1966 World Cup exhibition kicks-off at Wembley Stadium

Tuesday 12 Jul 2016
Roger Hunt
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To mark the 50th anniversary of the year England hosted – and won – the World Cup, an exclusive collection of 1966 football memorabilia returns home to Wembley Stadium connected by EE. 

The memorabilia will be staged at the iconic stadium with many of the items on display a first for public eyes, as the exhibition arrives in London on 12 July. 

The Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy, as lifted by Bobby Moore, and the ball from the Final are at the centre of the exhibition, with other eye-catching exhibits including one of the spare, unused and previously never-seen-before World Cup Winners’ medals.

One of the displays at the 1966 exhibition at Wembley Stadium

One of the displays at the 1966 exhibition at Wembley Stadium

West Germany’s role in proceedings is often overlooked – but in the 1966 Exhibition you will see the shirt Helmut Haller of West Germany wore in 1966 World Cup final. Haller scored West Germany’s first goal and took the match ball with him back to Germany. It remained in his possession until 1996 but is now on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

For the first time ever, ground-breaking virtual reality will transport visitors back in time to the most famous football match in English football history, putting them at the heart of the 1966 World Cup Final action. This will create a unique user experience never seen before in an exciting first for Wembley Stadium. 

Themed around the music, decor and design seen and heard in a 1960s home, the exhibition will celebrate England’s finest football achievement, but also the relevance of 1966 as a bookmark in English cultural history. 

Some of the more quirky exhibits include an unused urine sample bottle, and various items featuring World Cup Willie – the 1966 World Cup mascot.

The exhibition will also reflect a partnership with the Black Cultural Archive, to reflect how the famous win was seen through the eyes of England’s Afro-Caribbean community, many of whom had only recently arrived in the country as immigrants.

"We are thrilled that the 1966 World Cup Exhibition is returning to Wembley in the month leading up to the day when Bobby Moore lifted the trophy back in 1966," said FA chief executive Martin Glenn. 

“The 1966 World Cup Exhibition is designed to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup tournament by enabling visitors to learn about the wider heritage of the event”

Andy Pearce 1966 exhibition curator

"The exhibition is designed to celebrate this landmark anniversary and look at the impact winning the World Cup had, not only on English football but also on English culture and wider society."

Exhibition curator Andy Pearce added: "The 1966 World Cup Exhibition is designed to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup tournament by enabling visitors to learn about the wider heritage of the event, to examine its continued legacy as a key moment in England’s recent heritage and to explore its meaning and significance in terms of football history and wider society. 

"As well as some incredible objects, a key focus has been to collect and document memories, photographs and memorabilia from the players and officials who took part in the tournament, the people who lived in the seven English cities (Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Sheffield, and Sunderland) that hosted the matches, and the fans who travelled to attend the matches. We have really uncovered some fascinating stories."

Dr. Kevin Moore of the National Football Museum added: "We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery, this fantastic collection of 1966 World Cup exhibits has been brought together."  

The 1966 exhibition will be available alongside the new innovative Wembley connected by EE tour launching on 18 July which sees the introduction of a world-first digital platform on the EE SmartGuide – a bespoke connected device given to each tour participant. 360o video and augmented reality delivered via the EE SmartGuide will allow audiences to re-live key sporting and music moments whilst exploring the iconic ground.

By FA Staff