Monday, 31 July 2017

749 The Boys of 66

First  viewed : 15  April  1986

As  a  sort  of  curtain-raiser  for  the  forthcoming  World  Cup , ITV  made  this  wonderful  documentary  narrated  by  Michael  Parkinson about  the  victorious  England  team  of  twenty  years  earlier, all  of  whom  were  still  alive  at  this  point. The  programme  largely  concentrated  on  what  they  were  doing  for  a  living  subsequently, a  reminder  that  our  top  footballers  were  not set  up  for  life  in  those  days.

Therefore  you  had  Ray  Wilson, an  undertaker  in  his  native  Huddersfield, Roger  Hunt  running  a  haulage  firm  and  Martin  Peters  and  Geoff  Hurst  working  in  the  same  insurance  company  after  less  than  glittering  managerial  careers. Predictably, Jack  Charlton, about  to  start  his  famous  reign  in  charge  of  Ireland, was  the  most  assured  raconteur  although  they  were all  comfortable  enough  in  front  of  the  camera.

The  most  poignant  contributions  came  from  those  who'd  retired  the  earliest, the  full  backs  Ray  Wilson  and  George  Cohen. Wilson  said  he'd  be  chased  out  of  the  pub  if  he  tried  to  trade  on  his  fame  in  Huddersfield  while  Cohen  was  quite  happy  to  be  filmed  having  a  colostomy  bag  fitted  after  a  serious  bout  with  cancer.

Sadly,  Alf  Ramsey  , working  for  a  construction  firm  since an  undistinguished  spell  at  Birmingham  City  drew  an  end  to  his  managerial  career  , declined  to  take  part  and  in  Parkinson's  words  "remains  an  enigma".

It  all  seemed  an  awfully  long  time  ago  then; thirty  years  on  it  seems  like  ancient  history.

1 comment:

  1. Sad to think that three of the team that played are now suffering with Alzheimer's... Cohen has surely beaten some odds by still being around such a long battle with cancer.