On this day in history : 30th July 1966 – Nearly 97,000 spectators, including the Queen and Prince Philip, fill Wembley Stadium to watch England win the World Cup Final….

A further 400 million watched around the world on television – 32.3 million of those were in Britain and it remains the most-ever watched event on British TV…. And it is the only time that England have ever won the World Cup since the start of the tournament in 1930….

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The match ball from the 1966 World Cup Final – Image credit : Ben Sutherland via Flickr

West Germany had taken an early lead – but Geoff Hurst had equalised by half time…. Martin Peters scored a second goal 13 minutes from time – but a free kick to Germany just 15 seconds from full time gave a close range shot to the West German team…. Wolfgang Weber took the shot and put a goal into Gordon Banks’ net – taking the score to 2-2 and the game into extra time….

Eleven minutes into extra time saw Hurst score what was to become a controversial goal – one that has been debated ever since…. Alan Ball put in a cross and Hurst swivelled and shot from close range…. The ball struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down….leaving Swiss referee, Gottfried Dienst, uncertain if it was a goal…. Only after consultation with his linesman, Tofiq Bahramov, was the goal allowed…. Even to this day photographic evidence has been unable to give decisive confirmation….

However, a third goal from Hurst in the final moments of extra time was deciding…. Geoff Hurst was the first man ever to score a hat trick in a World Cup Final….and the final score was 4-2 to England…. Captain Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy as it was presented to him by Her Majesty the Queen….

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Queen Elizabeth II presents the Jules Rimet Trophy to England’s team captain Bobby Moore – National Media Museum UK – no restrictions

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