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'66: The Inside Story of England's 1966 World Cup Triumph (Mainstream sport) [Kindle Edition]

Roger Hutchinson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'. . . it is now!' With these legendary three words the 1966 World Cup final came to an end. England had won, and at 5.15 p.m. on 30 July 1966, Bobby Moore wiped his hands on his shorts, shook hands with the Queen, and took delivery of the Jules Rimet trophy before a worldwide television audience of 600 million.

It was, and remains, the single greatest British sporting achievement. Alf Ramsey had taken a national team whose fortunes and confidence were at their lowest ebb, and made them World Champions. In doing so he was accused of changing the face of soccer, of turning a 'noble game' into a sport which was dominated by fitness, defences and the training park. Ramsey's 'wingless wonders', it was said, 'put football back 100 years.'

How far did he and his squad set out to win sport's greatest trophy by any means possible, and how much did accident and circumstance dictate their victory? How good were Ramsey's England?

Award-winning sportswriter and historian Roger Hutchinson tells a story which sparkles with wit and with sporting brilliance.

'66 is the story of the greatest sporting tournament ever to take place in Britain, one that marked the birth of the modern game. It is the story of a sporting adventure which, far from putting football back 100 years, catapulted it unwillingly into the future. It is a tragedy told with a smile on its face. It is a tale that no sports fan will want to miss.

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"Pick of the crop, the definitive history of England's 1966 World Cup triumph... A beauty in every respect. What so often in the past has been dry, academic dissertation is rendered here with the clarity of historical drama." Time Out "Hutchinson illuminates a story of triumph with nuggets of insight and information... he is funny, perceptive and lucid." The Herald "It comes rudely to life for the climax and the account of the final is riveting." The Independent "The story of the 1966 World Cup straight, with the benefit of hindsight and a distinct lack of jingoism" Euro '96 Cup Final Programme

About the Author

Roger Hutchinson is an award-winning writer and journalist. He has written numerous books for Mainstream, including the hugely successful The Toon: A Complete History of Newcastle United Football Club and Into the Light: A Complete History of Sunderland Football Club.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 430 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Digital (23 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NHQ2HA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #334,580 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating but subjective 7 Sept. 2012
By D. J. H. Thorn VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My earliest football memory is of watching England and Uruguay on TV in the first game of the 1966 World Cup. It was also the dullest of the tournament. I was six years old and watched all of England's games; it's been all downhill since then. Probably because it was my first football experience, I have read and watched more about the World Cup in general than any other aspect of the sport.

Much of what is in this book therefore I already knew, but there is nevertheless a lot more that I didn't know, in particular details about England's development from when Alf Ramsey took over until the tournament itself. This, I feel, is the book's biggest asset. Unfortunately, the author's coverage of the 1966 World Cup and its aftermath left a sour taste. For some reason he has bought into the increasingly fashionable view that the England team's victory was, in the first place, handed to them on a plate and, in the second place, irreversibly detrimental to the game thereafter. His evidence for this, however, is extremely selective.

I agree that Ramsey's teams were often dull, but the notion that they somehow brought to an end football's 'Age of Innocence' is ludicrous. The 1962 World Cup in Chile was worse than the one that followed: little in the way of free-flowing football and the notorious Chile v Italy game, for instance. Moreover, the Italians had perfected the art of the one-nil long before 1966 with their lamentable catenaccio system.

There is also the demonisation of Nobby Stiles who was indeed a hatchet man. Why, however, pick on one man when there were so many? The Portuguese are feted here despite finishing off the job on Pele that the Bulgarians had started. Then there are the hard-done to South Americans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best football books 26 Sept. 2008
When it comes to football books I don't learn and often get seduced by the cover, buying a book for what I hope will be inside and ending up disappointed far to often. I've read as many mediocre football books as I've seen mediocre matches!
I am delighted to tell you that this was one of the best. I bought it around the time of Germany 2006 in a wave of optimism that lasted until, er, about half-time of England's first game. All England fans yearn for a repeat of 1966 but few of us can remember it and fewer know the full story. Roger Hutchinson's book is superbly written. It starts back in the 1950s, with England's "greats" failing to deliver in tournament after tournament. He describes the changing mood as fans went from an assumption of English superiority to an all-too-modern assumption that the quarter-finals would be par for the course.
It's far from triumphalist stuff, in at least two ways. First, England did not sweep all before them and there was many a setback along the way. Second, the author, while admiring Ramsay's achievement, believes his tactics had serious detrimental long-term implications for the English name.
This story drew me in and carried me along, giving insights into a world I remember but is so radically different from today ("modern slavery" at £150k per week). If you're an England fan you will definitely enjoy this book and I can't recommend it enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets under the skin of the myth 9 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The best book I have read about the 1966 World Cup, because it includes detailed insight, comments and retrospections form the people involved and it is not afraid to include the critical comments from the press and others that abounded during the tournament and Ramsey's reign.

I felt that all sections, especially those dealing with Ramsey's early years and playing career, were well researched and the whole book was tight, well-written and very well edited.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melancholia. 24 July 2014
By Shelley
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an immensely sad tale. A tale told with humour, wit, insight and perception, but sad nonetheless. Alf Ramsey devised a system to enable England the Jules Rimet trophy by working with what he had available to him ... and the team delivered, but somehow, there was no joy in winning, beyond the immediate moment.

A wonderful book. Recommended.
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