Siegfried Held

1966 FIFA World Cup Final

The 1966 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match in the 1966 World Cup, contested by England and West Germany. The game was played on July 30 1966 at Wembley Stadium in London, and had an attendance of 98,000. England defeated West Germany 4-2 after extra time to win the Jules Rimet trophy. The match is remembered for England's first (and, so far, only) World Cup trophy, for Geoff Hurst's hat-trick, and for the controversial third goal awarded to England by referee Gottfried Dienst and linesman Tofik Bakhramov.

First half

England, managed by Alf Ramsey and captained by Bobby Moore, won the toss and elected to kick off. After twelve minutes, Siegfried Held sent a cross into the English penalty area which Ray Wilson misheaded to Helmut Haller, who got his shot on target. Jackie Charlton and goalkeeper Gordon Banks failed to deal with the shot which went in making it 1-0 to West Germany.

In the 19th minute, Wolfgang Overath conceded a free kick, which Moore floated into the West German area, Geoff Hurst ran in and deflected the ball into the net for an equaliser.

Second half

The teams were level at half time, and after 77 minutes England won a corner. Alan Ball delivered a beautiful ball into Geoff Hurst whose deflected shot from the edge of the area found Martin Peters. He produced a spectacular shot, beating the West German keeper to make the score 2-1 to England.

In the final ten minutes the Germans pressed for an equaliser. In the final minute, Jackie Charlton gave away a debatable free kick. The free kick was taken by Lothar Emmerich, and it went to George Cohen who managed to block it but the ball bounced across the England six-yard box and Wolfgang Weber struck home to level the scores at 2-2 and force the match into extra time. The German equaliser was controversial since the ball had appeared to strike the hand of Karl-Heinz Schnellinger whilst travelling through the penalty area. Gordon Banks maintains that the ball struck Schnellinger's hand.

Controversial third England goal in extra time

With eleven minutes of extra time gone, Alan Ball put in a cross and Geoff Hurst shot from close range hit the underside of the cross bar, bounced down - apparently on or just over the line - and was cleared. The referee Gottfried Dienst was uncertain if had been a goal and consulted his linesman, Tofik Bakhramov from the USSR, who in a moment of drama indicated that it was. After non-verbal communication, as they had no common language, the Swiss referee awarded the goal to the home team. The crowd and the audience of 400 million television viewers were left arguing whether the goal should have been given or not.

England's third goal has remained controversial ever since the match. According to the Laws of the Game the definition of a goal is when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line

In England, supporters cite the good position of the linesman and the statement of Roger Hunt, the nearest England player to the ball, who claimed it was a goal and that was why he wheeled away in celebration rather than tapping the rebounding ball in.

German supporters cite the possible bias of the Soviet linesman (Bakhramov was from Azerbaijan), especially as the USSR had just been defeated in the semi-finals by West Germany. Bakhramov later stated in his memoirs that he believed the ball had bounced back not from the crossbar, but from the net and that he was not able to observe the rest of the scene, so it did not matter where the ball hit the ground anyway. When Tofik Bakhramov was asked on his deathbed how could he be sure the 3rd goal had crossed the line, he was alleged to have replied 'Stalingrad' . Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst, otherwise regarded as the best referee, did not see the scene.

Spectators on the field while a fourth goal ends the game

One minute before the end of play, the West Germans sent their defenders forward in a desperate attempt to score a last-minute equaliser. Winning the ball, Bobby Moore picked out the unmarked Geoff Hurst with a long pass, which Hurst carried forward while some spectators began streaming onto the field and Hurst scored moments later. Hurst later admitted that his blistering shot was just an attempt at sending the ball as far into the Wembley stands as possible in order to kill time on the clock.

The final goal gave rise to one of the most famous sayings in English football, which the BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme described as follows:

"And here comes Hurst he's got... some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now! It's four!".

Cultural impact

The final is the most watched event ever on British television, as of January 2008, attracting 32.60 million viewers. In Germany, a goal resulting from a shot bouncing off the crossbar and hitting the line is called a Wembley-Tor (Wembley Goal) due to the controversial nature of Hurst's second goal. This goal has been parodied a large number of times. Some of the most notable include:

  • England's 3rd goal was referenced in a 2006 Adidas advertisement, where English midfielder Frank Lampard takes a shot at German keeper Oliver Kahn, and a similar event happens.
  • Kenneth Wolstenholme's commentary on the 3rd goal that bounced on the line, "It's a goal!" was used (along with the sound of breaking glass) in the tape-looped coda of an early version of The Beatles song "Glass Onion", available on the album Anthology 3.
  • Kit Kat recently parodied the controversial third goal in an advert for the Kit Kat bar. The linesman was shown eating a Kit Kat bar as opposed to following the game.
  • KGB surveillance footage of the disputed goal plays a minor role in the plot of the 1991 BBC miniseries Sleepers.

Match details

GK 1 Gordon Banks
DF 2 George Cohen
DF 5 Jack Charlton
DF 6 Bobby Moore (c)
DF 3 Ray Wilson
MF 4 Nobby Stiles
MF 7 Alan Ball
FW 9 Bobby Charlton
FW 16 Martin Peters
FW 10 Geoff Hurst
FW 21 Roger Hunt
Alf Ramsey

GK 1 Hans Tilkowski
DF 2 Horst-Dieter Höttges
DF 5 Willi Schulz
DF 6 Wolfgang Weber
DF 3 Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
MF 8 Helmut Haller
MF 4 Franz Beckenbauer
MF 12 Wolfgang Overath
FW 9 Uwe Seeler (c)
FW 10 Siegfried Held
FW 11 Lothar Emmerich
Helmut Schön



Road to Wembley


Team Score Ground Round
0 – 0 Wembley Stadium Group 1
2 – 0 Wembley Stadium Group 1
2 – 0 Wembley Stadium Group 1
1 – 0 Wembley Stadium Quarter Final
2 – 1 Wembley Stadium Semi Final



Team Score Ground Round
5 – 0 Hillsborough Stadium Group 2
0 – 0 Villa Park Group 2
2 – 1 Villa Park Group 2
4 – 0 Hillsborough Stadium Quarter Final
2 – 1 Goodison Park Semi Final

See also


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