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England Postwar Lineups and Match Highlights
By Norman Giller, Football Author

Part 5:  1965-66 to 1969-70

Norman Giller, long-time football journalist and author of more than 60 football books, has generously sent us England lineups and match highlights from his recent Billy Wright biography, reviewed elsewhere on this website, and his book on England's managers, Don't Shoot the Manager (1994), with permission to reproduce them.

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No 166

Wales, Ninian Park, 2.10.65. Drew 0-0

Springett  Cohen  Wilson  Stiles  Charlton J.      Moore*           

Paine    Greaves  Peacock  Charlton R.  Connelly 

Highlights: Goalkeeper Ron Springett was recalled for his first game since his nightmare match in France in Ramsey's first game as England manager. He played impressively enough in a goalless game to book a place in the 1966 World Cup squad as an understudy to his successor Gordon Banks. Fielding six players from outside the First Division, Wales managed to prevent England from scoring for the first time in thirty-three years. They had the most productive player on the pitch in balding, 35-year-old Ivor Allchurch, an artist of a player who always managed to put the correct weight to his passes even now that he was into the autumn of his career and playing with Swansea in the Third Division. 

No 167

Austria, Wembley, 20.10.65. England lost 3-2

Springett           Cohen  Wilson  Stiles    Charlton J.        Moore*           

Paine          Greaves         Bridges   Charlton R.1     Connelly1

Highlights:  England were twice in front through Bobby Charlton and John Connelly, but slack defensive play let the Austrians in for two late goals. It was to be England's last defeat before the World Cup, and ended an unbeaten run of nine games. The Austrians, the third overseas team to win at Wembley, were flattered by their victory, and the result did not dent Alf Ramsey's confidence that England were going to win the World Cup. Jimmy Greaves, of all people, missed a hat-trick of simple chances, and seemed strangely listless. He was later diagnosed as suffering him hepatitis and was out of the game for the next five months.

No 168

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 10.11.65. England won 2-1

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles    Charlton J.   Moore*   

Thompson    Baker1    Peacock1  Charlton R.  Connelly 

Highlights: Joe Baker, deputising for the hospitalized Greaves, put England in the lead in the nineteenth minute. The Irish equalised sixty seconds later when Willie Irvine turned a George Best centre through the legs of an embarrassed Gordon Banks. Persistent rain made the surface treacherous, and the Irish defenders were slithering around when Alan Peacock scored England's winner in the seventieth minute. Under gentle persuasion from Alf Ramsey - and at club level, Matt Busby -  Bobby Charlton was starting to specialize in more of a withdrawn role, and he was developing into the Great Conductor.

No 169

Spain, Madrid, 8.12.65. England won 2-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson    Stiles  Charlton J.  Moore*    

Ball      Hunt1  Baker1 (Hunter)    Eastham    Charlton R. 

Highlights: One of the most significant games in Alf Ramsey's managerial life. He gave full rein to his 4-3-3 formation for the first time following the experiment in Nuremburg, and the resounding victory convinced him that he had found the tactics best suited to England for the World Cup. The defence was as it would appear throughout the World Cup finals – Banks behind a back line of Cohen, Jack Charlton, Moore and Wilson. Stiles patrolled the midfield as a ball winner alongside the fetch and carrying Alan Ball, with George Eastham orchestrating things from a deep position in centre midfield (the role that would eventually become Bobby Charlton's). Here in Spain Bobby wore the number eleven shirt and was delegated an attacking role alongside out-and-out strikers Roger Hunt and Joe Baker, who spoke with such a heavy Scottish accent that many of his colleagues could not always understand him. It was Baker who gave England an early lead on a pitch soaked by melting snow before limping off in the thirty-fifth minute with a pulled muscle. Norman 'Bites Yer Legs' Hunter became the first England player to make his debut as a substitute. Alan Ball famously put his hands together as Hunter came on to the pitch, and said; 'For what they are about to receive …!' Roger Hunt clinched victory with a classic goal on the hour after  a sweeping length-of-the-pitch passing movement involving George Cohen, Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore. The Liverpool striker was making a strong challenge for the England shirt usually worn by the absent, unwell Greaves.

No 170

Poland, Liverpool, 5.1.66. Drew 1-1

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles    Charlton J.   Moore*1 

Ball      Hunt     Baker   Eastham  Harris 

Highlights: Bobby Moore scored one of the two goals that decorated his 108 international appearances to cancel out Poland's lead on a glue-pot pitch at Goodison. Moore put the finishing touch to a late move started by Burnley winger Gordon Harris, deputising for the injured Bobby Charlton, and it was Jack Charlton who made the final pass that created the opening for England's skipper. This was the first match between England and Poland, and the first full international for 13 years at a Goodison ground that was to be one of the World Cup venues.  Incessant rain turned the pitch into a quagmire that made every step a challenge. No doubt buoyed by his rare goal, Moore stormed into the penalty area in the closing minutes to meet a centre from the tireless Alan Ball and powered a header against the crossbar. Again, Alf Ramsey played 4-3-3, with Stiles, Ball and Eastham working together in midfield.

No 171

West Germany, Wembley, 23.2.66. England won 1-0

Banks   Cohen   Newton (Wilson)    Moore*   Charlton J.   Hunter       

Ball      Hunt     Stiles1   Hurst    Charlton R. 

Highlights: This was to prove a dress rehearsal for the World Cup Final just five months later. Nobby Stiles, wearing the number nine shirt but playing in midfield, scored the only goal of the match and of his international career. Some of the less educated football reporters wrote that Stiles had played at centre-forward and that 'Ramsey's gamble of playing him as a spearhead' paid off with a goal. They were yet to understand that shirt numbers were becoming meaningless. Little had been learned since back in the 1950s when Nandor Hidgekuti completely baffled England's defence by playing a withdrawn role in the number nine shirt. Geoff Hurst made an impressive England debut, and Keith Newton's first England game ended just before half-time when he limped off to be replaced by substitute Ray Wilson. The Germans claimed an equaliser when Heiss turned in a cross from Held, but the referee disallowed it after consulting a flag-waving linesman. The shape of things to come! The appearance together of Stiles and Hunter meant the game became a bruise on the memory of several of the Germans. 

No 172

Scotland, Hampden Park, 2.4.66. England won 4-3

Banks   Cohen  Newton  Stiles     Charlton J.    Moore*           

Ball        Hunt2      Charlton R.1    Hurst1     Connelly

Highlights:  Geoff Hurst scored his first goal for England in the nineteenth minute to start a spree that excited the 133,000 crowd but made purists wince at the procession of defensive blunders by both teams. Hunt added a second goal for England before Denis Law threw himself forward in typical dare-devil style to head Scotland's first goal just before half-time. Hunt  made it 3-1 early in the second-half, and then Celtic's jinking winger Jimmy Johnstone pulled it back to 3-2 before a thunderbolt shot from Bobby Charlton restored the two-goal lead. This was Charlton in imperious form as he reveled in his role as midfield orchestrator.  Johnstone, turning the England defence inside out with his dribbling runs, scored the final goal six minutes from the end with a delicate curling shot that deceived goalkeeper Gordon Banks. A press reporter said to Alf Ramsey immediately after the match, 'A great game to watch, Alf.' The cold blue eyes became a burning glare on the journalist. 'For you maybe,' said Alf, 'but I thought there was some appalling football played. We must be much, much tighter.' Seven-goal thrillers did not belong in the Ramsey textbook. Once a perfectionist right-back, always a perfectionist right-back.

No 173

Yugoslavia, Wembley, 4.5.66. England won 2-0

Banks   Armfield*   Wilson        Peters    Charlton J.      Hunter 

Paine     Greaves1     Charlton R.1   Hurst  Tambling

Highlights:  Jimmy Greaves, back in the England team after his hepatitis-forced five-month lay-off, scored the first goal in the ninth minute. Bobby Charlton celebrated being elected 'Footballer of the Year' by wrapping up England's victory with another of his screaming long-range shots. Martin Peters, the player who would be described by Ramsey as 'ten years ahead of his time', twice went close to marking his debut with a goal against a highly skilled Yugoslav side. It was England's last home game before the World Cup and they responded with a powerful performance that sent a mood of optimism shooting through the country

No 174

Finland, Helsinki, 26.6.66. England won 3-0

Banks   Armfield*   Wilson  Peters1     Charlton J.1      Hunter

Callaghan   Hunt1   Charlton R.  Hurst  Ball 

Highlights: Martin Peters scored his first goal for England and the first of the match at the start of a final warm-up tour before the World Cup finals. Alan Ball failed from the penalty spot in a game remembered more for the many missed chances than those that were eventually taken by Roger Hunt and Jack Charlton (a freak goal from a last-minute shot from out on the by-line. Ian Callaghan made a lively debut alongside his Liverpool team-mate Hunt as Alf Ramsey continued his experiment of playing with just one winger. Soon, there would be none!

No 175

Norway, Oslo, 29.6.66. England won 6-1

Springett     Cohen   Byrne G.   Stiles      Flowers   Moore*1    

Paine    Greaves4  Charlton R.   Hunt   Connelly1

Highlights:  Jimmy Greaves scored four goals for the second time in his international career against a Norwegian team that was out of its depth. A misplaced back pass by Ron Flowers gifted the Norwegians a fourth minute lead, but from then on England totally dominated play. Greaves scored all his goals in the first-half and was now top England goalscorer with 43 goals from 49 international matches. Bobby Moore got on the scoresheet with a twenty-five yard drive that could have come from the boot of Bobby Charlton, who created the sixth goal for John Connelly in a second-half played at exhibition pace. FA and Chelsea chairman Joe Mears, a long-time friend and supporter of Greaves, died of a heart attack in Oslo the day after the match, which threw a blanket of despair over the entire squad. Mears, 'Mr Chelsea', had been a driving force in the preparations for England's hosting of the World Cup finals.

No 176

Denmark, Copenhagen, 3.7.66. England won 2-0

Bonetti   Cohen   Wilson   Stiles      Charlton J.1  Moore*       

Ball    Greaves   Hurst  Eastham1  Connelly

Highlights: Goals from Jack Charlton and George Eastham gave England their sixth successive victory. Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Bonetti had his first taste of international football and performed well on a bumpy pitch that led to many errors in front of him. The amateurs of Denmark, playing for their pride, were robust with their challenges. This brought out the vicious competitive edge that lurked just below the surface with Nobby Stiles and Alan Ball, and they were both given lectures by a Canadian referee who in this day and age would have been flourishing several red cards. Greavsie, four-goal hero in the previous match, hardly got a touch of the ball in his milestone fiftieth international game.

No 177

Poland, Chorzow, 5.7.66. England won 1-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles    Charlton J.       Moore*           

Ball      Greaves    Charlton R.  Hunt1    Peters

Highlights:  A beautifully struck shot by Roger Hunt in the thirteenth minute was enough to give England victory in this final match before the World Cup finals. This would prove to be the line-up that just twenty-five days later would win the World Cup for England, with just one exception: Hurst in place of Greaves. Alf Ramsey had unveiled his wingless wonders, and there is no doubt that he considered this his strongest line-up. Martin Peters was the man of the match, sharing scheming duties with Bobby Charlton, and having the energy to help out in both defence and attack whenever necessary. He did it all with style and grace, and it was a surprise when he failed to make Ramsey's line-up for the opening match of the World Cup six days later.

No 178

Uruguay, World Cup, Wembley, 11.7.66. Drew 0-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson    Stiles    Charlton J.      Moore*           

Ball     Greaves     Charlton R.   Hunt    Connelly

Highlights:  A dull and uninspiring start to the World Cup left neutrals wondering on what Alf Ramsey based his confidence that England would win the tournament. Uruguay played with nine men back in defence and defied all England's attempts to break them down. It was the first time in twelve matches that England had failed to score. John Connelly was Ramsey's one winger. The Uruguayans celebrated at the final whistle as if they had won. They had squeezed exactly what they wanted from the game with their stifling defensive tactics. It was not a pretty sight.

No 179

Mexico, World Cup, Wembley, 16.7.66. England won 2-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles  Charlton J. Moore*      

Paine     Greaves   Charlton R.1   Hunt1  Peters

Highlights: Alf Ramsey had not yet completely abandoned wingers. Terry Paine was preferred to Connelly in this second game, with Martin Peters taking the place of Alan Ball in midfield. Bobby Charlton unleashed one of his magnificent twenty-five yard specials for the first goal, and Roger Hunt clinched victory after having what looked a good goal ruled off-side. After the frustration of the opening match against Uruguay, this victory convinced many people that England could live up to Ramsey's expectations. Mexico were not allowed to create a single goal-scoring chance by an England defence in which Bobby Moore was at his commanding best.

No 180

France, World Cup, Wembley, 20.7.66. England won 2-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson    Stiles   Charlton J.  Moore*   

Callaghan   Greaves   Charlton R.   Hunt2  Peters

Highlights:  Two smartly taken Roger Hunt goals gave England a confidence booster on their way into the World Cup quarter-finals. Ian Callaghan became the third winger tried by the England manager. Jimmy Greaves finished the match with a deep gash on his left shin, and Stiles was booked for a crunching tackle on French striker Simon. He was fortunate not to be sent off, and Ramsey ignored calls from Football Association officials that he should drop Stiles because of his competitive nature. 'If Stiles goes, so do I,' said Ramsey. And he was not feigning.  He knew how vital Nobby's ball-winning performances were to the team in an era when fierce tackling midfield players were a necessary evil.

No 181

Argentina, World Cup, Wembley, 23.7.66. England won 1-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles    Charlton J. Moore*     

Ball    Hurst1      Charlton R.     Hunt     Peters

Highlights:  Argentina shelved their superior skills and instead concentrated on what seemed a premeditated policy of disrupting England with a spate of petty fouls. Their captain Antonio Rattin arrogantly challenged just about every decision that the referee made and was waving his arms around like a traffic policeman. Finally the referee, a little West German called Rudlof Kreitlin, could take no more of Rattin's disruptive tactics and ordered him off. It was almost comical to see the tiny figure of the referee staring up at the tall, stately looking Rattin and demanding that he leave the field. It was also very sad. It took ten minutes of argument and touchline interpretations before Rattin finally walked. Geoff Hurst, making his debut in place of the injured Greaves, headed the winning goal from a Martin Peters cross to the near post. It was a classical creation that had made-in-West Ham written all over it. For Gordon Banks, it was a record seventh successive England appearance without conceding a goal. This was the first match in which England played without a recognised winger. Ramsey's 'Wingless Wonders' were off the launching  pad. Alan Ball, desperately disheartened to miss the previous two matches to the point where he considered walking out, gave a perpetual motion performance that confirmed that he was in the side to stay. Alf Ramsey described the Argentineans as 'animals', a heat-of-the-moment description that had diplomatic repercussions and led to official protests being made to the British ambassador in Buenos Aires. The sad fact is that Argentina were the most skilful side in the tournament, but they allowed their tempers to over-rule their talent. 

No 182

Portugal, World Cup, Wembley, 26.7.66. England won 2-1

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles   Charlton J.  Moore*    

Ball   Hurst   Charlton R.2   Hunt  Peters 

Highlights:  This was THE classic match of the 1966 World Cup.  It lacked the drama of the Final, but the football played by both teams had rarely been bettered at Wembley. The match belonged more to Bobby Charlton than anybody. He moved with the grace of a Nureyev on grass and the power of a panther. His reward was two superb goals, one drilled low into the net from a rebound after a Roger Hunt shot had been blocked, and the second, a real beauty, rifled high into the net from twenty-five yards. Seven minutes from the end England's magnificent defence conceded their first goal of the tournament when Eusebio scored from the penalty spot after Jack Charlton had handled a header from Jose Torres. Nobby Stiles performed a disciplined containing role on the great Eusebio, fresh from his stunning four-goal performance against North Korea in the quarter-final at Goodison after the Koreans had rushed three goals into the lead. Eusebio left the pitch in tears as the two teams got a standing ovation for producing a match that would live long in the memory.

No 183

West Germany, World Cup Final, Wembley, 30.7.66. England won 4-2 (aet)

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles    Charlton J.  Moore*   

Ball      Hurst3 Charlton R.   Hunt  Peters1 

Highlights:   Alf Ramsey decided to stick with an unchanged team. No place for fit-again Jimmy Greaves. West Germany took the negative approach of putting Franz Beckenbauer on man-to-man marking duty against Bobby Charlton, so the two most creative players on the pitch cancelled each other out.  This was manager Helmut Schoen's reaction to Charlton's spectacular show against Portugal. A rare Ray Wilson mistake on a wet surface let Helmut Haller in for a thirteenth minute goal which was equalised six minutes later when Hurst headed in a perfectly flighted free-kick from his West Ham team-mate Bobby Moore. Just after the hour a Hurst shot was blocked and it was another West Hammer, Peters, who smacked the rebound smartly into the net to make it 2-1. England were one minute from the World Cup when Jack Charlton was adjudged to have fouled Germany's skipper Uwe Seeler. During a goalmouth scramble that followed the free-kick defender Hans Weber forced the ball into the net, with skipper Bobby Moore insisting there had been a handball. Ten minutes into extra-time, the inexhaustible Alan Ball made one of his many scampering runs past left-back Schnellinger and centered the ball. Hurst turned and fired a first-time shot against the under-side of the ball, and England claimed the ball had crossed the goal-line. Swiss referee Georg Dienst awarded a controversial goal after consulting the Russian linesman Bakhramov. To this day, the Germans dispute the decision. Hurst ended all arguments in the final seconds when he ran on to a clearance from Bobby Moore and hammered a left foot shot past goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski to complete the first ever World Cup hat-trick. England, just as Alf Ramsey had prophesied, were champions of the world.

No 184

Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, 22.10.66. England won 2-0

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles    Charlton J.  Moore*    

Ball    Hurst  Charlton R.    Hunt1  Peters1

Highlights: The Irish, with George Best and Derek Dougan in menacing mood, battled desperately to overcome England in their first match as world champions, but they were sunk by a goal in each half by first Roger Hunt and then Martin Peters. The match deteriorated into a bad tempered encounter, and in the closing minutes Linfield winger Billy Ferguson was ordered off after a savage tackle on Alan Ball.  Bobby Moore's attention during the build up to the match was claimed by the Inland Revenue, who announced they would be taxing the £1,000 bonus collected by each of the 22 players in England's World Cup winning squad.  On behalf of the team, skipper Bobby took the Taxman to the steps of the law courts before they relented and agreed to make it tax free. What a way to treat heroes. 

No 185

Czechoslovakia, Wembley, 2.11.66. Drew 0-0

Banks    Cohen   Wilson   Stiles    Charlton J.   Moore*           

Ball    Hurst  Charlton R.   Hunt  Peters 

Highlights:  This was the sixteenth match since the summer of 1965 in which England had not conceded a goal. The Czechs came only to defend, and their nine-man blanket defence smothered the England attack. England were now unbeaten in their last eighteen matches, and losing only once in their last twenty-nine, but this was a below-par performance that disappointed the 75,000 crowd. For the record, this was only the second goalless draw in fifty-eight post-war full internationals at Wembley. The only other one was the World Cup curtain-raiser against Uruguay.

No 186

Wales, Wembley, 16.11.66. England won 5-1  (own goal1)

Banks   Cohen  Wilson  Stiles   Charlton J.1  Moore*  

Ball    Hurst2   Charlton R.1   Hunt   Peters 

Highlights: The Charlton brothers were both on the score-sheet and Geoff Hurst netted twice against a Welsh team that telegraphed their tactics by continually trying to play long balls to their twin strikers Wyn Davies and Ron Davies. Apart from a consolation headed goal by Wyn Davies, the England defence comfortably controlled the Welsh attack by shutting out their supply line from the wings. With both the Home Championship and qualification for the European championships at stake, the game had a hard competitive edge  and the final scoreline flattered the world champions who were helped by an own goal from one of the hardest workers on the pitch, Terry Hennessey. Bobby Moore, playing in his fiftieth international, was exceptional in an England defence that was at its dominant best. This was to prove the last match in which the famous World Cup winning XI played together.

No 187

Scotland, Wembley, 15.4.67. England lost 3-2

Banks   Cohen  Wilson    Stiles   Charlton J.1    Moore*           

Ball    Greaves   Charlton R.     Hurst1 Peters

Highlights: Scotland claimed they were world champions after handing England their first defeat in twenty matches, but it was something of a hollow victory against a team reduced to eight fit players. Jack Charlton hobbled at centre-forward for much of the match with a broken toe, Ray Wilson was a limping passenger after getting a kick on the ankle, and Jimmy Greaves was reduced to half pace by a knock in his comeback match. Denis Law was at his tormenting best and gave Scotland the lead after twenty-eight minutes, and it remained at 1-0 until a four-goal rush in the last twelve minutes. Celtic winger Bobby Lennox made it 2-0 before Jack Charlton bravely pulled one back. Gordon Banks was beaten at the near post by Jim McCalliog and then Hurst headed home a Bobby Charlton cross.  Nobby Stiles, Denis Law's Manchester United team-mate, said later: 'I knew the Scots were taking it very seriously when Denis came on to the pitch wearing shinpads. I had never seen him wear them before.'  Four of the Scottish team helped Celtic become the first British club to win the European Cup the following month. The newly knighted Sir Alf Ramsey said: 'Scotland deserved their victory, but I hope they will accept it as a fact rather than an excuse when I say were were heavily handicapped by injuries.' 

No 188

Spain, Wembley, 24.5.67. England won 2-0

Bonetti   Cohen   Newton   Mullery       Labone    Moore*        

Ball   Greaves1   Hurst   Hunt1   Hollins 

Highlights: John Hollins won his only cap for England and played a prominent part in the first goal. His centre to the far post was headed down by Alan Ball into the path of Roger Hunt, whose shot was blocked and Jimmy Greaves banged in the rebound. It was his forty-fourth and final goal for England. Hunt scored England's second goal in a match played for much of the time in a torrential downpour. Peter Bonetti, Keith Newton, Brian Labone and John Hollins were all brought into the Ramsey fold as he started to build for the 1968 European championship finals. 

No 189

Austria, Vienna, 27.5.67. England won 1-0

Bonetti   Newton   Wilson         Mullery   Labone   Moore*      

Ball1    Greaves   Hurst   Hunt   Hunter 

Highlights: This was Sir Alf Ramsey's fiftieth match since he took over and his thirty-third victory. It was also a milestone match for Harold Shepherdson, who was on the touchline for his hundredth match as England trainer. A neatly worked goal by Alan Ball in the twentieth minute won the match. The England squad then went off on a trip to Canada thinly disguised as an FA XI as part of the Expo 67 festivities. The nadir of a pointless exercise was Sir Alf getting caught up in a heated argument over the state of the pitch in Montreal which had been used for a circus parade a day before the game. In one of the great unexpected and original quotes from a football manager, Sir Alf fumed in his clipped tones: 'I will not allow my players to risk injury on a disgraceful pitch that is covered in elephant shit.' 

No 190

Wales, Ninian Park, 21.10.67. England won 3-0

Banks   Cohen   Newton   Mullery   Charlton J.    Moore*      

Ball1   Hunt     Charlton R.1    Hurst    Peters1

Highlights: The match turned on a magnificent save by Gordon Banks. Wales were having the better of the early play in a rainstorm when his Stoke team-mate Roy Vernon fired a shot from point-blank range. Somehow Banks managed to fist the ball off target, and from then on England took command. Martin Peters and Bobby Charlton scored a goal each and Alan Ball netted from the penalty spot. Mike England stood like a man mountain in the middle of the Welsh defence, and gave added ammunition to his Tottenham supporters who claimed with some justification that he was the best centre-half in Britain. 

No 191

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 22.11.67. England won 2-0

Banks   Cohen Wilson  Mullery  Sadler   Moore*       

Thompson   Hunt   Charlton R.1    Hurst1         Peters 

Highlights: Versatile David Sadler made his debut at centre-half against a Northern Ireland team missing their two key forwards George Best and Derek Dougan. Goals from Geoff Hurst and Bobby Charlton clinched victory in an undistinguished match that fell flat the moment it was announced just before the kick-off that both Best and Dougan had failed fitness tests. All attention was now switched to the final Home Championship match against Scotland that would decide which of them would represent Great Britain in the European Nations Cup quarter finals. 

No 192

USSR, Wembley, 6.12.67. Drew 2-2

Banks   Knowles  Wilson   Mullery   Sadler       Moore*          

Ball1    Hunt  Charlton R.  Hurst  Peters1

Highlights: Ray Wilson was given a rare chasing on a snow-carpeted pitch by flying Russian winger Chislenko, who appropriately was also an outstanding ice hockey player. Alan Ball gave England an early lead, but two goals from 'Red Rocket' Chislenko put Russia in command. Bobby Moore and Ray Wilson combined to make an opening for Martin Peters, who headed an equaliser. Tottenham defender Cyril Knowles made an assured debut out of position at right-back. Pshenichnikov proved himself a worthy successor to Lev Yashin in goal with a series of stunning saves as England pressed for victory in the last twenty minutes of a skilled and entertaining match that was a credit to both sides.

No 193

Scotland, Hampden Park, 24.2.68. Drew 1-1

Banks   Newton  Wilson  Mullery  Labone  Moore*     

Ball  Hurst  Summerbee   Charlton R.   Peters1

Highlights: England needed a draw to qualify for the European championship quarter-finals, Scotland a win. Martin Peters (described by Sir Alf as 'twenty years ahead of his time') produced one of his most impressive performances for England, scoring their goal with a superbly controlled swerving shot and going close on three other occasions. John Hughes headed Scotland's equaliser when Gordon Banks slipped on the treacherous surface that was a mixture of mud and ice. Charlie Cooke had a brilliant twenty-minute spell when he ran the England defence dizzy, but the Scottish strikers could not cash in on his creative work. Mike Summerbee made a quietly impressive debut, and played an important assist role in the Peters goal that stamped the passport for England play Spain in a two-legged Nations Cup quarter-final.

No 194

Spain, Wembley, 3.4.68. England won 1-0

Banks   Knowles   Wilson   Mullery  Charlton J.  Moore*         

Ball   Hunt   Summerbee   Charlton R.1  Peters

Highlights:  Bobby Charlton crashed the ball into the net from a short free-kick taken by Martin Peters to equal the 44-goal England record held by Jimmy Greaves. Spain threatened to snatch a last minute equaliser in this first leg European championship quarter-final tie, but Banks pulled off a spectacular save from a lightning back heel by Amancio.  The Spaniards played a cautious defensive game, putting their faith in a victory in the second leg in Madrid.

No 195

Spain, Madrid, 8.5.68. England won 2-1

Bonetti   Newton   Wilson   Mullery      Labone   Moore*         

Ball   Peters1   Charlton R.   Hunt   Hunter1

Highlights: When Geoff Hurst pulled out of this European championship quarter-final second leg at the last minute with a damaged toe, Sir Alf Ramey juggled his team and summoned Norman Hunter as an extra containing player. Amancio brought the scores level on aggregate in the first minute of the second-half of a match played with a fierce determination. Martin Peters quickly restored England's advantage when he headed in an Alan Ball corner. Ten minutes from the end Roger Hunt collected an Alan Mullery throw, and his cross was thrashed into the net by, of all people, Hunter, scoring a rare goal with one of the most under-used right boots in football. The victory clinched England's place in the European championship semi-finals in Italy.

No 196

Sweden, Wembley, 22.5.68. England won 3-1

Stepney  Newton  Knowles  Mullery  Labone  Moore*

Ball  Peters1  Charlton R.1 (Hurst)  Hunt1  Hunter

Highlights: Alex Stepney played his only game in the England goal one week before helping Manchester United win the European Cup on the same pitch. Colin Bell also made his first appearance, and helped inspire goals from Peters, Hunt and a classic from Charlton, who became the new record holder with forty-five goals before limping off to be replaced by Geoff Hurst. Charlton recovered from his injury to lead United to their emotional European Cup victory over Benfica. There was a worrying climax to the game when Swedish goalkeeper Larsson was carried off with a fractured skull after he had bravely dived at the feet of Alan Mullery.

No 197

West Germany, Hanover, 1.6.68. England lost 1-0

Banks   Newton  Knowles   Hunter   Labone     Moore*          

Ball     Bell    Summerbee    Hurst   Thompson

Highlights:  England's unbeaten record against the Germans, which had lasted twelve matches and sixty-seven years, ended when Brian Labone deflected a Franz Beckenbauer shot wide of Gordon Banks eight minutes from the end. It was a goal that silenced the jeers of the German spectators who had been barracking their own team as England made and missed a string of chances. This was only England's third defeat in their last forty matches, and they headed for their European Nations Cup semi-final against Yugoslavia in Florence in good spirit.

No 198

Yugoslavia, Florence, 5.6.68. England lost 1-0

Banks   Newton  Wilson   Mullery   Labone      Moore*          

Ball     Peters    Charlton R.     Hunt     Hunter

Highlights: Dragan Dzajic, Yugoslavia's world-class winger, snatched the goal that won this ill-tempered European Nations Cup semi-final after Bobby Moore had failed to reach a high cross five minutes from the end. It was a bruising, angry battle in which the Yugoslavs kicked anything that moved, and in the final moments Alan Mullery became the first player ever sent off while playing for England. He got his marching orders for retaliating after being on the receiving end of a brutal tackle by Trivic. By today's no-contact rules at least two players from either side would have been sent for early baths long before Mullery made his miserable exit. 'It was the worst moment of my career,' he said later. 'I felt as if I had not only let the team down but also my wife and family. The player I kicked out at had been hacking at me throughout the game and I just lost my temper. To be the first England player ever sent off is a record I will hate having to live with.'

No 199

USSR, Rome, 8.6.68. England won 2-0

Banks   Wright  Wilson  Stiles   Labone Moore*          

Hunter  Hunt    Charlton R.1    Hurst1  Peters

Highlights: Goals from Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst lifted England to victory in this play-off for third place in the European championship finals. Nobby Stiles was recalled for his first England match for fourteen months in place of the suspended Alan Mullery, and played in his trademark tigerish style. The Russians had been deadlocked with Italy after extra-time in a goalless semi-final. Italy went through to the final on an unsatisfactory toss of a coin (even critics of the penalty shoot out deciders could not accept that this was the right way to settle stalemated matches).  Italy then beat Yugoslavia 2-0 in a replay of the final after a 1-1 draw.  For Sir Alf Ramsey and his England players the priority now was the defence of their World Cup in Mexico in 1970.

No 200

Rumania, Bucharest, 6.11.68. Drew 0-0

Banks   Wright (McNab)  Newton   Mullery      Labone   Moore*        

Ball   Hunt    Charlton R.   Hurst   Peters

Highlights: Tommy Wright, who had partnered his Everton team-mate Ray Wilson at full-back against Russia, now had Blackburn's Keith Newton playing with him at left-back. England's World Cup heroes Cohen and Wilson had both had their international careers ended by injuries after playing together in twenty-seven matches. Wright and Newton, who would later continue their partnership at club level with Everton, hardly had time to get to know each other before Wright went off injured in the tenth minute to be replaced by Arsenal's Bob McNab who, despite playing out of position, gave a sound debut performance in a dreary, defence-dominated match.

No 201

Bulgaria, Wembley, 11.12.68. Drew 1-1

West   Newton (Reaney)  McNab   Mullery      Labone    Moore*        

Lee    Bell   Charlton R.    Hurst1    Peters

Highlights: Francis Lee made his first England appearance alongside his Manchester City team-mate Colin Bell, and his thrusting runs down the right wing were a continual source of danger to a packed Bulgarian defence. There were also first England caps for goalkeeper Gordon West and Leeds full-back Paul Reaney, who came on as a substitute for injured Keith Newton. Geoff Hurst scored England's goal, and the Bulgarians replied with a magnificent solo goal by powerful centre-forward Asparoukhov.

No 202

Rumania, Wembley, 15.1.69. Drew 1-1

Banks   Wright      McNab    Stiles    Charlton J.1   Hunter       

Radford   Hunt   Charlton R.*    Hurst   Ball

Highlights:  A memorable match for the Charlton brothers. Bobby captained the team in injured Bobby Moore's absence in what was his ninetieth international, and big Jack scored England's goal. It was John Radford's first game for England and Roger Hunt's last. Hunt was sick of the criticism being aimed at him during an unsuccessful press campaign to get Jimmy Greaves recalled, and he asked Ramsey not to consider him for any more matches. The media built it into a Hunt-hates-Greaves war, but the turth is that they liked and respected each other. It was just footballing fate that these two exceptional goal scorers reached their footballing peak at the same time.

No 203

France, Wembley, 12.3.69. England won 5-0

Banks   Newton   Cooper   Mullery      Charlton J.   Moore*   

Lee1   Bell   Hurst3     Peters    O'Grady1

Highlights:  Geoff Hurst was again a hat-trick hero, this time two of his goals against an outclassed French side coming from the penalty spot. Francis Lee scored his first goal for England and Mike O'Grady, recalled after six years in the wilderness, was also on the mark. Terry Cooper was Keith Newton's new left-back partner as Ramsey continued his search for a duo to compare with Cohen and Wilson. It was a relief for Sir Ramsey to find his forwards on he mark after only four goals in the previous six internationals. There were two Wembley milestones. This was England's 100th victory against overseas opponents, and Hurst's goal was the 200th by England at the twin-towered cathedral of English football.

No 204

Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, 3.5.69. England won 3-1

Banks   Newton   McNab   Mullery     Labone    Moore*        

Ball    Lee1   Charlton R.    Hurst1    Peters1

Highlights: The scoreline flattered England. Goalkeeper Gordon Banks was under long periods of pressure after Eric McMordie had cancelled out an early Martin Peters goal. With Newton doing an excellent containing job on George Best, England began to gain command. Goals from Francis Lee and Geoff Hurst wrapped up the game for them but not before Banks had made two splendid saves against the always dangerous Derek Dougan. Live television cut the attendance to 23,000.

No 205

Wales, Wembley, 7.5.69. England won 2-1

West       Newton      Cooper       Moore*      Charlton J.    Hunter      

Lee1    Bell      Astle   Charlton R.1   Ball

Highlights: Wyn Davies gave Wales the lead and they were looking the better team  when England were awarded a penalty that Francis Lee fired against the woodwork. The miss seemed to inspire rather than depress the Manchester City striker, and he laid on the  equaliser for Bobby Charlton following a smart exchange of wall passes, and he then notched the winner after a drive from lively debutant Jeff Astle had been cleared off the line.

No 206

Scotland, Wembley, 10.5.69. England won 4-1

Banks   Newton   Cooper   Mullery      Labone    Moore*        

Lee    Ball    Charlton R.    Hurst2   Peters2

Highlights:  The old West Ham double act of Hurst and Peters sunk the Scots with two goals each, the second of Hurst's goals coming from a thunderous penalty that many observers considered the hardest they had ever seen a ball hit from the spot. Colin Stein scored to make it 2-1 at half-time, and the final scoreline was harsh on a Scottish team powerfully driven from midfield by Billy Bremner and Archie Gemmill.  The victory put England in just the right mood for their fact-finding tour in preparation for their 1970 World Cup defence.

No 207

Mexico, ciudad de México, 1.6.69. Drew 0-0

West  Newton (Wright)   Cooper   Mullery       Labone   Moore*        

Lee    Ball   Charlton R.   Hurst   Peters

Highlights:  Goalkeeper Gordon West played impressively as deputy for Gordon Banks, and then astonished Ramsey by asking not to be considered for any more internationals because he suffered so much from homesickness. The England team struggled in the second-half as the Mexico's high altitude took its toll, and Ramsey  noted that he would need to give them several weeks to acclimatise before the 1970 World Cup finals. An unofficial international followed three days later in which an FA XI won 4-0 as Sir Alf gave every player in his squad experience of action  in the thin air of Mexico. 

No 208

Uruguay, Montevideo, 8.6.69. England won 2-1

Banks   Wright    Newton   Mullery   Labone    Moore*           

Lee1     Bell     Hurst1   Ball   Peters

Highlights:  Gordon Banks, back in the England goal following a round-trip home to England for the funeral of his father, had to be at his best to keep out the Uruguay attack after Francis Lee had scored an early goal. Banks was beaten by a diving header from the exceptional Luis Cubilla, before Hurst collected the winner ten minutes from the end following neat approach work by Ball and Lee. The game was played in the Centenario Stadium, the venue for the first World Cup final in 1930. 

No 209

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, 12.6.69. England lost 2-1

Banks   Wright      Newton   Mullery     Labone Moore*          

Ball     Bell1    Charlton R.   Hurst   Peters 

Highlights:  Colin Bell gave England a 1-0 half-time lead and victory hopes were high when Banks saved a penalty from Brazilian skipper Carlos Alberto that briefly silenced the 160,000 crowd in the magnificent Maracana Stadium. Alan Mullery policed Pele so well that he made hardly any impact on the match, but England tired in the final twenty minutes and they were brought to their knees by late goals from Tostao and Jairzinho (a signed of things to come!). Sir Alf Ramsey said after the match: 'I am proud of every one of our players. We were so close to a deserved victory. I am delighted with our overall performances on this tour, and it will be of great benefit when we come back next year for the World Cup.'

No 210

Holland, Amsterdam, 5.11.69. England won 1-0

Bonetti   Wright   Hughes   Mullery       Charlton J.   Moore*   

Lee (Thompson)    Bell1    Charlton R.   Hurst   Peters 

Highlights:   Colin Bell scored the goal that defeated a Dutch team that played the more skilful football but without being able to provide the finishing touch to their impressive approach work.  Emlyn Hughes made a sound start to his England career at left-back. It was Guy Fawkes Day, but there were few fireworks from an England attack that too often put passes astray. The game was into its last five minutes when Bell netted the winning goal following a mishit shot by Bobby Charlton. It was deserved reward for an all-action display from Bell, who had earlier put a header against the bar. His energetic performance showed why his Manchester City coach Malcolm Allison had nicknamed him Nijinsky (after the race horse, not the ballet master). The talk among the England players after the match was the performance of young Ajax partners Rudi Krol and Johann Cruyff. The prediction was that we would be hearing a lot more about them.

No 211

Portugal, Wembley, 10.12.69. England won 1-0

Bonetti   Reaney   Hughes   Mullery      Charlton J.1     Moore*           

Lee     Bell (Peters)    Astle    Charlton R.   Ball 

Highlights:  Francis Lee, noted as one of the deadliest of all penalty takers, missed his second spot-kick in an England shirt. England were awarded the penalty after Jeff Astle had been brought down.  Lee stumbled as he ran up to take the kick and sliced the ball so wide it nearly hit a corner flag. It took centre-half Jack Charlton to show the forwards how to get the ball into the net on a pitch made treacherous by heavy rain. Jack rose high to head in a corner from brother Bobby in the twenty-fourth minute of an undistinguished match. Martin Peters was summoned on as second-half substitute for Colin Bell, who went off with a dislocated shoulder. 

No 212

Holland, Wembley, 14.1.70. Drew 0-0

Banks   Newton  Cooper   Peters      Charlton J.   Hunter         

Lee   (Mullery)    Bell    Jones (Hurst)  Charlton R.*    Storey-Moore

Highlights:  England were slow-handclapped and jeered by their fans who did not appreciate that Holland were an emerging power in world football. The Dutch team included such quality players as Cruyff, Van Hanegem, Krol and Keizer, and England's defenders had to work flat out to hold them. Mick Jones, playing his first international match for four years, was substituted by Geoff Hurst after seventy minutes. Ian Storey-Moore, making his one and only England appearance, had a good-looking headed goal disallowed. The referee blew the final whistle as Bobby Charlton unleashed one of his specials that flew into the net, but too late to count. It was another milestone match for Bobby, who in his ninety-eight international  overtook the Billy Wright record of sixty-seven matches against overseas opposition.

No 213

Belgium, Brussels, 25.2.70. England won 3-1

Banks   Wright   Cooper   Moore*   Labone    Hughes           

Lee     Ball2    Osgood   Hurst1   Peters

Highlights:  Alan Ball was rewarded for one of his typically non-stop performances with two goals in appalling conditions in rain-lashed Brussels. Geoff Hurst scored the other goal against a punchless Belgium team which had Paul van Himst as their one world-class player. Chelsea's graceful but unpredictable Peter Osgood made a quietly satisfactory debut in snowy conditions. The game was won by England in midfield, where Ball and Peters were outstanding on a quagmire of a pitch that made every step a challenge.

No 214

Wales, Ninian Park, 18.4.70. Drew 1-1

Banks     Wright    Hughes    Mullery    Labone   Moore*         

Lee1    Ball   Charlton R.   Hurst   Peters

Highlights: Sir Alf Ramsey was shaping his tactics for the coming defence of the World Cup, and had settled on a 4-4-2 formation with Francis Lee and Geoff Hurst as the two front runners supported from midfield by Alan Mullery, Alan Ball, Bobby Charlton and Martin Peters. There was press criticism of the system after England had struggled to hold Wales, Lee salvaging a draw with a spectacular solo goal after Dick Krzywicki had given the Welsh a well-deserved lead.  Sir Alf said later that he was satisfied with the performance. 'Everything we do now is with Mexico in mind,' he said. 'We must adapt the way we play for the conditions we will meet out there.'

No 215

Northern Ireland, Wembley, 21.4.70. England won 3-1

Banks    Newton (Bell)   Hughes    Mullery     Moore*    Stiles 

Coates    Kidd    Charlton R.1    Hurst1    Peters1

Highlights:  Bobby Charlton led the team out in his hundredth appearance in an England shirt and celebrated with his forty-eighth goal. Peters, now of Tottenham, and Hurst were also on the mark to give England a comfortable victory. George Best, Charlton's gifted Manchester United clubmate, gave Northern Ireland a rare moment of supremacy when he took advantage of dithering in the England defence to turn a half chance into a goal. Ralph Coates and Brian Kidd had their international careers launched as Sir Alf Ramsey searched for his ideal combination for the World Cup finals.

No 216

Scotland, Hampden Park, 25.4.70. Drew 0-0

Banks   Newton   Hughes   Stiles   Labone   Moore*   

Thompson   (Mullery)   Ball   Astle        Hurst     Peters

Highlights:  This was England's final game before flying off for the World Cup warm-up games in South America, and the Scots were hell bent on giving them a morale-sapping defeat as a farewell present. England were equally determined not to be beaten and the game became bogged down in a midfield stalemate. A buffeting wind whipped around Hampden and made ball control difficult, robbing the 137,438 spectators of what had been an anticipated classic. The game produced the first goalless draw between Scotland and England since the first ever international football match between them back in1872.

No 217

Colombia, Bogota, 20.5.70. England won 4-0

Banks   Newton  Cooper   Mullery   Labone     Moore*          

Lee    Ball1   Charlton R.1     Hurst      Peters2

Highlights:  England arrived in Bogota after two weeks altitude training in Mexico. Sir Alf Ramsey fielded what he considered his number one World Cup team and two goals from Martin Peters and one each from Bobby Charlton and Alan Ball gave England a comfortable victory at an altitude of 8,600 feet high up in the spectacular Andes mountains. England were a goal up in just ninety seconds from a deft header by Peters, .and were rarely troubled by a Colombian side that played a neat passing game but without penalty area punch. This 4-4-2 line-up featured Francis Lee and Geoff Hurst working in tandem up front and supported by a midfield quartet of Alan Mullery, Alan Ball, Bobby Charlton and Martin Peters. Everton skipper Brian Labone had taken over from Jack Charlton at the heart of the defence, and only Gordon Banks and Bobby Moore had survived from the fortress that had been so impressive in the 1966 World Cup finals.

No 218

Ecuador, Quito, 24.5.70. England won 2-0

Banks   Newton   Cooper   Mullery  Labone     Moore*          

Lee1  (Kidd1)   Ball     Charlton R.  (Sadler)  Hurst  Peters 

Highlights:  England literally went up into the clouds for this final warm-up match before the start of their World Cup defence. Quito is more than 9,000 feet above sea level, and the ball swerved around like a boomerang. Francis Lee gave England the lead and was then substituted in the seventieth minute by Brian Kidd, who scored a second goal. Ironically, Kidd had been told he was one of six players not included in the final World Cup squad of twenty-two. It was during a stop-over in Bogota on the flight back to Mexico that Bobby Moore was arrested on a trumped-up jewel-theft charge following an allegation that he had stolen a bracelet from a hotel shop. He was held under house arrest for five days before the British ambassador negotiated his release. It would be another two years before his name was finally cleared. Nobody who knew Bobby ever doubted his innocence.

No 219

Romania, World Cup, Guadalajara, 2.6.70. England won 1-0

Banks   Newton (Wright)   Cooper   Mullery   Labone    Moore*        

Lee  (Osgood)   Ball     Charlton R.   Hurst1  Peters

Highlights: England started their World Cup defence as they had finished it in 1966, with Geoff Hurst emerging as the goal-scoring hero. His goal in the seventieth minute - the ball going through the legs of the Rumanian goalkeeper - was enough to give England a winning send-off. Captain Bobby Moore, back with the squad after his harrowing experience in Colombia, was the outstanding defender on the pitch. It was a satisfactory rather than spectacular start by England against opponents who concentrated solely on defence in a bid to squeeze a draw out of a hard-fought match.  The one worry for England was an injury to right-back Keith Newton, but his Everton clubmate Tommy Wright proved a sound substitute.

No 220

Brazil, World Cup, Guadalajara, 7.6.70. England lost 1-0

Banks   Wright   Cooper   Mullery   Labone   Moore* 

Lee (Astle)       Ball   Charlton R. (Bell)   Hurst  Peters

Highlights:  An astonishing save by Gordon Banks from a header by Pele inspired England and found its way into the land of footballing legend. The game was staged in the heat of the mid-day sun on a scorching Sunday that was ideally suited for a siesta rather than soccer.  Only mad dogs and footballers would have gone out in such sweltering 98-degree conditions, and at a thin-air altitude that made walking let alone running a challenge. The match was just ten minutes old and goalless when the master of all strikers - Pele – came face to face with a genius among goalkeepers  - Gordon Banks - in a High Noon duel. Carlos Alberto, Brazilian right-back and captain, pushed a carefully calculated pass down the right wing into the path of the skilled Jairzinho, who suddenly and dramatically accelerated past Terry Cooper to the by-line. He then stabbed a centre into the goalmouth that seemed to hang invitingly for Pele, who had instinctively read the situation as only he could. He had got himself perfectly positioned beyond his marker Alan Mullery to meet the ball.  The master climbed above the ball and headed it with ferocious power down - and so he thought - into the net. Mullery later reported that Pele shouted 'Goal!' as the ball flew off his head. So did most spectators in the stadium, including the commentators sending their descriptive phrases around the world to millions of television viewers and radio listeners. Banks looked rooted on the wrong side of goal but suddenly, with the blurring speed of a panther, sprinted and then dived to his right and somehow managed to get an outstretched hand under the ball to flick it up and away over the bar. Pele stopped dead in mid-celebration to mourn what had somehow become a missed chance. This moment of astounding gymnastics from Banks inspired England to give the eventual world champions their hardest match of the tournament, but after a magnificent battle they finally succumbed to a superbly drilled shot by Jairzinho on the hour. He cut in from the right to score after an arrowing Tostao pass and a deft, perfectly delivered pass from Pele had ripped open the middle of the England defence. Jeff Astle had a gilt-edged chance to equalise within moments of coming on as a substitute but - yes, even in those heatwave conditions  - he was caught cold and shot tamely wide.  A lasting memory of the match for all those lucky enough to have witnessed the classic confrontation is of Bobby Moore and Pele cuddling each other before swapping shirts, two masters of the game recognising each other's genius. Evidence that the England players had given their all is that several of them lost up to ten pounds in weight after running round in the mid-day sun so that the World Cup organizers could satisfy the deadline demands of the great god of world-wide television. The millions tuned into the match will always recall it for having seen one of the saves of the century.

No 221

Czechoslovakia, World Cup, Guadalajara, 11.6.70. England won 1-0

Banks   Newton   Cooper   Mullery   Charlton J.   Moore*       

Bell   Charlton R. (Ball)   Astle (Osgood)    Clarke1   Peters

Highlights:  Allan Clarke volunteered for penalty duty in his first England international appearance, and showed an ice-cool temperament as he slotted home a disputed forty-eighth minute spot-kick that clinched a place in the World Cup quarter-finals. The only time the Czechs looked like scoring was when a speculative shot from twenty-five yards by right-back Dobias swerved in the thin air. Banks, at full stretch,  managed to tip it on to the bar and as as he turned the ball rebounded into his arms. It was a stuttering performance by England,  but they had managed to reach the quarter-finals where, waiting for them, were of all teams West Germany. Sir Alf Ramsey's poor PR performance - he was sullen and cold when approached by the world's media - worked against England, and it seemed all neutrals wanted  to see the Germans gain revenge for their defeat in the final at Wembley in 1966.

No 222

West Germany, World Cup, Leon, 14.6.70. England lost 3-2 (aet)

Bonetti    Newton   Cooper   Mullery1   Labone   Moore*      

Lee     Ball   Charlton R. (Bell)    Hurst   Peters1 (Hunter)

Highlights: There was a huge blow to England when at the last minute goalkeeper Gordon Banks had to withdraw because of a stomach upset. Montezumah's revenge had never been harsher, robbing England of the best goalkeeper in the world. Peter Bonetti, who had not played a full competitive match since the end of the previous club season, was called in as emergency deputy. England were in command for sixty nine minutes thanks to goals from Alan Mullery and Martin Peters in stifling conditions. Franz Beckenbauer pulled the Germans back into the game with a shot that Bonetti would have saved nine times out of ten. Sir Alf Ramsey immediately sent on Colin Bell as substitute for Bobby Charlton, who was being saved for a semi-final that never came England's way. German substitute Jurgen Grabowski was running rings round exhausted left-back Terry Cooper, and Ramsey decided on a second substitution, sending on Norman Hunter for Peters in a bid to stiffen the defence. With Charlton and Peters off, it meant England had lost their two most composed players and suddenly they were looking disjointed. A freak header by Uwe Seeler sent the ball on an arc over the wrong-footed Bonetti to send the game into extra-time just as in the 1966 World Cup final, but this time it was the Germans who came out on top. Geoff Hurst had a goal disallowed, and then Gerd Muller rammed in the winner after Grabowski had beaten Cooper and crossed for Loehr to head the ball down into 'Der Bomber's' path. England's reign as world champions was over, as was the great international career of Bobby Charlton after a record 106 caps. Several of the England players were in tears,  and Sir Alf was shell shocked.  He did not believe it possible that any team could come back from two goals down against the England defence. How different it might have been had Gordon Banks been fit, and how different it might have been had Sir Alf not made a mess of his substitutions. He had never used substitutes throughout his club managerial career, and was never comfortable with the system. Now the knives were out for him at home. The Football Association officials he had too often treated with contempt were plotting their revenge.

____________________

CG