The events of 30 July 1966 actually started for me a year earlier, on 28 July 1965 with the receipt of a letter from the Football Association:
I didn't keep a record of when the tickets arrived, but as the letter says it was sometime after 1 April 1966.
The cost was £3.17s 6d for the tickets plus 3s 6d postage, or £3.87.5p and 17.5p.
The tickets were for Group C, three of the games at Everton's Goodison Park and three at Manchester United's Old Trafford, and the countries in that group were Brazil, Bulgaria, Hungary and Portugal:
12 July 1966 Brazil 2 Bulgaria 0
The expected result with the goals being scored by Pele and Garrincha, both from free kicks, although the Bulgarians' treatment of Pele was a sign of things to come.
13 July 1966 Hungary 1 Portugal 3
Two goals for Augusto and one for Torres after Bene had equalised Augusto's early goal and Hungary had for a time looked likely to be the eventual winners. This turned out to be the match which decided the winners of the group.
15 July 1966 Brazil 1 Hungary 3
Even though Brazil were without Pele as a result of the treatment he received from the Bulgarian defenders in the opening game the result of this game was a shock. Bene scored the first goal for Hungary, but after Tostao had equalised it looked as if we were going to get the expected result until Farkas scored Hungary's second goal with a magnificent volley and the third goal was a penalty scored by Meszoly.
16 July 1966 Bulgaria 0 Portugal 3
An own goal from Vutzov, one from Eusebio and a late goal from Torres, with Bulgaria's only real chance being a shot from Asparuhov which hit the bar.
19 July 1966 Brazil 1 Portugal 3
A barely fit Pele started the game but Portugal finished the job which Bulgaria had started in the first game of the group by effectively kicking him out of the game within the first half hour. At that point he was off the pitch for several minutes' treatment but although he resumed he was hardly able to stand on his right leg. Shamefully it was English referee George McCabe who failed to give him the protection he needed. Simoes and two goal Eusebio scored for Portugal and Rildo scored the Brazilian goal.
20 July 1966 Bulgaria 1 Hungary 3
Although Asparuhov scored the first goal against a nervous Hungarian team, they let Hungary back into the game with another own goal, this time by Davidov, just before half time. One minute later Meszoly put Hungary into the lead and Bene scored the third goal shortly after half time.
23 July 1966 North Korea 3 Portugal 5
One of the most remarkable games I've ever seen. Although North Korea had knocked out Italy in the group stages no-one gave them a chance in the quarter final match against Portugal. They surprised the crowd by scoring the first goal within a minute and whilst we all waited for the expected goal avalanche from Portugal, North Korea scored again in the 22nd minute - and then unbelievably two minutes later scored a third! Enter Eusebio - two goals from him before half time (the second a penalty), and then another two in the first 15 minutes of the second half (again the second one a penalty) put Portugal into the lead. A fifth Portugese goal from Torres ten minutes from the end of the match made the game safe. But I'll never forget before Eusebio scored their first goal how the much bigger Portugese players (Torres was about 6ft 3ins tall) seemed to be mesmerised by the much smaller North Korean players scurrying around them and scoring almost at will. Without Eusebio there's little doubt the North Koreans would have won the match.
25 July 1966 Russia 1 West Germany 2
Another bruising match. Russia lost a player, Sabo, through injury very early in the match and shortly after Haller had given the Germans the lead Chislenko was sent off for kicking out at Held - no doubt in a fit of pique over the way he had been bustled off the ball by Schnellinger in the build-up to the German goal. Beckenbauer scored a second halfway through the second half and two minutes from the end Porkujan scored the Russian goal. Not a game to remember - as one newspaper report of the match which I have says about Beckenbauer: '...one of the very few players who did not look last night as though he had learned his football in a school of unarmed combat.'
28 July 1966 Portugal 2 Russia 1
A penalty from Eusebio in the 12th minute, an equaliser from Malofeev just before half time, then a goal by Torres in the last minute decided this 3rd and 4th place final. I've seen Russia (or USSR) play four times, and this is the only one of those games in which they didn't have a man sent off.
30 July 1966 England 4 West Germany 2
Ten shillings to watch a World Cup Final. That's fifty pence. Less than the cost of a first class stamp. Apparently ten shillings in 1966 is worth around £7.62 today.
Everyone knows the result and story of this game. I remember getting to the ground very early and walking up the steps leading up to the balcony at the front of the stadium between the twin towers to watch all the people coming up Empire Way. Eamonn Andrews was on the balcony introducing the ITV coverage of the game, and I remember at one point that Joe Mercer was standing just at the side of me. He'd just led Manchester City to promotion and the Second Division title and I've always regretted not congratulating him and his team. Too tongue-tied I suppose - I once stood at a pie-stall at Gigg Lane (Bury's ground) and noticed that Bill Shankly the Liverpool manager was standing next to me and found myself similarly tongue-tied (turned out he was having a look at Alec Lindsay, whom Liverpool later signed).
During the World Cup Final I was stood behind the goal at which Germany's first goal and England's second and fourth goals were scored. Geoff Hurst's hat trick goal was coming straight towards me, and I knew that it was all over even before Kenneth Wolstenholme did. The third England goal was scored (or not scored!) at the opposite end, so I can't offer any views on the validity or otherwise of the goal.
This is a Guide to the Teams that I cut out of a newspaper prior to the final. I like the comment about Geoff Hurst: 'Converted wing-half, now a threat to any defence.' He was certainly that!
For (or from) the record the goalscorers were:
12th minute Helmut Haller West Germany 0-1
18th minute Geoff Hurst England 1-1
78th minute Martin Peters England 2-1
89th minute Wolfgang Weber West Germany 2-2
101st minute Geoff Hurst England 3-2
120th minute Geoff Hurst England 4-2