The 1966 FIFA World Cup final was the final match of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, held in England from Wednesday 11 to Saturday 20 July 1966. The tournament final was contested between West Germany and England. It remains the only time that the Men’s World Cup has been played in Europe as well as the only time it has been staged in the same country twice...
The 1966 World Cup was held in England and was the first World Cup to be hosted in Europe. It was also the first to be hosted by more than one country, with the host nation and neighboring Ireland participating. The 32 participating nations were divided into four groups of eight teams. The teams in each group played each other in a round-robin basis, and two points were awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. The two teams at the top of each group advanced to the next round. This system was then also used in subsequent World Cups. The tournament was won by West Germany, who beat England 2–1, so both teams would have to wait another four years to win the trophy again.
The final was contested by England and West Germany at Wembley Stadium in London. The match ended 2–1 to West Germany, with Helmut Haller and Siegfried Held scoring for the Germans and Geoff Hurst scoring England's goal. The final is perhaps best remembered for the controversy surrounding the German goalkeeper, Hans Tilkowski, who was accused of moving the goalposts by the British team as well as many neutral observers. The goalposts had to be reset several times during the match as the wind kept knocking them over. With the score at 1–1 and just a few minutes from the end of normal play, the Germans launched an attack toward the English goal. The ball was sent wide towards the right wing, where it was met by Held and sent towards the goal.
The match is available online, with the original BBC Sports commentary. The video below is a recording of the live TV coverage of the match. It is available in English, German, and Spanish. The video below is a recording of the live radio coverage of the match. It is available in English. The video below is a recording of the official FIFA highlights of the match. It is available in a variety of languages. The video below is a recording of the ITV highlights of the match from the 2018 documentary “1966 and all that”. It is available in English. The video below is a recording of the MUTV highlights of the match from the 2018 documentary “1966 and all that”. It is available in English. The video below is a recording of the October 28, 1966 edition of Sports Review, a sports review show that was broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It is available in English.
The image below is a photograph of the West German team celebrating their victory. It was taken by Adrian Brooks of the Daily Express. The image below is a photograph of the English team celebrating their victory. It was taken by Brian McBride of the Daily Express. The image below is a photograph of the English manager Alf Ramsey. It was taken by Keith Skelton of the Daily Express. The image below is a photograph of the German manager Helmut Schön. It was taken by Bob Thomas of the Daily Express. The image below is a photograph of the English captain Bobby Moore. It was taken by Bob Thomas of the Daily Express. The image below is a photograph of the West German captain Franz Beckenbauer. It was taken by Adrian Brooks of the Daily Express.
Promotion and Commemoration
The German team were celebrated as heroes when they arrived at Berlin's Tegel Airport, but the mood was somber as the public was still coming to terms with the fact that their team had become the first from the eastern bloc to reach the final. The German government hailed their success as a sign of the growing maturity of the German people as a whole. The English team were welcomed home as heroes as well, but they were criticized for the negative style of play that had been so successful in the tournament. In particular, the team's manager, Alf Ramsey (who subsequently became the first England manager to win the World Cup), was criticized for his decision to leave out the fashionable and popular forward, Jimmy Greaves, from the starting line-up for the final.
Why did England and West Germany play the final? The teams were drawn to play each other in the final as they had finished first and second respectively in their groups. How many people watched the final? It is estimated that around 46 million people watched the final in the host country, England. This was around a quarter of the country's population at the time.