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How many times have England been in the World Cup Finals?
England first entered the FIFA World Cup in 1950 and have participated in the World Cup Finals tournament 15 times, including 2018 World Cup in Russia. England won the World Cup once in 1966 World Cup on home soil. England’s second best performance was in 1996 World Cup in Italy and 2018 World Cup in Russia when they reached the tournament’s semi-final.
When were England last in a final?
Gareth Southgate’s men have the opportunity to join exalted company with a victory on Sunday – the famous World Cup-winning squad of 1966.
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What happened in the 1966 World Cup final?
England’s group stage went very similarly in 1966 to Euro 2020. They topped the group with two wins and a draw, not conceding a single goal in the process.
They beat Argentina 1-0 in the quarter-finals thanks to a Geoff Hurst goal, and then overcame Portugal in the semis with a Bobby Charlton brace.
The final against West Germany was a thriller. The Germans took the lead after 12 minutes through Helmut Haller, before Hurst levelled six minutes later.
Martin Peters thought he’d won if for England with 12 minutes to go, but Wolfgang Weber saved Germany with an 89th minute strike, sending the game to extra time.
Around 10 minutes into the first half Hurst scored one of the most controversial goals in football history. His shot hit the crossbar, bounced down onto the goal line and was awarded as a goal. Debate continues to this day over whether the ball crossed the line.
Hurst scored again to seal the win, as some England fans were already starting to invade the pitch. That led to this iconic piece of commentary from the BBC’s Kenneth Wolstenholme: “Some people are on the pitch.
Where are the squad now?
Goalkeeper – Gordon Banks, Leicester City
Lauded as England’s greatest ever goalkeeper, Banks left Leicester City the year after winning the World Cup. He had been dropped for Peter Shilton and was told to move on. He joined Stoke despite interest from Bill Shankly’s Liverpool and ended up making 250 appearances and winning the 1972 League Cup.
After retiring, he spent a brief period in coaching with Port Vale and then Telford United, but ended up walking away from the game in the 1980s. He did return to Stoke as president from 2000 until he died on 12 February 2019.
Defender – George Cohen, Fulham
In a side that lacked natural width in midfield, the likes of Cohen were crucial to manager Alf Ramsey. Sadly, injury forced Cohen, a one-club man for his whole career, into retirement just three years after topping the world with England. He spent some time in coaching with Fulham, England and in non-league, but is more often seen raising money for dementia causes, a disease that has affected so many of his teammates.
Defender – Bobby Moore, West Ham
Moore went on to win a total of 108 England caps, a record for an outfield player that stood until 2009 when David Beckham surpassed it. The majority of his club career was spent at West Ham, where the No 6 shirt has now been retired in his honour, although he did spend three years at Fulham and some time playing in the USA. Like so many of the 66 heroes, management did not appear to be his calling with Oxford and Southend his only jobs in England. Moore died of cancer at the age of just 51 on 24 February 1993.
Defender – Jack Charlton, Leeds United
Unlike Moore, Charlton Sr did enjoy success as a manager after his playing career ended in 1973. After spells in charge of Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United, he went on to spend a decade with the Republic of Ireland, the highlights a 1-0 win over England at Euro 88 and a run to the World Cup quarter-finals two years later. A long-running personal feud with his brother and teammate Bobby is said to have driven the pair apart. Jack Charlton died on 10 July 2020..
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