A 27-man England squad flew to Mexico
City (the 28th, Francis Lee, flew out, four days later). They were met
warmly by about a hundred Mexicans, when they arrived.
The Times: Sir Alf
Ramsey, the manager, said, when asked about their chances of retaining
the Jules Rimet Trophy: ...I think we have an excellent chance and that
we have a stronger party than in 1966...Provided we can acclimatize
properly I think it will take a great team to beat us.
England had their first, light, training session, at the Reforma
Athletic Club. Peter
Bonetti (knee) and Jack Charlton (muscle strain) were treated for
injuries picked up in the previous week's FA Cup Final replay.
The Times: Sir Alf
Ramsey, the England team manager, was busy coping with approaches from a
number of reporters, tactfully telling them that interviews from players
were banned until after the World Cup.
Brian Kidd spent the day in bed with a stomach complaint, whilst the
rest of the squad went sightseeing.
The squad played nine holes of golf at the Hacienda Club.
England had two training sessions.
MAY 9: The squad
played football and cricket against the British Reforma Club teams.
MAY 10: England
played a thirty-minute friendly against the British press, with Jack
Charlton as referee.
MAY 11: The squad
trained behind closed doors.
MAY 12: The entire
squad played in an eighty-minute practice match at the Olympic Stadium,
in almost continual rain.
The Times: ...the
"Whites" beat the "Reds" 2-1, with Bobby Charlton and Martin Peters
scoring for the winners and Allan Clarke for the losers.
'Back Home', a song recorded by the
squad, reached number one in the UK. It was the first football-related
single release ever to top the bestselling music chart, and it was to
stay there for three weeks.
MAY 14: The players
held an Olympic-style competition at the Reforma Club.
MAY 15: The squad
visited the Teotihuacan Pyramids in the morning and trained in the
MAY 16: In the
second public practice match, the 'Whites' beat the 'Reds' 4-0, with
goals from Geoff Hurst (2), Bobby Charlton and Allan Clarke.
MAY 18: The England
squad arrived in Bogotá for the first of their two friendly
internationals in South America.
MAY 19: England
were unable to train in the Bogotá stadium, due to torrential rain.
MAY 20: England
beat Colombia, 4-0, in Bogotá, after the second team beat the
The Times: 'England
impressive on the launching pad'
...the flounce, the
swagger, and the grandeur of Moore's team. They were men among boys,
pacing themselves superbly, letting the ball do the work, using the
whole breadth of the field as they sprayed their passes...
MAY 21: The squad
arrived in Quito.
MAY 23: Sir Alf
Ramsey announced his World Cup squad, and the six players that did not
make the final list. Of those omitted, Peter Thompson and David Sadler
decided to stay on and support the team, whilst the other four flew home
after the Ecuador games.
MAY 24: England
beat Ecuador, 2-0, in Quito, after the second team had beaten LDU, the
champions of Ecuador, 4-1.
The Times: 'England
win twice to keep morale high'
...it will take somebody
only with the Brazilian sense of fantasy to unhinge them.
MAY 25: The squad
flew back to Bogotá, where Bobby Moore was accused of stealing a gold
bracelet on a visit to a jewellery store in the previous week. As his
team mates left to return to Mexico City, Moore remained in Bogotá to
MAY 26: Bobby Moore
appeared in court in Bogotá.
MAY 27: Following
training in Mexico City, the squad were given a reception by the British
Ambassador and then flew to their first round base, Guadalajara.
MAY 28: Moore flew
back to Mexico, after the judge announced that he did not have enough
evidence to justify a charge of theft.
MAY 29: Moore
rejoined the squad for training at Club Atlas.
MAY 30: A 45-minute
practice match was staged at Club Atlas, with the second team
surprisingly beating the first eleven, 3-1. Osgood (2) and Bell scored
for the reserves, and Lee netted for the first eleven. Peter Thompson,
omitted from the final squad, played for the reserves.
MAY 31: The squad
had a half-hour practice match in the Jalisco Stadium. Sir Alf commented
that the pitch was bumpy and in poor condition.