England Change

England Michael Pinching


1966, I was a seven year old living in Hackney London with my Mum and Dad.

As we lived about a mile from Highbury and my Dad grew up in Islington we were (still are) an Arsenal supporting family. My Dad was an asphalter so money was tight. But on the day of the World Cup Final my Dad said that he was taking me to the stadium to get a few souvenirs & experience the atmosphere. As I remember it there was a large souvenir market stall like area. I desperately wanted the World Cup replica trophy, but my Dad didn't have enough money, so I got a team picture and a "World Cup Willie" pendant, which I still have.

Whilst walking around the stadium my Dad noticed a queue of people entering the stadium. My Grandad had taught my Dad early the brazeness of the art of what used to be known as "Jibbing in", put simply, getting in without a ticket. I can't believe that such actions are possible today, but this was not an unusual thing to attempt in the 60's & early 70's. The queue was actually the catering staff, my father & I joined this queue and somehow my Dad passed himself of as catering staff..........Don't ask how he managed to pass off a seven year old! as, while I am writing this I realise I have never asked, which I must do! But we were in and I remember my Dad using a telephone box in the stadium to phone my Mum to tell her we would not be home as we were in the stadium.

Back in the day children used to be passed over the heads of the adults and put at the front and I can be seen in a photograph that was a popular image at the time sitting on the wall behind the goal with my legs hanging over. I have made minor searches for this photo with no success. The strange thing is I remember all of the above but not the match itself!

Michael Pinching


President of the National Football Museum Sir Bobby Charlton has launched an appeal for football fans to share their memories of England’s World Cup win in 1966.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the tournament, hosted across seven English cities in July 1966, the museum is creating a ‘Memories of 1966’ exhibition which will draw on the experiences of fans and players during that famous summer.

Beginning the appeal for people to share their memories of the competition, Player Of The Tournament in 1966 Sir Bobby said, “I have very special memories of 1966, but the tournament affected so many people.

Please tell us what was special for you."


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