History of Football: FIFA World Cup - 1966

The eighth FIFA football World Cup tournament took place in England – the ‘home of football’ and the fifth European country to host the finals - from 11th July to 30th July 1966.

England won the tournament – their first major international title – and became the third World Cup host country to do so following Uruguay in 1930 and Italy four years’ later. A then-record 70 countries had entered the qualifying tournament but the cup itself was stolen before the tournament even began, to be eventually found by a dog called Pickles.

Doping controls were introduced for the first time and ‘World Cup Willie’ was the first World Cup mascot. The draw for the finals was televised live and this was the last World Cup tournament to be broadcast on television in black and white.

There were many memorable aspects of the 1966 World Cup including North Korea’s fine and unexpected run – including knocking Italy out of the tournament – and the free-scoring of Portugal’s Eusébio.

The final was held at Wembley Stadium in London on 30th July 1966 in front of a crowd of 98,000. England beat West Germany 4.2 after extra time. England’s scorers were Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst; Helmut Haller and Wolfgang Weber scored for West Germany. Geoff Hurst became the first and the only player in football history to score three goals in a World Cup Final.

The Golden Boot (‘adidas Golden Shoe’ since 1982) award for most goals scored in the tournament was won by Eusébio of Portugal with 9 goals.

Winners: England

Runners-up: West Germany

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