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George Cohen: World Cup winner’s death leaves just TWO surviving members from 1966

The death of George Cohen at the age of 83 leaves just two surviving members from the England team that started the 1966 World Cup final.

Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst are now the only living players from the side that famously and thrillingly defeated West Germany 4-2 after extra time at Wembley.

It remains England’s only major tournament triumph, though Gareth Southgate’s current crop were agonisingly close to beating Italy in the Euro 2020 final last summer.

Cohen started the ’66 final at right-back and was named vice-captain, with Sir Bobby Moore taking the armband as England came out on top thanks to a hat-trick from Hurst.

Cohen also had an infamous moment earlier in the tournament when he went to swap shirts with an Argentina player after England’s quarter-final victory, but was stopped by manager Sir Alf Ramsey, who later labelled the Argentines as ‘animals’ for their foul play during the match. The incident was caught on camera and remains a memorable image to this day.

During his international career, Cohen earned 37 caps for England, with his final appearance coming against Northern Ireland in 1967. 

Cohen spent his entire club career at Fulham, racking up 459 appearances between 1956 and 1969. He became known for his tough-tackling and overlapping runs down the right flank for the west London outfit.

A statue of the defender was unveiled outside Craven Cottage in 2016, 50 years on from England’s World Cup triumph. 

George Cohen (left), who started at right-back in the 1966 World Cup final, has passed away at the age of 83

As well as winning the World Cup with England, Cohen also spent his entire club career at Fulham before retiring in 1969

As well as winning the World Cup with England, Cohen also spent his entire club career at Fulham before retiring in 1969

Bobby Charlton (left) and Geoff Hurst (right) are now the only two surviving members from the 1966 final starting XI

Bobby Charlton (left) and Geoff Hurst (right) are now the only two surviving members from the 1966 final starting XI

The victorious England team celebrate with the Jules Rimet Trophy. Back row (left-right): Peter Bonetti, George Eastham, Harold Shepherdson, Jack Charlton, Gordon Banks, Roger Hunt, Bobby Moore, George Cohen, Bobby Charlton. Front row: Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson

The victorious England team celebrate with the Jules Rimet Trophy. Back row (left-right): Peter Bonetti, George Eastham, Harold Shepherdson, Jack Charlton, Gordon Banks, Roger Hunt, Bobby Moore, George Cohen, Bobby Charlton. Front row: Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson

Here’s what happened to the rest of the England team that started the 1966 World Cup final. 

Gordon Banks – One of English football’s most distinguished goalkeepers, Banks played 73 times for England in addition to 356 matches for Leicester City and 250 for Stoke City. He pulled off one of the finest saves ever seen to deny a certain goal by Brazil’s Pele in the 1970 World Cup. Banks died in February 2019 at the age of 81.

Captain Bobby Moore tries to get the Jules Rimet Trophy back from goalkeeper Gordon Banks on the victory lap

Captain Bobby Moore tries to get the Jules Rimet Trophy back from goalkeeper Gordon Banks on the victory lap

Jack Charlton – The centre-back was another to play for just one club, spending a remarkable 21 years in the Leeds United squad and amassing 762 games and 95 goals. That included a league title, FA Cup and League Cup wins and two European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup successes. Played 35 times for England and later managed the Republic of Ireland in three major tournaments. Died in July 2020 at the age of 85 after suffering from lymphoma and dementia.

Jack Charlton, who died in 2020 at the age of 85, parades the trophy around Wembley after England's World Cup triumph

Jack Charlton, who died in 2020 at the age of 85, parades the trophy around Wembley after England’s World Cup triumph 

Bobby Moore – One of the finest defenders to ever play the game, Moore captained England to glory in 1966, famously wiping his hands so as not to dirty the Queen’s pristine white gloves during the trophy presentation. Spent the majority of his career at West Ham, making 647 appearances and captaining them for over a decade. Pele described Moore as the best defender he ever faced. Moore died aged 51 in February 1993 after suffering from bowel and liver cancer.

Ray Wilson – Left-back who played for Everton at the time of the 1966 win having started his career at Huddersfield Town. He’d lifted the FA Cup at Wembley just before the World Cup glory. Wilson won 63 caps for England and also played in the Euro 1968 finals. He was the oldest player in the England side in the 1966 final at 31. He died in May 2018, aged 83, having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years.

Nobby Stiles – Danced on the Wembley pitch with the Jules Rimet trophy in one hand and his false teeth in the other. Stiles was a no-nonsense defensive midfielder charged with hunting down dangerous opposition players and winning the ball back. In the semi-final with Portugal, he marked Eusebio out of the game. Spent the bulk of his career at Manchester United, achieving great success. Died in October 2020 at the age of 78. He had prostate cancer and advanced dementia.

Toothless Nobby Stiles (right) and Alan Ball (left) celebrate on the pitch after beating West Germany in the 1966 final

Toothless Nobby Stiles (right) and Alan Ball (left) celebrate on the pitch after beating West Germany in the 1966 final

Alan Ball – The midfielder was admired by Ramsey for his stamina and hard work and that would win him 72 caps for his country. Moved from Blackpool to Everton in the summer of ’66 and would later play for Arsenal and Southampton before moving into management. Died of a heart attack in April 2007 aged 61.

Bobby Charlton – An England legend who was the national team’s record goalscorer with 49 until surpassed by Wayne Rooney. When he retired from international duty in 1970, he was also the team’s record caps winner on 106. A long and remarkable career was dominated by 17 years in Manchester United’s first team which saw him survive the Munich air disaster and win the European Cup a decade later. Now 85, Charlton was diagnosed with dementia in 2020.

Bobby Charlton belts home England's winner against Portugal in the 1966 World Cup semi-final to seal a 2-1 victory

Bobby Charlton belts home England’s winner against Portugal in the 1966 World Cup semi-final to seal a 2-1 victory

Martin Peters – West Ham’s Peters scored the second of England’s four goals against West Germany. It was only his eighth cap but he would go to win 67, scoring 20 times. Played over 700 matches in his professional career for West Ham, Tottenham, Norwich and Sheffield United. Another to suffer from Alzheimer’s in later life, he died in December 2019 aged 76.

Roger Hunt – Hunt played in all six matches at the 1966 tournament, scoring three goals including a brace against France. He spent the majority of his club career at Liverpool, netting 244 goals in 404 matches as he established himself as a prolific goalscorer. He passed away at the age of 83 in September 2021.

Geoff Hurst – Arguably the best known of the 1966 heroes and certainly to a modern generation, Hurst scored a hat-trick to sink West Germany. His third goal, in the closing stages of extra time was accompanied by Kenneth Wolstenholme’s immortal commentary: ‘They think it’s all over… it is now!’ Scored 24 goals in 49 England games, playing at two more tournaments and was prolific for West Ham, with 242 goals in 500 outings. Now aged 80.

'They think it's all over... it is now' as Geoff Hurst completes his hat-trick with England's fourth goal in the final

‘They think it’s all over… it is now’ as Geoff Hurst completes his hat-trick with England’s fourth goal in the final

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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