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

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

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Book Description

23 May 2002 Mainstream sport
...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.


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (23 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840186038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840186031
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 424,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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.

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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
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, witty and full of action 6 Jun 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As the reviews said, easily the best book on the 1966 World Cup, and one of the best soccer books I've read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating but subjective 7 Sep 2012
By D. J. H. Thorn TOP 1000 REVIEWER 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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