Gordon Banks dies: Where are England’s other 1966 heroes now?

English football is in mourning today after the death of Gordon Banks, its greatest goalkeeper and foundation of the 1966 World Cup triumph. 

Banks is the fourth member of the only Three Lions team ever to win the World Cup to pass away after the deaths of Alan Ball, Ray Wilson and Bobby Moore – as too has manager Alf Ramsey. 

From becoming managers themselves, to becoming undertakers and insurance salesmen, this is what happened to all the players since their playing days ended almost 53 years since beating West Germany on that unforgettable day at Wembley. 

England’s World Cup Heroes: (Back Row – left to right) Harold Shepherson (coach), Nobby Stiles, Roger Hunt, Gordon Banks, Jack Charlton, George Cohen, Ray Wilson, Alf Ramsey (manager). (Front Row – left to right) Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Alan Ball, Bobby Charlton

How England lined up at Wembley in the World Cup final - England's greatest ever moment

How England lined up at Wembley in the World Cup final - England's greatest ever moment

How England lined up at Wembley in the World Cup final – England’s greatest ever moment

Gordon Banks 

(Goalkeeper)

Finest English keeper of all time, who played mostly for Leicester City and Stoke City as well as a spell in the United States.

His greatest moments were in an England shirt where he was part of the team that won the World Cup. 

He went on to become a Stoke City legend, helping them to the 1972 league cup trophy, having played almost 200 times for The Potters.

Banks later pulled off the ‘save of the century’ from Pele’s header at the 1970 World Cup – but was laid low by food poisoning before their quarter final with biggest rivals West Germany and they crashed out.  

He died today aged 81 after battle with kidney cancer.

England's greatest goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81 after a battle with kidney cancer 

England's greatest goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81 after a battle with kidney cancer 

England’s greatest goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81 after a battle with kidney cancer 

Banks helped Stoke win the 1972 League Cup but his career all but ended when he lost an eye in a car crash. The keeper was forced to sell his winner's medal and international cap from the final after losing is money in failed business ventures. He endured two bouts of kidney cancer and died in February. He is best remembered for his stunning save to keep out a towering header from Pele, the jewel in the crown of a Brazilian team full of riches. Banks makes his 'save of the century' from Pele's header in the 1970 World Cup - the pair would become best friends

Banks helped Stoke win the 1972 League Cup but his career all but ended when he lost an eye in a car crash. The keeper was forced to sell his winner's medal and international cap from the final after losing is money in failed business ventures. He endured two bouts of kidney cancer and died in February. He is best remembered for his stunning save to keep out a towering header from Pele, the jewel in the crown of a Brazilian team full of riches. Banks makes his 'save of the century' from Pele's header in the 1970 World Cup - the pair would become best friends

Banks helped Stoke win the 1972 League Cup but his career all but ended when he lost an eye in a car crash. The keeper was forced to sell his winner’s medal and international cap from the final after losing is money in failed business ventures. He endured two bouts of kidney cancer and died in February. He is best remembered for his stunning save to keep out a towering header from Pele, the jewel in the crown of a Brazilian team full of riches. Banks makes his ‘save of the century’ from Pele’s header in the 1970 World Cup – the pair would become best friends

George Cohen 

(Right back)

Hailed as ‘the greatest full back I ever played against’ by George Best, 79-year-old Cohen is still connected with Fulham, the only club he ever played for, and he has a statue outside Craven Cottage.

 Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club. 

Like Banks, England right back Cohen also struggled with financial difficulties following his football career. 

The Fulham defender battled cancer three times and was forced to sell his winner’s medal, which his former club bought. 

Cohen, whose nephew Ben won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, also lost his brother in a night club incident in 2000. 

Cohen now raises money for dementia, which has affected some of his former team-mates, which some attribute to the impact of heading the then far heavier ball  

He was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2000.  

George Cohen, here in action for Fulham (left), was England's right back in 1966

George Cohen, here in action for Fulham (left), was England's right back in 1966

Cohen is still involved with Fulham, more than 50 years after that famous day at Wembley

Cohen is still involved with Fulham, more than 50 years after that famous day at Wembley

George Cohen, here in action for Fulham (left), was England’s right back in 1966. Fulham defender Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club. Like Banks, England right back Cohen also struggled with financial difficulties following his football career. The Fulham defender battled cancer three times and was forced to sell his winner’s medal, which his former club bought. Cohen, whose nephew Ben won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, also lost his brother in a night club incident in 2000. Cohen now raises money for dementia, which has affected some of his former team-mates, which some attribute to the impact of heading the then far heavier ball

Jack Charlton

(Centre half) 

Brother of Sir Bobby and a star defender in his own right, he played only for Leeds United in his career.

Made 629 appearances for Leeds and collected 35 England caps, before turning attention to  management.

After retiring from football he enjoyed a largely successful managerial career at a number of clubs before taking the Republic of Ireland to 1994 World Cup in the United States. 

The team’s success at the American tournament made him a hero in sports-mad Ireland. Against the odds, he led them to the Euros in 1988, the last eight of Italia 90 and then last 16 of the 1994 World Cup.

Charlton was appointed an OBE in 1974 and awarded honorary Irish citizenship in 1996, being made a freeman of the city of Dublin in 1994. He still lives in his native north east and remains close with his brother Sir Bobby.

Now 83, he is retired from his TV work and has appeared frail in recent public appearances. 

The great Jack Charlton celebrating in 1966

The great Jack Charlton celebrating in 1966

Charlton posed for a picture with Paul McGrath recently

Charlton posed for a picture with Paul McGrath recently

The great Jack Charlton, celebrating in 1966 (left) and posing in a pub last year

Bobby Moore 

(Centre half) 

Peerless defender and captain of England considered the greatest ball-playing centre-half in history.

West Ham hero also played for Fulham at the end of his career and managed Southend United. He won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with, before leading England to World Cup glory in 1966.

Tragically died aged just 51 in 1993 due to bowel cancer. He was the first of the 1966 team to pass away. There is still great upset that he was never knighted.

The Bobby Moore Fund, formed by his wife Stephanie, has raised millions of pounds for research into the disease. 

A statue outside the new Wembley commemorates England’s greatest day and he remains the player against which all emerging English defenders are measured.  

In 2017, Moore beat off competition from three-time major winner Sir Andy Murray, five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and Olympic legends Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy to be named Britain’s greatest sports personality of all time.

The poll, ran by Radio Times, gave voters the opportunity to pick any sportsman or sportswoman who has won the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award since its inception in 1954.

Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft in English football's most iconic image

Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft in English football's most iconic image

Moore tragically died aged just 51 due to cancer; he was the first of the team to pass away

Moore tragically died aged just 51 due to cancer; he was the first of the team to pass away

Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft in English football’s most iconic image. Arguably England’s greatest ever defender (pictured in 1975) would be the first of the team to die

Ray Wilson 

(Left back) 

Huddersfield’s most-capped England international became an undertaker after hanging up his boots.   

Wilson made 266 League appearances for Huddersfield, and had been capped 30 times for England – a record for Huddersfield Town. He moved to Everton in 1964.

At 32, he was also the oldest member of the team that beat West Germany 4-2 in the final on July 30.

Injuries began to take their toll and he was granted a free transfer by Everton in 1969.

After a season at Oldham and another at Bradford City, he retired in 1971 following a brief spell as caretaker manager.

He died last May aged 83 after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years.in 2012

Ray Wilson wears the World Cup on his head as he parades around Wembley in 1966

Ray Wilson wears the World Cup on his head as he parades around Wembley in 1966

Wilson, a left back, pictured at home in Huddersfield by Sportsmail before his death last May

Wilson, a left back, pictured at home in Huddersfield by Sportsmail before his death last May

Ray Wilson wears the World Cup on his head as he parades around Wembley in 1966. He died in May last year (right in 2017)

Nobby Stiles 

(Defensive midfield) 

His toothless dance after victory at Wembley has become iconic in English football, as were his ferocious midfield displays.

His friend and teammate Bobby Charlton called him a ‘dog of war’ who would chase down any cause on the football pitch.

The 76-year-old racked up 28 England caps – the least of any player in the 1966 team – and was a mainstay in the Manchester United starting 11, making 392 appearances before a move to Middlesbrough in 1971. 

Won two league titles and the European Cup with Manchester United before helping bring through the likes of David Beckham and Gary Neville while a youth coach at the club between 1989 and 1993. 

In 2012, he too developed Alzheimer’s and continues to battle with the disease. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013.

Nobby Stiles' toothless dance at Wembley after winning the World Cup is an iconic moment

Nobby Stiles' toothless dance at Wembley after winning the World Cup is an iconic moment

Nobby Stiles’ toothless dance at Wembley after winning the World Cup is an iconic moment

Alan Ball 

(Right midfield)

The young pup of the team but also the second to die, after Moore, aged just 61 following a heart attack in 2007.

Was man of the match in the 1966 final but sold his winners medal to provide for his family – like eight of the 11 players did. 

Played for 13 clubs – including Blackpool, Everton and Arsenal – and made more than 800 club appearances and won 72 England caps.

Then transitioned into management, taking the reins at the likes of Portsmouth, Southampton and Manchester City, where his flat cap became an endearing trademark sight on the sidelines. 

Proud Englishman famously had a picture of Sir Winston Churchill in his office wherever he worked. 

In May 2005, Ball put his World Cup winners’ medal and commemorative tournament cap up for auction to raise money for his family. They were sold for £140,000. 

Diminutive midfielder Alan Ball was the youngest player in the 1966 team but also tragically died young

Diminutive midfielder Alan Ball was the youngest player in the 1966 team but also tragically died young

Diminutive midfielder Alan Ball (left in 1966 and right in 2007) was the youngest player in the 1966 team but also tragically died young

Bobby Charlton 

(Attacking midfield)

Survived the Munich Air Disaster before helping England to win first the World Cup and then Manchester United’s first European Cup in 1968. 

With his majestic left foot and crucial 1966 goals, many have said he may be the greatest footballer England has ever produced. 

His achievements have been recognised in a variety of ways. He was knighted in 1994, the South Stand at Old Trafford was renamed in his honour and a statue of Charlton alongside Red Devils team-mates Denis Law and George Best is situated just outside the stadium. 

Now 81, Sir Bobby is still a director at Old Trafford, and also helps run a charity aiding land mine clearance.

Sir Bobby Charlton survived the Munich Air Disaster and went on to win the 1966 World Cup

Sir Bobby Charlton survived the Munich Air Disaster and went on to win the 1966 World Cup

Now 81, Charlton is still a director at Old Trafford, where there is a stand is named in his honour

Now 81, Charlton is still a director at Old Trafford, where there is a stand is named in his honour

Sir Bobby Charlton survived the Munich Air Disaster and went on to win the 1966 World Cup

Martin Peters

(Left midfield) 

Scorer of the second goal in the final, the match with West Germany was even until Martin Peters put England ahead in the 78th, a lead it held until the last minute of normal time when Wolfgang Weber scrambled home an equalizer.

Peters had a brief time in charge of Sheffield United after playing for West Ham, Tottenham and Norwich. 

Started a second career in insurance in 1984. 

Now aged 75 and retired, he is the third player in the team who suffers with Alzheimer’s.

West Ham and England hero Martin Peters was almost the matchwinner in the World Cup final

West Ham and England hero Martin Peters was almost the matchwinner in the World Cup final

West Ham and England hero Martin Peters was almost the matchwinner in the World Cup final

West Ham and England hero Martin Peters was almost the matchwinner in the World Cup final

West Ham and England hero Martin Peters was almost the matchwinner in the World Cup final

Geoff Hurst 

(Centre forward) 

Still the only player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final, Sir Geoff was part of an army of West Ham players who dominated the 1966 England team. 

His goal to seal victory in the last minute of extra time is the greatest moment in English football history. 

Sir Geoff took charge of Chelsea from 1979-81 and also worked in Kuwait, as well as selling insurance for a time. 

Now 77, former West Ham striker is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife, Judith.

Sir Geoff Hurst still remains the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final

Sir Geoff Hurst still remains the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final

Sir Geoff Hurst still remains the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final

Speaking to Sportsmail last June, Hurst is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife, Judith

Speaking to Sportsmail last June, Hurst is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife, Judith

Speaking to Sportsmail last June, Hurst is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife, Judith

Roger Hunt 

(Centre forward) 

One of Liverpool’s greatest-ever players, Hunt joined his family’s haulage company after retiring from playing in 1972. 

After being overlooked for years, he was made MBE along with Ball, Cohen, Stiles and Wilson in 2000 after a campaign to recognise their achievements in 1966. 

Now lives in Warrington, aged 80.

Roger Hunt was one of Liverpool's greatest ever players during his time

Roger Hunt was one of Liverpool's greatest ever players during his time

Now 80, Hunt, pictured in 2006, lives in Warrington

Now 80, Hunt, pictured in 2006, lives in Warrington

Roger Hunt was one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players and was a key figure for his country

Alf Ramsey 

(Manager) 

National hero and mastermind behind the team of ‘wingless wonders’, he lost his job after failing to qualify for 1974 World Cup. 

Retired in 1980 to a quiet life in Ipswich, Suffolk, where he had managed Ipswich Town to the English league title in 1961/62.

He died following a heart attack in 1999, aged 79.

Sir Alf Ramsey is the national treasure who masterminded the team who won the 1966 trophy

Sir Alf Ramsey is the national treasure who masterminded the team who won the 1966 trophy

Sir Alf Ramsey is the national treasure who masterminded the team who won the 1966 trophy

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