World Cup 1966

Where do you start with 1966?  Bobby Moore?  Pickles the dog?  Antonio Rattin?  Geoff Hurst?  The Turkish Linesman?  Jimmy Greaves?  Well, it's probably best to keep it simple.  As in previous tournaments there were 16 teams, this time though, 5 of FIFA's confederations were represented (although not Africa - due to the usual FIFA stumbling blocks placed in their way...)

8 venues were used - one of which White City Stadium in London saw only one game - Uruguay versus France - moved from Wembley because of the dog racing which was pre-scheduled and would not be cancelled by the owner of Wembley Stadium!  Only in Britain, only in Britain!

Anyway, the football went like this:

England and Uruguay qualified from Group 1 and were joined in the quarter finals by West Germany and Argentina, Portugal and Hungary (thus knocking out Brazil) and finally the USSR and North Korea - famously eliminating Italy!

The quarter finals were tempestuous affairs to say the least.  West Germany defeated Uruguay 4-0 only after English referee sent of two Uruguayans.  Portugal met North Korea at Goodison Park and the match ended with a 5-3 victory for Portugal after the Koreans had been 3 goals up after just 22 minutes.  England beat Argentina by 1-0 after Antonio Rattin was (in)famously sent off and (in)famously refused to leave the pitch.  Finally the USSR ran out 2-1 winners against Hungary.

The semi finals were less controversial on the pitch - England beat Portugal by 2-1 at Wembley and West Germany defeated the USSR by the same score at Goodison Park.  Off the pitch was a different matter as the games were due to be played the other way round - i.e. England's game at Goodison and the West Germans' at Wembley!

Anyway, history is history - it can't be changed.  And we all know what happened in the final - don't we?  More than 40 years on, it certainly is all over!

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