“Some are on the pitch,they think it’s all over,it is now”:Those words ,uttered by Kenneth Woolstenhome directly after Geoff Hurst scored his third goal to beat West Germany in the World Cup of 1966 still echo around many a more seasoned English football supporter.That game I remembered well,as I watched on the tv ,along with millions of others ,gripped with excitement and national pride.Most of my sisters boyfriends were there,the house was full to the rafters,and it was a celebration repeated up and down the streets of Britain at that time.To say that I fully understood the significance would be stretching the truth beyond reason,but I knew that we as a footballing nation had achieved something extremely special.
Back then,I was a rather shy and introverted 9year old,unable to read at that time,but ,oddly,a fascination for sounds.This interest in listening ,fuelled with my fascination for what made people congregate in large numbers,got my juices flowing .To elaborate,the noise that came from the tv on that Saturday afternoon:”England,followed by clapping,football rattles,then repeat repeat repeat,was so infectious.Each players name sounded so unique to me,because football wasn’t available like it is now in such an abundant way,it really was a treat to watch this game.Although I pride myself on my memory,I doubt wether I could list all 11players who played that day,but I will have but I can still hear Kenneth’s voice now :”It’s Gordon Banks in goal playing up field to Jack Charlton,who passes it to Ball(Alan).His commentary style was officious compared to today’s,but even though it was authoritative,it had a safe feel to it,you listened carefully.Kenneth was never known as Ken,at least not to us,he was meant to be aloof in many ways,but I liked his voice.When Bobby Charlton got the ball,his voice changed slightly and you could hear the excitement in it,because of Bobbys shooting abilities.
Although the heroes of that day were the players ,along with Sir Alf Ramsey,my hero was old Kenneth and those words right at the end :”Some of them are running on the pitch,they think it’s all over,-Hurst scores-it is now”
So,that was 1966,52 years ago.We haven’t ever as a footballing nation reached a World Cup final since that time.Yes,we’ve had our moments as they say,but our best efforts haven’t been good enough.Now,the game of soccer is a truly global sport,with Russia hosting the finals as I write these words.My love of the sport has been tempered by realism and just life really,but I always remember that day ,with Bobby Moore walking up to receive the cup and the sheer noise under the old Wembley Arches.
“Come on England”