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On This Day In 1966 England Won The World Cup Final

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On This Day In 1966 England Won The World Cup Final

Remember the World Cup? It already seems like an age ago that France beat Croatia 4-2 to lift the famous trophy.

It might still be a bit painful for England fans that football didn't finally come home - in the end Gareth Southgate's young Lions were beaten by Croatia and lost the best chance England will get in a generation to win the World Cup.

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However, while there is a lot to be proud of and look forward to ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - with the possible exception of the actual tournament itself - today is also a time to look backwards and remember probably the Three Lions biggest ever source of pride.

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We all know what I'm talking about, those most famous (and probably overused) words - Nineteen Sixty-Six.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

On this day 52 years ago, 30 July 1966, England lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at the old Wembley Stadium underneath those famous towers.

Obviously, you'll have to be of a certain age to remember that, but it must have been a great day for every England fan, and - most likely - everyone in the country.

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Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, Martin Peters grabbed another, and the West German team were beaten. Stirring stuff.

More than 96,000 people crammed into the national stadium, and they weren't disappointed.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The English team was packed with legends such as Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks and Bobby and Jack Charlton.

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You wouldn't catch those boys riding around a pool on inflatable unicorns.

This England team didn't bear any of the hallmarks of later England teams that younger generations are used to. They didn't concede a single goal until the semi-final, against a Portugal side that featured some guy called Eusebio.

They weren't playing teams like Panama and Tunisia, either. Their group saw them face Uruguay, Mexico, and France.

Then it was on to Argentina, who were sent packing 1-0, before that semi-final against Portugal.

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England took a two-goal lead after Bobby Charlton's two goals from midfield, before Eusebio scored from the spot to bring Portugal closer in the final stages.

It wasn't enough.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Then, in the final, West Germany brought one of the strongest teams in the tournament with the intention of spoiling England's home party.

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They nearly did, they took the lead before Geoff Hurst responded minutes later. Then, Martin Peters gave England a late lead, before West Germany equalised themselves.

In extra time it took two goals from Hurst to complete the only World Cup final hat-trick, which included the famous 'goal' off the bar.

The rest is history.

As England enters a 53rd 'year of hurt', it's worth remembering that once upon a time, they had a team that were rightly called World Champions.

Nobody can take that away.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, England, History, World Cup

Tom Wood
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