When footballers get together for international duty, a round of golf is the law. It appears it was no different 50 years ago.
Perhaps the timing may be a little off on this occasion, though. There’s hardly a trace of nerves on the faces of any of Alf Ramsey’s squad but barely 24 hours after this picture was taken many of these players were involved in a game that would define their lives.
It’s July 29, 1966 and, the next day, England took on West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
Sir Alf, as he became, isn’t remembered for his relaxed nature so it is telling that he isn’t among those gathered as the squad took a break from training at their base in Roehampton, London. Five of those gathered – Gordon Banks, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Roger Hunt and Bobby Charlton – would put themselves through the 90 minutes and extra time against the West Germans.
If you look carefully, you’ll also find Peter Bonetti, Ron Springett and
Ramsey would have had little issue with Jimmy Greaves putting out. The prolific striker was controversially left out against the Germans, having been injured in the early stages of the competition.
Geoff Hurst had replaced him and, after scoring the winner against Argentina in the last eight, fully vindicated his manager by netting the only hat-trick in a World Cup final. England, of course, won 4-2 and gave the nation its only truly memorable football moment.
Whether Greaves made the putt is unknown.