It was July 1966 and England are hosting football’s World Championship for the first time.
Alf Ramsey’s team – with world-class players like Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore and Gordon Banks – had started the tournament with a frustrating 0-0 draw against a defensive-minded Uruguay.
But they won their next three matches, all without conceding a goal, and found themselves lining up in their first-ever World Cup semi-final on 26 July against Portugal and their lethal striker Eusebio, destined to finish the tournament as top scorer with nine.
The magician from Mozambique beat Banks with a penalty eight minutes from time but Bobby Charlton had already netted twice to win a sporting contest that had its first foul on 23 minutes.
Four days later there were, officially, 96,924 inside Wembley on an afternoon of sunshine and showers as England met West Germany in the eighth World Cup Final.
Geoff Hurst scored three in the Wembley Final on 30 July – one with his head and one with each foot – and West Ham team-mate Bobby Moore received the Jules Rimet Trophy from Her Majesty after taking a moment to wipe his muddy hands on the velvet drape of the Royal Box.
It was 2-2 after an exhausting 90 minutes, the Germans equalising in the last seconds. Ramsey gave his “you’ve won it once, now go and win it again” speech and two Hurst goals in extra-time, the first still the most controversial in World Cup history, won it 4-2.
The sun was shining now – shining for England.
Also this week
In the days leading up to The Final, future England defender Martin Keown was born. So was Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell. Brian Jones gave his last performance as a Rolling Stone while The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday and Today’ album went to No1 and stayed there for five weeks.
US planes bombed the demilitarised zone in Vietnam and on the 29th, the day before English football’s greatest day, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was badly hurt in a motorcycle accident near Woodstock. He was not seen again in public for over a year.