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Who won the World Cup in 1966?

03:30 SAST 2022/04/15
England 1966 World Cup
England hosted the World Cup for the first time in 1966...

The eighth edition of the World Cup - football's greatest tournament -was held in the year 1966. 16 teams from four confederations - Europe, South America, Asia and North America - took part in the competition.

Who were the hosts of the 1966 World Cup?

England were selected as the host for the 1966 World Cup.

Two nations in West Germany and Spain, other than England, were in contention to host the premier tournament but eventually, England were handed the rights.

What was the format of the 1966 World Cup?

The format of the 1954, 1958 and 1962 World Cups was followed in this edition as well where 16 teams were divided into four groups. The top two teams from each group then qualified for the knock-out stage.

Who won the 1966 World Cup?

Hosts England bagged the title for the first and only time in their history, beating West Germany 4-2 in the final.

It was an eventful final which witnessed Geoff Hurst's 'Phantom Goal' which helped England lift the trophy. After the normal time ended 2-2, Hurst’s shot in extra-time during the World Cup final, struck the crossbar and bounced behind West Germany goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski. England’s Roger Hunt was in no doubt it had crossed the line, running away in celebration instead of following up to knock it in before it was cleared. The centre-forward and the linesman were the only ones convinced the whole ball had gone behind the line, though, as the Germans protested. The referee took his time but later allowed the goal.

Hurst went on to complete his hat-trick in the dying seconds to make it 4-2, but the decisive and controversial moment has dominated discussions of the 1966 tournament ever since.

Was the trophy stolen before 1966 World Cup?

There was also a controversy right before the start of the World Cup as the Jules Rimet trophy, given to the World Cup winners, was stolen ahead of the tournament in England, prompting a major investigation.

The incident happened on March 20, 1966, while the prize was on public exhibition at Westminster Central Hall in London, four months ahead of the tournament was scheduled to kick off.

To the relief of FIFA and the Football Association, the trophy was located seven days after it was first reported missing.

Prior to that, a ransom note was received by FA chairman Joe Mears and it warned: "If I don't hear from you by Thursday or Friday at the latest, I assume it's one for the POT."

A ransom sum of £15,000 was demanded, but police managed to apprehend an individual by the name of Edward Betchley in a sting operation.

Betchley claimed to be nothing more than a go-between and was convicted for his part in the scheme, getting two years in prison.

It is not known exactly who was behind the theft of what was then the most sought-after commodity in football, but there have been plenty of rumours over the years.

The trophy was eventually located by a dog named Pickles and his owner David Corbett. Corbett was walking to a telephone box in order to phone his brother when Pickles began sniffing at a package wrapped in newspaper, which was propped against the wheel of a car. It turned out to be trophy and overnight, Pickles became a national hero!

Which teams participated in the qualifying round?

The teams who took part in the qualifying round were - North Korea, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Israel, West Germany, Sweden, Cyprus, France, Norway, Yugoslavia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Albania, Hungary, East Germany, Austria, Soviet Union, Wales, Greece, Denmark, Italy, Scotland, Poland, Finland, Spain, Republic of Ireland.

The teams who eventually played in the World Cup were - England, Uruguay, Mexico, France, West Germany, Argentina, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Hungary, Brazil, Bulgaria, Soviet Union, North Korea, Italy, Chile.

Who were the top goalscorers?

Portuguese legend Eusebio scored nine goals in the tournament and was the top goalscorer.

Player

Country

Goals

Eusebio

Portugal

9

Helmut Haller

Germany

6

Geoff Hurst

England

4

Ferenc Bene

Hungary

4

Valeriy Porkujan

Soviet Union

4

Franz Beckenbauer

Germany

4

The 22-man 1966 World Cup-winning England squad

Player

Position

Club

Gordon Banks

Goalkeeper

Leicester City

Ron Springett

Goalkeeper

Sheffield Wednesday

Peter Bonetti

Goalkeeper

Chelsea

George Cohen

Defender

Fulham

Ray Wilson

Defender

Everton

Jack Charlton

Defender

Leeds United

Bobby Moore (captain)

Defender

West Ham United

Jimmy Armfield

Defender

Blackpool

Gerry Byrne

Defender

Liverpool

Norman Hunter

Defender

Leeds United

Nobby Stiles

Midfielder

Manchester United

Alan Ball

Midfielder

Blackpool

Bobby Charlton

Midfielder

Manchester United

Martin Peters

Midfielder

West Ham United

Ron Flowers

Midfielder

Wolves

Ian Callaghan

Midfielder

Liverpool

George Eastham

Midfielder

Arsenal

Jimmy Greaves

Forward

Tottenham Hotspur

Geoff Hurst

Forward

West Ham United

John Connelly

Forward

Manchester United

Terry Paine

Forward

Southampton

Roger Hunt

Forward

Liverpool