Sir Alf Ramsey Way unveiled at St George's Park 50 years after World Cup victory
PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 October 2016
2016 The FA
Sir Alf Ramsey has an everlasting presence in Ipswich. The reserved but revered leader won the First Division with Town in 1962 and gave England their only World Cup victory four years later.
Shortly after his death in 1999, Portman’s Walk was renamed Sir Alf Ramsey Way and a statue of the London-born hero was erected outside Portman Road stadium.
But now his legacy has been immortalised at the home of English football. Fifty years after his World Cup triumph, the road leading to St George’s Park, the £105m plush complex set in 330-acres of Staffordshire countryside and home to England’s 24 national teams, has been renamed Sir Alf Ramsey Way.
“It’s great that Sir Alf Ramsey has a fitting memorial at the very heart of English football,” said Liz Edwards, chair of the Ipswich Town supporters club.
“Of course we got there first here in Ipswich, where we have long understood what the ‘Sir Alf Ramsey Way’ truly means: it’s about working with players, not maybe the very best in the world, but good enough, as a team, to achieve true, historic greatness, whether at club or national level.
“Understanding Sir Alf’s achievements has never been more important, and the Sir Alf Ramsey Way is a permanent reminder.”
David Sheepshanks, the former Ipswich Town chairman and current chair of St George’s Park, was joined by vice chairman David Gill as they led tributes to Sir Alf at a private event attended by Sir Geoff Hurst, Roger Hunt, George Cohen, Jimmy Armfield and Norman Hunter.
Some 43 captains, 15 managers and more than 370 players have failed to repeat the golden feat of Sir Alf and his boys of ’66.
Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a famous hat-trick in the extra-time 4-2 win against West Germany, said: “Sir Alf was a modest man but a respected leader. As players he kept us all on our toes and we knew no one was guaranteed a place in the team.
“It’s fitting that his legacy both as a coach, and as a man, will be remembered here in the wonderful facility that is St George’s Park.”
Lady Victoria Ramsey, Sir Alf’s widow, was unable to travel to attend the event but was sent mementoes of the day.
An Ipswich Town spokesman said: “It’s another great way to commemorate what Sir Alf Ramsey gave to English football.”