Keith’s amazing 1966 World Cup memories

Keith Riseborough with some of his 1966 World Cup mementos collected watching all ten England matches.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160208-112521005

Keith Riseborough with some of his 1966 World Cup mementos collected watching all ten England matches. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160208-112521005

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In 1966, Keith Riseborough was a 16-year-old schoolboy, having a fantastic holiday in London.

For as well as gawping at the groovy cheesecloth shirts on Carnaby Street and wandering down a (then un-gated) Downing Street, he was watching sporting history being made.

Keith Riseborough during the 1966 World Cup. NNL-160208-112537005

Keith Riseborough during the 1966 World Cup. NNL-160208-112537005

Keith (66), who now lives in Kibworth Beauchamp, had been lucky in a World Cup ballot that netted him tickets to all 10 London games, including the six England matches.

All 10 tickets cost under £4, including his ten shilling (50p) World Cup final ticket.

So he’s one of a select band of people who can say: “I saw England win the World Cup at Wembley in 1966.”

“I’d just done my ‘O’ levels, so for me and my school friend Christopher Harper this was a great adventure” recalled Keith, 50 years on.

Keith Riseborough went to all ten England games. NNL-160208-112630005

Keith Riseborough went to all ten England games. NNL-160208-112630005

“We stayed with my great aunt and uncle in East Finchley for about three weeks.

“We used the tube, walked for miles and saw all the sights as well as all the matches.

“We were just two young lads wandering round London, and every day something exciting happened.”

Keith, a teacher at Robert Smyth, Market Harborough, for 34 years (1974-2008), said the England matches got off to a “thoroughly dull” start with a 0-0 draw against Uruguay.

Keith's programmes from the 1966 World Club. NNL-160208-112643005

Keith's programmes from the 1966 World Club. NNL-160208-112643005

“But after that when we beat Mexico and then France, you thought ‘right, we could really get somewhere’.

“The old Wembley was a fantastic place, with probably more atmosphere than a modern stadium because everyone seemed so close together.

“Where was I sitting? We were standing! 96,000 people nearly all standing, although Chris and I were reasonably tall, so we could see most of what was going on.”

The quarter-final, when England beat Argentina 1-0, Keith remembers as “a very niggly, ill-tempered game - although I don’t think we realised how bad it was until a day or two later.” The semi-final however (England 2, 
Portugal 1) was “a cracking game to watch, with Bobby Charlton scoring two goals”.

Keith's copy of the paper he brought during the 1966 World Cup final. NNL-160208-112551005

Keith's copy of the paper he brought during the 1966 World Cup final. NNL-160208-112551005

As for the final against West Germany, Keith had started celebrating at 2-1, until the Germans scored with a last minute equaliser.

It went into extra time, with a controversial Geoff Hurst third for England, and then the unstoppable “they think it’s all over - it is now!” fourth.

“Afterwards we walked down to the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington where there was - by today’s standards - quite a modest celebration, with the team on a balcony with the Jules Rimet Cup. That’s a very clear memory.”

What’s Keith’s favourite football moment of the tournament?

“Bobby Charlton scored an amazing goal in the Mexico match.”

And his best non-football memory of his holiday?

Pictures Keith took during the 1966 World Cup final. NNL-160208-112603005

Pictures Keith took during the 1966 World Cup final. NNL-160208-112603005

“Seeing the sights of London I suppose, all new to me, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Downing Street which you could walk down in those days and Carnaby Street with all those cheesecloth shirts and chiffon scarves.”

Keith's 1966 World Cup first day stamp cover. NNL-160208-112616005

Keith's 1966 World Cup first day stamp cover. NNL-160208-112616005