Scotland v England 1966

Footballers in the 1960s walked and ran differently.

There is a tautness and purpose to the Ramsey England of ’66. It’s best seen in games other than the World Cup ones, simply because the matches with Argentina, Portugal, West Germany et al are so familiar.

This is pretty much the post-Greaves side. Talk of “wingless wonders” conceals how well this England got to, and used, the corner flag. Greaves’s absence, in turn, conceals just how good Roger Hunt and Geoff Hurst actually were – how aware, how quick, possessed of great touch. Hurst in particular epitomises what Sir Clive Woodward came to call TCUP: “Thinking Correctly Under Pressure.”


Law and Baxter are tremendous here. Law, the commentator says, has his critics in Scotland. The real question for critics who can exercise that kind of judgement is whether or not they themselves had any part in Scotland’s failure to qualify for World Cup Finals in 1962, 1966 and 1970, at a time when their club sides were among the best in Europe.


7 Replies to “Scotland v England 1966”

  1. The ’67 match is worth a post, if only to comment on its use by Scots as a great comfort blanket covering a decade of unnecessary, self-imposed international failure. Granted that I’ve only been up here five months, but that’s long enough to work out that the whole England thing is displacement activity on a grand scale.

  2. “Footballers in the 1960s walked and ran differently.”

    Chapter 14 of this rather interesting academic book about German football has some interesting insights into football’s role as a repository of collective movement memory:

  3. @Oliver – Thanks very much for that! I was unaware of the book, and it’s fascinating. One to put on the shelf next to “Tor!”

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