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….

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….

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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