Summer 1966 saw kids going football crazy as the world cup was being held in Britain at Wembley Stadium. The kids were all running around with World Cup Willie tee shirts on. We were the first nation to wear anything associated with the World cup. Record sales of England football strips, the brown size 5 footballs with yellow laces boosted the economy. Never had a game captured the imagination of the whole nation. There was high expectation from Alf Ramsey’s team Especially for Geordies when two local lads from Ashington in Northumberland were playing and once more they were both Brothers. Bobby Charlton “The Net Buster” who played for Manchester United and his younger brother Jackie, who played for Leeds United. They were both nephews of the great Jackie Milburn who won two FA Cup winners medals for Newcastle United.
The Tournament didn’t get off to a good start when the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen and a nationwide search began to find it.
It showed up a week later when a Jack Russell dog called “Pickles” found it wrapped in newspaper in a garden hedge. A replica had been ordered by Queen Elizabeth 11 and the tournament got under way. Brazil was the heavy favourites to win the competition with Pele. But it was England who came through to play Germany in the final.
There wasn’t a single person on the streets of North Shields that afternoon as England played some of the best football ever witnessed. England went a goal down when a goal mouth scramble was converted past Gordon Banks by Helmut Haller.
England inspired by all the fans who drowned out the German Fans with there non stop shouts of England, England. Geoff Hurst equalised and the crowd went wild; it was now 1-1 the players went off for a pep talk and I don’t know what was said in that dressing room but England came out for the second half more determined that anyone had ever witnessed. It was like there was much more at stake than just a game of football. We had beaten Germany in two World Wars and maybe this was the pitch that Alf Ramsey used to inspire his men but they passed the ball as if it were on elastic and after seventy eight minutes Martin Peters scored giving us a 2-1 lead. The Germans came back though and levelled with a goal from Wolfgang Weber in the dying seconds to force extra time.
Alf Ramsey calmly went round his men as they all grabbed a drink. It was hot that afternoon and the German’s looked more tired than what the England team were; they were lying down and many of them were suffering from cramp. Little “Nobby Styles” had his socks rolled down and his front teeth missing as his dentures were taken out. The Charlton brothers had played out of their skins and the Captain Bobby Moore of West Ham United urged his players on for one last effort. The first half of extra time got under way and again it was England who had the ascendency; the fans started singing “When the Saints go marching in.’
Hurst and Peters played a one two and Geoff Hurst had a crack at goal immediately Martin Peters put his hand up as he was near the goal line as the ball hit the cross bar bounced down then came out again. The linesman said no goal and there was controversy as Bobby Moore went to the referee to ask him what was going on. The other linesman was called who said the ball had crossed the line. Goal! Said the referee and pointed to the centre spot. The German’s heads went down after that and