Match winners

By James Cracknell - Thu 1 February 2018, 4:30 pm

Barking and Dagenham has produced some of the country's best-known footballers and was one of the so-called 'Olympic boroughs'in 2012, inspiring the next sporting generation. James Cracknell reports

Ronnie MacDonald

It is often claimed that England won the 1966 World Cup thanks to West Ham United.

But it could equally be said the Three Lions' triumph was one forged in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Two of the three Hammers' players who featured prominently at Wembley 51 years ago grew up here.

Martin Peters, whose second-half goal gave England a 2-1 lead, lived in Raydons Road, Dagenham, and attended Fanshawe School.

He later honed his midfield craft with Dagenham Schoolboys, before becoming a West Ham apprentice in 1959.

England’s cup-winning captain Bobby Moore was born at Barking Hospital (then Upney Hospital) on 12 April 1941 – during a Luftwaffe air raid – and lived in Waverley Gardens.

Moore enjoyed playing footie at nearby Greatfields Park and displayed leadership skills at a young age, captaining the Barking Primary School team that won the Crisp Shield, a London-wide schools tournament.

But perhaps the biggest factor in England's 1966 success was the influence of manager Sir Alf Ramsey The legendary coach was born in 1920 at Parrish’s Cottages, Halbutt Street, Dagenham, and went to Becontree Heath School.

As a teenager, Ramsey worked at the Five Elms Co-Op in Windmill Road while playing part-time for Five Elms United. His career was delayed by the second world war, in which he served, but he would go on to win 32 England caps before retiring and managing Ipswich Town, whom he led to a league title in the club's first-ever top flight season.

His unprecedented success with Town earned him the England manager’s job in 1963 and the rest, as they say, is history.

A longer version of this article appears in issue #9 of BOLD magazine

Click here to get a copy





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