The death of Roger Hunt at the age of 83 leaves just three surviving members from the England team that won the World Cup in 1966.
Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst and George Cohen are now the only living players from the team 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 this summer.
Roger Hunt, who started the 1966 World Cup final, when England beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley, has died at the age of 83
Hunt started the ’66 final in attack, but his industrious performance was always likely to be overshadowed by the hat-trick scored by his strike partner Hurst.
However, Hunt netted three times during the tournament – once in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the group stage and twice in the victory over France by the same scoreline that followed it.
He is a club legend at Liverpool, where he scored 261 goals in 416 matches and remains their all-time leading scorer in league competition.
Bobby Moore lifts the Jules Rimet Trophy after England’s one – and only – World Cup success
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
Fans affectionately referred to Hunt as ‘Sir Roger’ even though he was never knighted. He received the MBE in 2000.
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.
Bobby Moore tries to get the Jules Rimet Trophy back from Gordon Banks on the victory lap
George Cohen – England’s right-back that afternoon at Wembley was a one-club man, turning out 459 times for Fulham during a 13-year playing career there. Cohen was capped 37 times for his country and played each of England’s six matches during the 1966 tournament and was the team’s vice-captain to Bobby Moore. Now aged 81.
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 last year, parades the trophy 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 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 and Alan Ball celebrate on the pitch after beating West Germany
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 83, Charlton was diagnosed with dementia last year.
Bobby Charlton belts home England’s winner against Portugal in the 1966 World Cup semi
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.
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 79.
‘They think it’s all over… it is now’ as Geoff Hurst completes his hat-trick with England’s fourth