When Queen Elizabeth II met Bobby Moore

The world has been remembering Queen Elizabeth II in the wake of her death this year on the 8th of September at the age of 96.

As a global icon, one of the most well-known images in the sporting world is of her presenting the 1966 World Cup to Sir Bobby Moore.

Queen Elizabeth II presenting the football world cup trophy to Bobby Moore
© Public Domain

The 1966 World Cup

The 1966 World Cup, hosted by England, kicked off on the 11th of July – England drew 0-0 with Uruguay. Having defeated Argentina 1-0 in the quarterfinals and Portugal 2-1 in the semis, England faced West Germany in the final on the 30th of July at Wembley.

We looked set to win the cup 2-1, but in the 89th minute, West Germany was awarded a free kick and Wolfgang Weber equalised, sending the match into extra time. It was in the 98th minute when Geoff Hurst scored his second goal of the night, putting England in the lead. He then completed his hat trick in the last moments of the match, cementing the victory.

Hurst remains the only player to have scored three times in a World Cup final. As fans ran onto the pitch, BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme famously said: “They think it’s all over… it is now!” which remains one of the most iconic sporting lines in history.

56 years on, this is England’s only global tournament victory. The England women’s team won the Euros earlier this year and the men came close to doing the same back in 2020, but 1966 is still considered England’s greatest footballing achievement to date.

Queen Elizabeth II and the 1966 World Cup

Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the competition before the England vs Uruguay match. She said: “I welcome all of our visitors and feel sure that we will be seeing some fine football.”

She attended Wembley for the final and following England’s victory, presented the Jules Rimet trophy to Sir Bobby Moore, the captain of the England team. The photograph of this meeting is a staple in English footballing history and although the Queen presented many sports trophies during her reign, this is perhaps the most iconic. Moore famously wiped his mucky hands before accepting the trophy and shaking the hand of the monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II was the Head of State for around 24 FIFA Member Associations and was a patron of the English, Welsh and Scottish Football Associations. She attended many FA cup finals and presented the trophy to the winning captain. One of her final public statements saw her congratulate the England team for their victory in the UEFA Women’s Euros.

This year’s World Cup

The 2022 World Cup, hosted in Qatar, is set to kick off on November 20th, with the final taking place on the 18th of December. England will hope to make it to the final and have high hopes of doing so after their near success at the 2020 Euros.

Queen Elizabeth II sent her best wishes to them back then, saying: “I want to send my congratulations and that of my family to you all on reaching the final of the European Championships and send my good wishes for tomorrow, with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves.”

Although she isn’t here for this year’s event, England will no doubt play with these wishes firmly in mind.

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