World Cup medal honour for Sir Alf
07:00 26 June 2009
IT may have taken 43 years, but a 1966 World Cup winner's medal will finally arrive in Ipswich today in recognition of the town's managerial legend Sir Alf Ramsey.
Sir Alf - who famously led Ipswich to the Division One title in 1962 before winning the World Cup with England four years later - was never awarded a medal following the Wembley triumph and died in his beloved Ipswich aged 79 in 1999.
Now though governing body FIFA has decided to give medals to every non-playing squad and staff member from every World Cup-winning country from 1930 to 1974.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave 11 ex-England players and staff their medals at a special ceremony earlier this month, while George Cohen - the right-back from that World Cup winning squad - picked up the award on behalf of Sir Alf's family.
And the '66 vice-captain will personally deliver the medal to Lady Ramsey at her Ipswich home today.
Upon colleting the award at 10 Downing Street, Cohen paid tribute to his former manager.
He said: “Sir Alf Ramsey expected people to behave in a proper manner and he would not allow anything to detract from what he was trying to do, which was win the World Cup.”
Former Tottenham and Chelsea striker Jimmy Greaves, one of the 11 former players to collect a medal, added: “Sir Alf would have been proud because he would also have got a medal.
“Had he lived, we might have got them a bit sooner.”
As well as Greaves, other players who received medals were Peter Bonetti, Ron Springett, Jimmy Armfield, Gerry Byrne, Ron Flowers, Norman Hunter, Terry Paine, Ian Callaghan, John Connelly and George Eastham.
David Cocker accepted a medal on behalf of his father, team physio Les Cocker, and Margaret Shepherdson received a medal on behalf of her husband, team trainer Harold Shepherdson.
Sir Alf Ramsey:-
- Born in Dagenham, Essex.
- The right-back played for Southampton and Tottenham. Although considered slow by many, he had awareness, strength, and excellent distribution and earned 32 caps for England, three as captain.
- Retired from playing in 1955 to become manager of Ipswich and begin his love affair with the town.
- In eight seasons he turned the club from a Third Division South outfit into unlikely Division One champions.
- In the 1961/62 season Ipswich had just been promoted to the top-flight and were heavily tipped for immediate relegation, however, Ramsey astounded the pundits by leading his solid but not outstanding squad to the title.
- Left Ipswich in April 1963 to take over as England manager. Demanded that he have complete control over team selection and immediately predicted he would win the World Cup.
- Kept his promise in 1966 as England beat West Germany 4-2 in extra-time at Wembley. Was knighted the following year.
- Finished third at the '68 European Championships, lost in the quarter-finals of the '70 World Cup and was then sacked after failing to qualify for the '74 World Cup.
- After a brief spell as caretaker-manager at Birmingham, Ramsey led a relatively quiet life in Ipswich, his adopted home, until his death in 1999.
Sir Alf Ramsey Quotes:-
- “We will win the World Cup” - Ramsey said after taking the England job in 1963.
- “Never change a winning team.”
- “It seemed a pity so much Argentinian talent is wasted. Our best football will come against the right type of opposition - a team who come to play football, and not act as animals.” - Ramsey's indignant opinion of Argentina after England beat them 1-0 in a bruising quarter-final in the 1966 World Cup.
- “You've won it once. Now you'll have to go out there and win it again.” - Ramsey's brief team talk prior to the extra-time period in the 1966 final.