192.com finds fans of 1966
3rd of June, 2010
Northampton man saw Hurst's shot cross the line
The people-finding website 192.com are reuniting the fans who witnessed England's 1966 World Cup victory. As part of their campaign, the website asked people to send in their World Cup memories.
Responding to this appeal, Steven Batchelor, 61, from Northampton told 192.com he stood behind the goal when Geoff Hurst scored against West Germany in the 1966 final, controversially putting England 3-2 up.
The goal was awarded by the Russian linesman but has been questioned ever since; image analysis by the University of Oxford in 1995 concluded that the whole of the ball did not cross the whole of the line.
However, eye-witness Steven Batchelor said: "I still vividly remember standing behind the goal when Geoff Hurst scored the final goal and the stadium erupted in delirium"
"It was the euphoria of the crowd, the reactions of the players, everything happened at once and I lost all sense of reason. There was no doubt in my mind that it was a goal. It was only afterwards that people started questioning it."
"There were no rows in those days. You could start in one place and be moved several yards away from your original position. There were a few heads in front of me but I had a very clear view of the goal. The player who really stood out for me on the day was Allan Ball, his energy was fantastic."
Dominic Blackburn, Product Director of 192.com said: "We've had an incredible response to our request for World Cup memories, and Steven's was one of the most evocative. We really want people to get together and reunite for a winning spirit in 2010. To get involved go to http://worldcup.192.com. The best 1966 reunion wins a meal on us in the pub watching England play in the World Cup."
"That was unusual. I never seen a crowd being cheered as they left the stadium - neither before nor since. I walked the four miles home from Wembley with my brother, and cars were honking horns and people were dancing in the streets."
Mr Batchelor saw all the England games of the tournament and won the opportunity to purchase tickets for the final. He has kept the FA's letter saying he could go to the match, and the ticket stubs for the day. He has also took photographs of the game.
"The euphoria from the final lasted about a week, they really were special times," he added.
Stephen Batchelor is now a businessman and wrote, "I was there in 66" published in 2006.
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George Cohen MBE
George Cohen won 37 caps for England, vice captaining the side in the 1966 final. Described by Alf Ramsay as 'England's greatest right back,' Cohen's forward runs gave Ramsay's side width, and set up England's decisive goal against Portugal in the semi-finals. His major contribution in the final was blocking the last minute free kick from Lothar Emmerich. Cohen is the only Fulham player to have won a World Cup while at the Cottagers. Cohen received an MBE in 2000, and in 2003, watched nephew Ben win the Rugby World Cup with England.
Get ready to roar!
192.com and George Cohen MBE are urging friends and family who remember England's 1966 World Cup victory to get back together and roar the lads to victory in 2010. The best '66 reunion wins a meal on us watching a World Cup game. Learn more and share great World Cup moments at http://worldcup.192.com
For more information contact the 192.com Press Office.