1 when he slammed the defeated team in the press, but the match was a
crucial turning point for England; Ramsey had found his fighting formula,
and there was a resurgence of national optimism.
Portugal were Englands next fearsome opponents, coming complete with
star player Eusebio. Defender Nobby Stiles was given the task of keeping
a close watch on the Black Pearl, while Bobby Charlton shone in attack,
scoring twice. England conceded a penalty but it didnt matter; England
stormed through and were now just a step away from fulfilling Ramseys
Ramseys selection for the final 11 caused some outrage as star striker
Jimmy Greaves failed to make the cut, but the players trusted their managers
decision. As the day of the Final loomed, excitement reached fever pitch.
You had that sort of feeling of some kind of destiny in the air, reminisces
sports writer James Mossop. After an edgy start, West Germany dealt
England their first blow, but the home team equalised six minutes later
and began to take control in the second half, led by Martin Peters. The
crowd was stunned by an 89th minute equaliser from West Germany and,
for only the second time in World Cup history, the Final went to extra time.
The tension was excruciating. England immediately took control, with
Hurst bypassing the infamous Russian linesman to score a controversial
goal. When Hurst streaked forth and scored again, the stadium erupted.
England had made good on Ramseys promise.
We won because we were a great team, explains Sir Bobby Charlton.
We were a perfect blend; we had the right manager. I think its
something that you can never, ever forget.
Well, if we cant do it this year...well always have the memories!
1966 is the year that resonates throughout English football. As a 40th
anniversary celebration of Englands momentous World Cup victory and as
a curtain-raiser to the 2006 competition in Germany in June, this documentary
will bring Englands triumph to life in a way that most of us never saw it at
the time (because we couldnt on our black and white TV sets) in glorious colour.
Using the only existing colour archive footage and exclusive interviews with
original team members, this film will follow Englands journey from the
preparation and opening draw against Uruguay to the epic battle with
West Germany at Wembley.
On July 30th World Cup Final Day - Englands Bobby Moore and West
Germanys Uwe Seeler led their teams out onto the Wembley turf
before an expectant crowd of 96,000.
What followed is part of footballing legend. In one hundred and twenty
minutes of raw and emotion-fuelled play, the performance of both sides
became a contest of pace, power, strength, stamina and iron will.
Exhilarating, unpredictable and inspirational, a late goal from Germany
levelled the scores and took the contest into extra time, but it was
Englands boys who were on course to create history. In a nail-biting
climax, after a disputed England goal, Geoff Hurst became the first man
ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final. Forty years on, the English
players are still being awarded honours simply for having taken part.
Moments in the game are imprinted in the memories of all who witnessed
it and the match is regarded in awe by subsequent footballing generations.
- Exclusive interviews with all the surviving team members, filmed in March 2006.
- An Easter Egg feature. Can you find the three hidden lions in the DVD extras menus?
Three funny stories from three England players.
- An Interactive Map of England with hotspots illustrating each and every
stadium used during the 1966 World Cup. Information provided will include
games played at each venue, attendances and capacity.
- Stills Gallery Player Profiles. A stills and stats combo profiling each of the
1966 World Cup winning squad, including games played, goals scored, etc.
- 1966 Facts and Figures. A still and stats combo telling the story of the
1966 World Cup, including all the results, scorers, attendances, etc.
- That was the year that was. Stats based : music in charts, celeb stories,
news stories, etc.
- Interviewees include Terry Venables, Barry Davies (ITV commentator),
Alan Leather (FA liaison officer), James Mossit (journalist) and David
- Includes footage of 1966 England/Germany reunion event held on 21st March
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