Belfast Telegraph

They think it's all over so why keep waffling on about it?

By Billy Weir

IN my exhaustive research for this column I have discovered a number of things connected to the date Saturday July 30, 1966. The US was blowing the bejaesus out of Vietnam, it was only 24 hours until Down defeated Donegal in the Ulster Senior Football Final in front of 35,000 people in Belfast and in dog years I would now be 350 if I had survived this long.

There was also a football match played at Wembley Stadium - the trophy for which was lost in the build-up when it was nicked from a display but thankfully an inquisitive pooch called Pickles saved the day, found Jules Rimet and meant the Queen didn't have to hand Bobby Moore a Bonio.

Pickles is no longer with us, I'm not sure how far into his span of 350-plus years he reached, but what you can be sure of is that in 2366 someone will still be waffling on about how England won the World Cup.

The 50th anniversary was mentioned this week, wherever you looked there was a programme somewhere reminiscing about that day; the BBC wheeled out David Jason's Alfie's Boys again, they also had Generation 66 and ITV countered with 1966 - A Nation Remembers, where ordinary folk and 'celebs' harked back to the day when the world turned from black and white to glorious Technicolor.

Pick of the bunch was The Boys of 66, Sky commentator Martin Tyler guiding us through the tournament helped by some of the players of the day with contributions from the likes of Bruce Forsyth. Nice to see him again, to see him again nice.

Current England captain Wayne Rooney told us it was a 'huge achievement and I'd like to say thank you.' Don't mention it, just as well Alfie's boys didn't play Iceland.

Always under-stated Terry Butcher hinted that 'the boys of 66 mean so much to me, they're not icons, they're not legends, they are Gods.' Unlike the boys of 2016 then, who were more akin to something Pickles would have left in the garden.

Still, that's the anniversary out of the way, it'll be the last time we hear about it.

Belfast Telegraph


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