On this day: England beat West Germany to win the World Cup

A new book featuring previously unpublished photos charts the heroes’ journey of 1966.

July 30, 2016

England’s captain, Bobby Moore lifting the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley in 1966 wearing that famous red shirt, is an image etched on the mind of any football fan, writes Chris Anderson.

This July marks the 50th anniversary of that victory over arch rivals West Germany and Moore is being recognised with both a documentary, Bobby, and a new book that reveals the lives of the squad on and off the pitch and provides a startling contrast to football today.

John Rowlinson’s book, Boys of ’66: The Unseen Story Behind England’s World Cup Glory, contains more than 200 previously unpublished photos from the Mirrorpix archive.

As well as shots of the players at training, there are off-dutymoments of a card game, a bit of gardening or relaxing at home in a bedroom straight out of the trendiest design catalogues of the day.

It was a world light years away from the huge salaries, celebrity lifestyles and scientific training of today’s players – we can’t imagine Zlatan Ibrahimovic using a lawnmower, can you?

The England manager, Alf Ramsey, took four years to build the perfect team, trying out 50 players over 38 matches. Just 16 months before the 1966 final, five of the 11 players had never even worn an England shirt.

Boys of ’66: The Unseen Story Behind England’s World Cup Glory is published by Virgin Books, AED 107. Bobby is out now in selected cinemas and on DVD.