RE-LIVING the magical memories of England’s 1966 World Cup Wembley triumph is on top of a Flintshire football fan’s ‘ to do list.’
Sted Woolnough, who hails from Penyffordd has launched an appeal to re-unite football fans from Chester and North East Wales, who attended the 1966 World Cup Final.
The 71-year-old football fan was in the crowd of 96,924 at Wembley Stadium on July 30, 1966, to witness England defeat West Germany 4-2 to win the World Cup for the first and only time since.
Sted is now seeking to find other people from Chester, Flintshire, Wrexham and further into north Wales, who were at Wembley that famous day 50 years ago, in a bid to hold a reunion this summer to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the most famous day in English footballing history, as Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy.
“I’ve never met anyone else who was at the final, but I know they are out there,” he told the Leader. “There were nearly 100,000 people at Wembley that day, and hundreds of thousands who went to games during the tournament, so they’ve got be around.
“Just like the surviving members of the England team from 1966, it’d be great to have a reunion of people who were there that day.”
Sted’s story is remarkable and the way he went about getting a ticket for the biggest match in world football shows how the game has changed in half a century.
“I decided I had to be there so I sent away to the Wembley Stadium box office with my money, the ticket was going to cost 12 and six,” he explained.
“The Wednesday before the game I got a letter back with a ticket - I couldn’t believe it! They didn’t send me my change though until after the final!
“I’d been to all the games at Old Trafford earlier in the tournament but this was different. I got the overnight ‘stopper’ service from Wrexham to London Paddington, it stopped at every train station on the way. It took for ever but it was worth it when we arrived in London on the Saturday morning.
“When I arrived in London, I could’ve sold my ticket for 50 times what I paid for it, there were ticket touts everywhere you turned.
“I’d never have sold that ticket, to me being there was something that I’d never get the chance to experience again.
“Unfortunately things like my ticket and memorabila from the World Cup have been lost down the years, but I’ve still got the rosette I bought from outside Wembley that day. But it’s the memories you treasure, no one can ever take that away from you.”
Sted now lives in Penyffordd and is still active in sport in his role as an umpire for international disabled cricket. He qualified as a Class 1 umpire in 2011 and has since umpired at venues including Lords and Old Trafford, with international matches involving England and Wales under his watchful eye.
“I don’t think they’ll ever do it again in my lifetime, or the next generation’s lifetime if I’m honest,” he said.
“I still enjoy watching England play but I prefer the cricket really now. Growing up I was always into football, cricket and boxing.”
If you were in attendance at the 1966 World Cup and would like to get in touch with Sted Woolnough regarding a reunion this summer, please contact him directly on 01244 552297. The deadline for getting in touch is March 31.
See full story in the Leader