It was on this day, to the day, 50 years ago, that the greatest England team of all beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley Stadium to become champions of the world.
It was also the day after which all football commentaries would just appear dull after the BBC’s Ken Wolstenholme shouted the immortal words: ‘Some people are on the pitch. They think it’s all over...it is now’.
So concluded the most marvellous week of that summer of 1966.
Roger Wood, of Apsley Road, Milton, told me he was 21 and not long out of a Portsmouth Dockyard apprenticeship.
He applied for and was accepted into the Merchant Navy, joining Royal Mail Lines, and was sent to Liverpool to join the MV Tuscany.
Unfortunately, the seamen’s strike had just started so Roger was marooned in Liverpool. But he managed to get a ticket for the Brazil v Bulgaria match at Everton’s Goodison Park, which was fantastic to watch.
As soon as the strike was over Roger’s ship was ordered to sail to Hamburg, Germany, where he and two pals were given shore leave.
They visited a very noisy bar where a television was installed. The banter between the two nations was quite good humoured even by half time.
Entering the last five minutes with England 2-1 up and barely able to contain their excitement, Germany scored and Roger and his pals were gutted. The Germans took the roof off with their shouting.
Extra time was very tense and the Germans were not best pleased when Geoff Hurst’s goal was given.
With Hurst scoring in the last minute or so, Roger was getting a little apprehensive and took off for the safety of the MV Tuscany.
Two Portsmouth men who did make it to the World Cup were Neville Shaw, of Baffins, Portsmouth, and his mate John Phillips, who played for Pompey between 1955 and 1959.
They had to apply for tickets a year in advance.
One ticket Neville managed to obtain was the Mexico v Uruguay game which he could not attend. He still has the ticket.
On Saturday, July 23, Neville and John made their way to London by train and booked into a hotel in Paddington.
That afternoon they attended a quarter-final game between Argentina and England. This was the game where the Argentine captain, Rattin, was sent off.
Neville told me it seemed like forever before Rattin left the field and play was held up for 17 minutes.
The next game the boys saw was on Tuesday, July 26, when England played Portugal. Portugal had the genius of the time, Eusebio, playing for them and he impressed Neville no end.
‘What a player. I have never seen anyone like him before or since. Absolutely marvellous’, Neville tells me. England won 2-1 and were in the final for the following Saturday.
On the Thursday Neville and John saw the game for third and fourth places between Russia and Portugal, which Portugal won 2-1.
On the big day, Saturday, July 30, 1966, Neville and John made their way to Wembley for the biggest day of their lives. They could not believe the atmosphere.
Neville says: ‘I was at Fratton Park when we played Derby in front of over 50,000 supporters but the Wembley crowd even beat that.’
Surprisingly, the match was not a sell out with only 92,000 of the 100,000 tickets sold. It was the most amazing game but Neville did not think it matched the Portugal v England game the previous Tuesday.
‘It was good because we won, but the Portugal game was quite fantastic’, says Neville.
‘In the final, Alan Ball was the best player. He was everywhere and never stopped running.’
After the game the two boys remained in the stadium for half an hour and then made their way home after the most exciting week of football in their lives.
I was taken ill on Friday a week before the final when on the boat pier at HMS Ganges, the boys training establishment at Shotley, near Ipswich.
I woke up two days later in the sick bay and remained there until the Thursday night, July 28.
On returning to the mess the instructor petty officer asked me if I would like to see the World Cup.
There was me thinking there would be a trip to Wembley, have a bit of a parade and then watch the game. Nothing like it. ‘Yes please’ I gushed and then he handed me a ticket… to the gymnasium.
Four televisions had been set up, each surrounded by 50 chairs.
This is what I had a ticket for. At least I saw the game, eh?