English football is in mourning today after the death of Nobby Stiles, a legend of Manchester United and a key part of the 1966 World Cup triumph.
Stiles is the seventh member of the only Three Lions team ever to win the World Cup to pass away after the deaths of Alan Ball, Ray Wilson, Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks, Martin Peters and Jack Charlton – as too has manager Alf Ramsey.
From becoming managers themselves, to becoming undertakers and insurance salesmen, this is what happened to all the players since their playing days ended 54 years since beating West Germany on that unforgettable day at Wembley.
England’s World Cup Heroes: (Back Row – left to right) Harold Shepherson (coach), Nobby Stiles, Roger Hunt, Gordon Banks, Jack Charlton, George Cohen, Ray Wilson, Alf Ramsey (manager). (Front Row – left to right) Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Alan Ball, Bobby Charlton
How England lined up at Wembley in the World Cup final against West Germany – England’s greatest ever moment
Finest English keeper of all time, who played mostly for Leicester City and Stoke City as well as a spell in the United States.
His greatest moments were in an England shirt where he was part of the team that won the World Cup.
He went on to become a Stoke City legend, helping them to the 1972 League Cup trophy, having played almost 200 times for The Potters.
Banks later pulled off the ‘save of the century’ from Pele’s header at the 1970 World Cup – but was laid low by food poisoning before their quarter final with biggest rivals West Germany and they crashed out.
He died in February 2019 aged 81 after a battle with kidney cancer.
England’s greatest goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81 after a battle with kidney cancer
Banks helped Stoke win the 1972 League Cup but his career all but ended when he lost an eye in a car crash. The keeper was forced to sell his winner’s medal and international cap from the final after losing is money in failed business ventures. He endured two bouts of kidney cancer and died in February. He is best remembered for his stunning save to keep out a towering header from Pele, the jewel in the crown of a Brazilian team full of riches. Banks makes his ‘save of the century’ from Pele’s header in the 1970 World Cup – the pair would become best friends
Hailed as ‘the greatest full-back I ever played against’ by George Best, 81-year-old Cohen is still connected with Fulham, the only club he ever played for, and he has a statue outside Craven Cottage.
Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club.
Like Banks, England right back Cohen also struggled with financial difficulties following his football career.
The Fulham defender battled cancer three times and was forced to sell his winner’s medal, which his former club bought.
Cohen, whose nephew Ben won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, also lost his brother in a night club incident in 2000.
Cohen now raises money for dementia, which has affected some of his former team-mates, which some attribute to the impact of heading the then far heavier ball.
He was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2000.
George Cohen, here in action for Fulham (left), was England’s right back in 1966. Fulham defender Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club. Like Banks, England right back Cohen also struggled with financial difficulties following his football career. The Fulham defender battled cancer three times and was forced to sell his winner’s medal, which his former club bought. Cohen, whose nephew Ben won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, also lost his brother in a night club incident in 2000. Cohen now raises money for dementia, which has affected some of his former team-mates, which some attribute to the impact of heading the then far heavier ball
Brother of Sir Bobby and a star defender in his own right, he played only for Leeds United in his career.
Charlton made 629 appearances for Leeds and collected 35 England caps, before turning attention to management.
After retiring from football he enjoyed a largely successful managerial career at a number of clubs before taking the Republic of Ireland to 1994 World Cup in the United States.
The team’s success at the American tournament made him a hero in sports-mad Ireland. Against the odds, he led them to the Euros in 1988, the last eight of Italia 90 and then last-16 of the 1994 World Cup.
Charlton was appointed an OBE in 1974 and awarded honorary Irish citizenship in 1996, being made a freeman of the city of Dublin in 1994. He still lives in his native north east and remains close with his brother Sir Bobby.
Charlton, who retired from his TV duties as his health deteriorated, died at home in Northumberland at the age of 85 in July 2020 after suffering from lymphoma and dementia.
The great Jack Charlton, celebrating in 1966 (left) and posing in a pub last year. He died at his home in Northumberland at the age of 85 earlier this year. Charlton made 629 appearances for Leeds and collected 35 England caps, before turning attention to management. After retiring from football he enjoyed a largely successful managerial career at a number of clubs before taking the Republic of Ireland to 1994 World Cup in the United States
Peerless defender and captain of England considered the greatest ball-playing centre-half in history.
West Ham hero also played for Fulham at the end of his career and managed Southend United. He won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with, before leading England to World Cup glory in 1966.
Tragically died aged just 51 in 1993 due to bowel cancer. He was the first of the 1966 team to pass away. There is still great upset that he was never knighted.
The Bobby Moore Fund, formed by his wife Stephanie, has raised millions of pounds for research into the disease.
A statue outside the new Wembley commemorates England’s greatest day and he remains the player against which all emerging English defenders are measured.
In 2017, Moore beat off competition from three-time major winner Sir Andy Murray, five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and Olympic legends Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy to be named Britain’s greatest sports personality of all time.
The poll, ran by Radio Times, gave voters the opportunity to pick any sportsman or sportswoman who has won the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award since its inception in 1954.
Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft in English football’s most iconic image. Arguably England’s greatest ever defender (pictured in 1975) would be the first of the team to die
Huddersfield’s most-capped England international became an undertaker after hanging up his boots.
Wilson made 266 League appearances for Huddersfield, and had been capped 30 times for England – a record for Huddersfield Town. He moved to Everton in 1964.
At 32, he was also the oldest member of the team that beat West Germany 4-2 in the final on July 30.
Injuries began to take their toll and he was granted a free transfer by Everton in 1969.
After a season at Oldham and another at Bradford City, he retired in 1971 following a brief spell as caretaker manager.
He died in May 2018 aged 83 after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years.
Ray Wilson wears the World Cup on his head as he parades around Wembley in 1966
His toothless dance after victory at Wembley has become iconic in English football, as were his ferocious midfield displays.
His friend and team-mate Bobby Charlton called him a ‘dog of war’ who would chase down any cause on the football pitch.
The 78-year-old racked up 28 England caps – the least of any player in the 1966 team – and was a mainstay in the Manchester United starting 11, making 392 appearances before a move to Middlesbrough in 1971.
Won two league titles and the European Cup with Manchester United before helping bring through the likes of David Beckham and Gary Neville while a youth coach at the club between 1989 and 1993.
In 2012, he too developed Alzheimer’s and continued to battle with the disease until his family announced he had passed away on October 30, 2020. Stiles was also diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013.
Nobby Stiles’ toothless dance at Wembley after winning the World Cup is an iconic moment
The young pup of the team but also the second to die, after Moore, aged just 61 following a heart attack in 2007.
Was man of the match in the 1966 final but sold his winners medal to provide for his family – like eight of the 11 players did.
Played for 13 clubs – including Blackpool, Everton and Arsenal – and made more than 800 club appearances and won 72 England caps.
Then transitioned into management, taking the reins at the likes of Portsmouth, Southampton and Manchester City, where his flat cap became an endearing trademark sight on the sidelines.
Proud Englishman famously had a picture of Sir Winston Churchill in his office wherever he worked.
In May 2005, Ball put his World Cup winners’ medal and commemorative tournament cap up for auction to raise money for his family. They were sold for £140,000.
He looked after his cancer-stricken wife before her death in 2004.
Diminutive midfielder Alan Ball (left in 1966 and right in 2007) was the youngest player in the 1966 team but also tragically died young
Younger brother to Jack, Sir Bobby survived the Munich Air Disaster before helping England to win first the World Cup and then Manchester United’s first European Cup in 1968.
With his majestic left foot and crucial 1966 goals, many have said he may be the greatest footballer England has ever produced.
His achievements have been recognised in a variety of ways. He was knighted in 1994, inducted into the football hall of fame in 2002, the South Stand at Old Trafford was renamed in his honour and a statue of Charlton alongside Red Devils team-mates Denis Law and George Best is situated just outside the stadium.
Racked up 106 England caps between 1958 and 1970 and was for decades England and Manchester United’s leading goalscorer, before being overtaken by Wayne Rooney.
Now 83, Sir Bobby is still a director at Old Trafford, and also helps run a charity aiding land mine clearance.
Sir Bobby Charlton survived the Munich Air Disaster and went on to win the 1966 World Cup
Scorer of the second goal in the final. The match with West Germany was even until Martin Peters put England ahead in the 78th, a lead it held until the last minute of normal time when Wolfgang Weber scrambled home an equaliser.
Peters, who was hailed as ’10 years ahead of his time’ by Alf Ramsey, was the only player to be carded in the 1966 final.
He had a brief time in charge of Sheffield United after playing for West Ham – where he made more than 300 appearances – Tottenham and Norwich.
Started a second career in insurance in 1984 following 67 caps for the national team and spells with West Ham, Tottenham and Norwich.
Peters, whose family said he struggled to remember the 1966 glory, suffered with Alzheimer’s and passed away in December 2019 at the age of 76.
West Ham and England hero Martin Peters was almost the matchwinner in the World Cup final
Still the only player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final, Sir Geoff was part of an army of West Ham players who dominated the 1966 England team.
His goal to seal victory in the last minute of extra time is the greatest moment in English football history.
Sir Geoff took charge of Chelsea from 1979-81 and also worked in Kuwait. Was assistant coach to Ron Greenwood for England team between 1977 and 1982 before later working alongside Martin Peters in insurance.
Father-of-three, 74, went on to play for Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion and retired in 1976. He’s hailed as a West Ham legend for scoring 180 goals for the East London club.
Now 78, former West Ham striker – who was knighted in 1998 – is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife, Judith.
Sir Geoff Hurst still remains the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final
Speaking to Sportsmail in June 2018, Hurst is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife, Judith
One of Liverpool’s greatest-ever players, Hunt joined his family’s haulage company after retiring from playing in 1972.
Made more than 400 appearances for the Anfield club, scoring 285 times to become Liverpool’s top goalscorer before being overtaken by Ian Rush – although he remains the leading league scorer.
His club efforts earned him 34 caps for England and he received an MBE in 2000 – 34 years after his World Cup glory.
After being overlooked for years, he was made MBE along with Ball, Cohen, Stiles and Wilson in 2000 after a campaign to recognise their achievements in 1966.
Now lives in Warrington, aged 82.
Roger Hunt was one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players and was a key figure for his country
National hero and mastermind behind the team of ‘wingless wonders’, he predicted England would win the 1966 World Cup when he took the helm in 1963.
In 1967 he was knighted on the back of fulfilling his promise – but lost his job after failing to qualify for 1974 World Cup.
Retired in 1980 to a quiet life in Ipswich, Suffolk, where he had managed Ipswich Town to the English league title in 1961/62.
Embarked on a playing career after serving in the army during World War II. Played right back for Southampton and Tottenham.
Played for England 32 times between 1948 and 1953, captaining the side three times, scoring three times and appearing in the 1950 World Cup.
He died following a heart attack in 1999, aged 79, after battling Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer.
Sir Alf Ramsey (left, holding a team talk with the 1966 squad) is the national treasure who masterminded the team who won the 1966 trophy. Right, pictured discussing the 1966 triumph in a 1974 TV programme