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England 1966 WC winners: Where are they now

28 July 2016, 20:54

London - We take a look at what happened to the 11 players and manager Alf Ramsey following their success in the 1966 World Cup:

Gordon Banks (born Dec 30 1937)

Playing career all but ended when he lost an eye in a car crash in 1972. His nephew Nick Banks is the drummer for top British band Pulp. Life hasn't been kind to him generally.

Lost a lot of money in a company and subsequently sold his winner's medal and the international cap from the final. Has had two bouts of kidney cancer. Has been honoured in several ways including a statue of his extraordinary save from Pele at the 1970 World Cup.

George Cohen (born Oct 22 1939)

Remarkably similar to Banks in certain respects, although he didn't make it to the 1970 World Cup. However, he has had three cancer battles and also through financial hardship had to sell his winner's medal which his beloved Fulham bought.

They are to erect a statue in his honour. Suffered personal tragedy when his brother was killed outside a nightclub in 2000. His nephew Ben won the Rugby World Cup three years later.

Cohen is now raising money for dementia as four of his team-mates from 1966 have been diagnosed with Alzheimers or significant memory loss which some attribute to the impact of heading the then far heavier ball.

Bobby Moore (capt, born April 12 1941 - died Feb 24 1993)

Ended his playing days at Carolina Lightnin' in the USA. Management didn't suit him well, ending in 1986 - the same year as he divorced his first wife and mother of his two children - after two seasons with Southend.

Appeared in the fun film caper 'Escape to Victory' alongside Pele and British film great Michael Caine. Died of liver and bowel cancer in 1993.

"I only ever cried over two people, (former Leeds star) Billy Bremner and Bob... (long pause) He was a lovely man," commented tough as teak defender Jack Charlton on a BBC documentary of Moore's life.

Bobby Charlton (born Oct 11 1937)

Eminence grise of Manchester United. Lacked streetwise politics though when it came to dealing with the now disgraced FIFA Executive Board in the failed English bid for the 2006 World Cup but was part of the 2012 Olympic Games bid.

Knighted in 1994 he didn't speak to his mother Cissie from 1992 until her death because of the animosity between her and his wife Norma. Still a stalwart representative of Manchester United. Started a charity aimed at clearing landmines.

"When I went, I saw the absolute mayhem that these mines cause," he said after paying a visit to Bosnia's capital Sarajevo. "I was coming back on the aeroplane and I thought 'there must be a better way'."

Jack and Bobby Charlton (Getty Images)

Jack Charlton (born May 8 1935)

One of the rare birds of the team to go on and experience success as a manager, not of England but of the Republic of Ireland. The unlikeliest of love affairs which saw him dubbed 'Saint Jack' helped no end by a 1-0 win over England in the Euro '88 finals - the first time the Irish had qualified - and a run to the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals.

He stretched the rules regarding Irish heritage to the limit in obtaining players and wasn't great at names, referring to Tony Cascarino as 'the man with an ice cream seller's name' when he forgot it. Has partially made up with brother Bobby after a feud. It got so bad that Bobby admitted 'I don't want to know him (Jack)'. However, they do see each other occasionally now.

Ray Wilson (born Dec 17 1934)

One of the quartet diagnosed with Alzheimers or significant memory loss. Enjoyed a successful time post football... running an undertakers and joinery business.

According to his wife Pat, Wilson - who was christened Ramon in honour of the Mexican silent movie star Ramon Navarro - wakes up every morning now and sings a Frank Sinatra song and has developed an interest in sketching.

"He's happy and if he's happy, I'm happy. It's as simple as that," she told the Daily Mirror this year.

Nobby Stiles (born May 18 1942)

Not the most enjoyable of times since retiring as a player, suffered from depression during his time in charge of West Brom. Another to sell his winner's medal and also his European Cup winner's medal which were both bought by his old club Manchester United.

However, his handling of the United youth team bore rich results in the shape of David Beckham, Paul Scholes etc. Suffered a stroke and then prostate cancer and in 2012 was diagnosed with Alzheimers, although it only became public last year.

"I know Nobby is loved but it is hard to understand the level of interest and we just want some peace," said his wife Kay.

Alan Ball (born May 12 1945 - died April 25 2007)

The flame-haired squeaky-voiced babe of the team and second of the 11 to pass away. He died of a heart attack while trying to put out a fire in his garden which had spread from his bonfire to the fence of the garden.

His wife - and mother of their three children - pre-deceased him in 2004. He also sold his winner's medal and commemorative cap.

Managed with a certain amount of success in the old First Division and then its successor the Premier League Portsmouth, bitter rivals Southampton as well as Manchester City.

Geoff Hurst (born Dec 8 1941)

The second of the World Cup knights... and still the only man to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final. Dabbled in management first with Chelsea and then with a Kuwaiti club side but returned to insurance sales after being sent packing by the Kuwaitis.

Played a part in the unsuccessful 2006 World Cup bid. Has been memorialised in two sculptures, one in Manchester and one near his former club West Ham's former ground.

Geoff Hurst (Getty Images)

Martin Peters (born Nov 8 1943)

Became first player to cost 200 000 when he signed for Spurs from West Ham in 1970. Following his retirement, though, like his former Hammers team-mate Hurst he opted to go into the insurance business. He also did the odd bit of TV punditry and wrote a well-received biography 'The Ghost of '66 - The Autobiography'.

Another of the side to be diagnosed with Alzheimers, this time in 2013.

"Dad hasn't been to any of the 1966 celebration dinners so far. We had to pull him out," his daughter Leann told the Daily Mirror in April.

"We don't talk about it in front of him either. He wouldn't admit he has dementia. If we say that to him he says 'there's nothing wrong with me'."

Alf Ramsey (born Jan 22 1920 - died April 28 1999)

Ramsey did get a knighthood but precious little thanks at the end of his reign when England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup finals.

"The most incredible thing that ever happened in English football," opined Ball afterwards regarding Ramsey's poor treatment by the FA.

Developed Alzheimers disease, was content to live a reclusive life watching westerns with his wife in Ipswich before moving to a nursing home and dying of a heart attack.

Roger Hunt (born July 20 1938)

Another to avoid the pitfalls of management - he said he didn't think he had the temperament for it - and opted instead to go into the family haulage firm which he has made a success of.

Still Liverpool's all-time leading league goal scorer, he is often referred to as 'Sir Roger' although Queen Elizabeth II hasn't seen fit to award him a knighthood.

Roger Hunt, George Cohen, Alan Ball, Jack Charlton, Martin Peters, Gordon Banks and Nobby Stiles (Getty Images)



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