On 30 July 1966 England won the World Cup. Fifty years since that momentous occasion Special Collections Assistant Ian Swirles has located some images and cuttings from the Leicester Mercury Archive held by the University Library.
Leicester City had one representative in the World Cup winning team, that individual was Gordon Banks who was rated as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and along with the rest of his team mates his name is synonymous with that famous victory.
England eventually won the game against West Germany by a score of 4-2. The match was forced into extra time when Germany scored a last minute equaliser. Despite the magnitude of the victory, it appears from the archives that there were very few column inches and photographs in the Leicester Mercury produced on Monday 1 August 1966. Here are a couple of cuttings found in the archive:
Leicester Mercury, 1 Aug 1966
“When the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Mrs Monica Trotter had “recovered from the excitement” of watching the World Cup Final on television, her first task was to ring her secretary to organise a civic reception for England’s Leicester City goalkeeper, Gordon Banks.”
“The Lord Mayor said: “I was enthralled by the game and thrilled for Mr. Banks. I have only the usual woman’s interest in football, but once the game was over I decided we must celebrate.”
“Meantime the hero of the story slipped quietly back into Leicester last night with his wife and out again to go to his parents’ home at Rotherham where the Banks’ children stopped over the weekend…Gordon’s own children stayed up until 11 p.m. to welcome home their father and were allowed a celebration sip of champagne.”
Leicester Mercury 01 Aug 1966
England proved against Germany at Wembley on Saturday that if not the greatest football team ever to win the World Cup , they were supreme in courage –and efficiency. They had to be to recover from the blow of having the cup snatched from them seconds to go by that sensational equaliser scored by Weber.
Leicester followers could be proud of Gordon Banks. He was never overworked but made several great saves and his command of the goalmouth must have created confidence in his co-defenders.
In recognition of his efforts, Gordon Banks received a civic reception in Leicester on 12 August 1966, as shown below.