ollowing the tragic news of Roger Hunt’s death, we reflect on the heroes who brought football home in 1966.
Liverpool announced on Tuesday that the former striker, who was key to both their success and that of England in the Sixties, had passed away at the age of 83.
Hunt scored three goals in helping England get out of their group at the 1966 finals, and played in every game such was his importance to Sir Alf Ramsey’s team.
England’s 1966 World Cup Final win against West Germany remains the pinnacle of footballing achievement in the country.
Here’s what happened to England’s 1966 World Cup heroes after the final…
1 Gordon Banks | 1937 – 2019
Went on to win 73 England caps and make 628 club appearances in a 15-year career. Still famed for his stunning save from Pele’s header in England’s 1970 World Cup clash with Brazil. Helped Stoke to the 1972 League Cup though lost the sight in one eye in a car crash in October later that same year, that ultimately ended his professional career. Enjoyed a brief managerial stint with Telford United.
2 George Cohen | 1939 – present
Fulham defender Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club. Cohen struggled with bowel cancer for 14 years in the 1980s. He later opted to sell his World Cup winner’s medal, though Fulham purchased the item to display it at Craven Cottage. Nephew Ben Cohen helped England win the Rugby World Cup in 2003. Awarded the MBE in 2000.
3 Ray Wilson | 1934 – 2018
England’s left-back kept the lowest profile of the 1966 winners. Wilson built a successful undertaker’s business in Huddersfield after his football career, but retired from his second career in 1997.
4 Nobby Stiles | 1942 – 2020
Midfielder Stiles ended up with 28 England caps but went on to rack up 392 appearances for Manchester United before a move to Middlesbrough in 1971. A career in coaching followed, with two stints at Preston, before a short-lived tenure at West Brom. Stiles worked as a youth team coach at Manchester United between 1989 and 1993, helping oversee the development of the renowned class of ’92 that included the likes of David Beckham and the Neville brothers. His family have revealed he has been suffering from dementia for several years and in October 2020 passed away.
5 Jack Charlton | 1935 – 2020
Made 629 appearances for Leeds and collected 35 England caps, before turning attention to a successful managerial career. After stints with Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle, Charlton stepped up to lead the Republic of Ireland. Against the odds, he led them to the Euros in 1988, the last eight of Italia 90 and then last 16 of the 1994 World. Appointed an OBE in 1974 and awarded honorary Irish citizenship in 1996, being made a freeman of the city of Dublin in 1994. He died in July 2020 after battling lymphoma and later dementia.
6 Bobby Moore | 1941 – 1993
Widely accepted as England’s greatest centre-half and one of the best anywhere of all time, the World Cup-winning captain died from bowel and liver cancer in February 1993, aged 51. Won 108 caps for England, representing West Ham with distinction, before enjoying spells at Fulham and in America. Moore’s widow Stephanie founded the Bobby Moore Fund in 1993, to raise money for research into bowel cancer and raise public awareness of the disease. His statue stands outside the new Wembley to commemorate England’s greatest ever day.
7 Alan Ball | 1945 – 2007
Ball – the youngest of the World Cup winners – died of a heart attack in April 2007, aged 61. The combative midfielder excelled in stints with Blackpool, Everton and Arsenal, while also winning 72 England caps. After more than 800 club appearances Ball then moved into management, twice taking charge at Portsmouth along with stints at Southampton and Manchester City.
9 Sir Bobby Charlton | 1937 – present
‘Jack’s younger brother Bobby continues to sit on Manchester United’s board of directors, remaining a fixture at Old Trafford matches, and is a true global icon. The 81-year-old Ashington native racked up 106 England caps between 1958 and 1970 and was for decades England’s leading goalscorer. He had an unsuccessful managerial stint at Preston before becoming a director at United in 1984. He was knighted in 1994. In November 2020, Sir Bobby’s dementia diagnosis was confirmed by his wife.
Moved into the insurance business after retiring from professional football in 1981, following 67 England caps and lengthy stints with West Ham, Tottenham and Norwich. He was briefly manager of Sheffield United. Sat on Tottenham’s board of directors in the late 1990s. Peters battled Alzheimer’s disease in his later years.
10 Sir Geoff Hurst | 1941 – present
Still the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, Hurst made more than 400 appearances for West Ham and won 49 England caps. Short-lived managerial stints with Telford United, Chelsea and even a foray into club management in Kuwait punctuated work in the insurance trade after his playing career. He was knighted in 1998 and lives in Cheltenham.
21 Roger Hunt | 1938 – 2021
Liverpool stalwart Hunt made more than 400 appearances for the Anfield club, along with winning 34 caps for England. Held Liverpool’s all-time scoring record until overhauled by Ian Rush, although he remains the leading League scorer. Joined his family’s haulage business after retiring from football. The man, known as ‘Sir Roger’ by the adoring Reds fans, passed away on September 27, 2021 following a long illness.
Sir Alf Ramsey (Head Coach) | 1920 – 1999
The former Southampton and Tottenham full-back continued at the England helm until 1974, when failure to qualify for the finals in West Germany cost him his job. Stints at Birmingham and Panathinaikos (plus a caretaker stint at Melchester after Roy of the Rovers was shot in the best-selling comic) followed, before he spent his retirement in Ipswich. Ramsey died in April 1999 aged 79, less than a year after suffering a stroke, and after battling Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer.
Les Cocker (trainer) | 1924 – 1979
Cocker represented Stockport County and Accrington Stanley as a striker during a 12-year playing career. After his retirement in 1958 he turned his hand to coaching with both Luton Town and Leeds United before being offered a role with England. He was Team Trainer in 1966 but was not awarded a medal – like the majority of the non-playing staff and reserves – until June 2009, posthumously.