Back together again - the boys of 1966 were reunited in Staffordshire yesterday when the toast once more was ‘World Cup Winners!’
More than half of the nation’s most celebrated all-time team converged on Brocton Hall, near Cannock Chase, as the focal point of their annual golf get-together.
Wolves legend Ron Flowers organised the reunion at his home club and welcomed Nobby Stiles, Roger Hunt, the Charlton brothers and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst and Gordon Banks.
As well as sharing in England’s greatest football moment, both Hurst and Banks had spells in charge of Telford.
Hurst was player-manager in 1977, while Banks took charge between January 1979 and December 1980.
Also present were squad men George Eastham, who is over from South Africa, Jimmy Armfield, Peter Bonetti, Ian Callaghan and Norman Hunter.
Wolves legend Flowers, who won 49 England caps without playing in the 1966 tournament, said: "We take it in turns to host the day and to organise a nice weekend in a hotel for us all and our wives.
“We have done this for a few years now and been to various parts of the country to meet up. It’s lovely to see each other for a couple of days and to chat over what happened all those years ago.”
What is not widely known is that Flowers went close to playing in the Hurst-inspired 4-2 final win over West Germany.
Jack Charlton was taken ill the night before the game and the Wolves ace was put on his guard to take his place, only for Sir Alf Ramsey to breathe a sigh of relief when his regular No.5 recovered.
Flowers won the 2009 staging of the event at Formby – organised by Liverpool favourite Callaghan.Subscribe to our Newsletter