Ipswich Mayor Roger Fern remembers the role his uncle Sir Stanley Rous played in 1966 World Cup
Sir Alf Ramsey wasn’t the only Suffolk knight to have a key role in the World Cup Final of 1966.
While Sir Alf (as he soon became) was the manager of the England team, Sir Stanley Rous was the president of FIFA – and had overall responsibility for organising the tournament.
His nephew Roger Fern is now mayor of Ipswich.
Sir Stanley was a pivotal figure in the game and was photographed in the Royal Box at Wembley handing the medals to The Queen before she presented them to the players.
Mr Fern said: “She knew some of the players, but I’m sure uncle Stanley was whispering the names of some of the others to her as they came up to collect them.”
Mr Fern himself did not see the final: “No one expected England to get to the final and when they did so well I had a bit of a dilemma.
“We were due to go to a wedding on final day. Should we go there, or should I ask my uncle if he had a spare ticket? In the end the wedding won.”
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He had to keep up with what was happening on radio: “As soon as the speeches were over some of us went to the car to listen to what was happening. I know all over the country there were weddings that emptied so people could find a television.”
Sir Stanley, who was born in Mutford near Beccles, enjoyed the final and the attention it brought to English football.
And Mr Fern said he enjoyed playing a pivotal role in the event: “Uncle Stanley was a bit of a name-dropper! He’d often say ‘As I told The Queen’ or ‘Prince Philip was talking to me about this last week.’”
Mr Fern often acted as chauffeur to Sir Stanley when he watched matches at Ipswich and Norwich – Sir Stanley was always a fan of Arsenal.
And he said his uncle would have had no trouble in retain decorum as England won: “You didn’t cheer or jump up when the team scored if you were in the directors’ box, you just clapped politely! Uncle Stanley knew that.”