But the 1966 World Cup success is far from a fading memory and Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick in the 4-2 win over West Germany is a treasured moment even for those supporters born since then.
The latest generation of England stars are about to kick off their European Championship campaign against Russia this Saturday, June 11, after a series of very disappointing tournaments since the Euro 1996 semi-finals.
Will England be in the final in Paris on July 10? Probably not – but fans can revive their spirits just two days later thanks to a lot featuring in Sotheby’s 12 July auction of English Literature, History and Children’s Books.
The hefty estimate of £300,000-500,000 reflects the significance of the piece of sporting memorabilia on offer: the England No.10 football jersey worn by Hurst when they won the World Cup on July 30, 1966.
Hurst sold his collection at Christie's South Kensington in September 2000 (including this 1966 final shirt for a £80,000 hammer price), but kept his winner’s medal before selling it privately with other items from his collection for £150,000 to West Ham in 2001.
Sotheby’s told ATG that the shirt is now being sold by a private collector.
No other player has scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, but Hurst had begun the tournament on the substitutes’ bench. He was a prolific goal-scorer at club level, scoring 40 goals in 59 games for West Ham during the 1965-66 season. He was awarded a place in the England starting line-up only when the nation’s top goal-scorer – Jimmy Greaves – suffered an injury just before the quarter-finals.
Hurst scored in the 18th minute of the final, and then twice again in extra time, bringing England to a 4-2 victory immortalised by Kenneth Wolstenhome’s BBC television commentary: “…Here comes Hurst…Some people are on the pitch. They think it’s all over…it is now!”
The red long-sleeved crew-neck football jersey was manufactured by the Manchester-based manufacturers Umbro - a company very well known for their long-running association with the England national team that lasted from 1954 -2013.
Before the July 12 sale, the jersey will be placed on public exhibition at Sotheby’s (34-35 New Bond Street, London) from Friday, July 8, to Monday, July 11.
Eight of the 11 England players who started the 1966 final now sold their winners’ medals. See the ATG guide here.