When did England win the World Cup? Have Three Lions ever won FIFA tournament - what happened in 1966

England fans are dreaming of glory for Gareth Southgate’s side at the Qatar 2022 World Cup

The 52-year-old possesses one of the most talented teams in world football with an array of exciting options including Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham. The Three Lions made a dream start to their Qatar campaign with a resounding 6-2 victory against Iran.

Southgate has come closer to winning a trophy than any other England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey. During his time in charge England reached the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia 2018 and narrowly missed out on Euro 2020 glory by losing in the final on penalties to Italy.

The Three Lions will be hoping to build on those performances in this tournament and many fans are hoping that this group of players can be the ones to break the 56 year curse.

England’s last World Cup victory came in 1966 and this year’s group of players will be hoping to channel inspiration from their heroic triumph.

When did England last win the World Cup?

England last lifted the World Cup in 1966 after a 4-2 victory over arch-rivals West Germany. Sir Alf Ramsey’s side were the final European nation to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Who featured in England’s World Cup winning team?

Captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet trophy (Getty Images)Captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet trophy (Getty Images)
Captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet trophy (Getty Images)

The Three Lions named a star-studded team for the 1966 World Cup and there were a number of players who played a key role in England’s victory such as Gordon Banks, Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore, Nobby Stiles, Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst.

This is the 22 man squad that played in the 1966 World Cup


  • Gordon Banks
  • Ron Springett
  • Peter Bonetti


  • George Cohen
  • Ray Wilson
  • Jack Charlton
  • Bobby Moore (Captain)
  • Jimmy Armfield
  • Gerry Byrne
  • Norman Hunter


  • Nobby Stiles
  • Alan Ball
  • Bobby Charlton
  • Martin Peters
  • Ron Flowers
  • Ian Callaghan
  • George Eastham


  • Geoff Hurst
  • Jimmy Greaves
  • John Connelly
  • Terry Paine
  • Roger Hunt

What venues were used for the tournament?

England hosted the 1966 World Cup for the first time in their history and matches were played in eight venues over the course of the tournament. England played all of their games at Wembley Stadium.

The stadiums used were:

  • Wembley Stadium - London
  • Old Trafford - Manchester United
  • Goodison Park - Everton
  • Roker Park - Sunderland
  • Ayresome Park - Middlesbrough
  • Hillsborough Stadium - Sheffield Wednesday
  • Villa Park - Aston Villa
  • White City Stadium - London

England’s road to 1966 glory

Group Stage

The Three lions were drawn in a challenging group featuring two-time champions Uruguay, France and Mexico.

England began the tournament with an unconvincing 0-0 draw against Uruguay in their group opener but went on to top the group after 2-0 wins over both France and Mexico. England and Uruguay would progress to the knockout stages of the tournament.

The biggest shock came from Group 3 with Brazil surprisingly crashing out in the tournament in the group stage. Brazil were world champions in both 1962 and 1958 and were one of the favourites for glory heading into the tournament.

The quarter-final

England faced Argentina in the quarter-final of the World Cup at Wembley. The match was a tightly fought affair and England narrowly scraped a 1-0 victory after a goal from Geoff Hurst.

The semi-final

England faced their biggest test yet in the semi-finals when they came against Portugal.

Portugal were viewed as one of the favourites for the competition in 1966 and were spearheaded by a mercurial talent in the form of striker Eusebio. The Portuguese star was regarded as one of the best footballers on the planet at the time and had previously lifted the Champions League title with Benfica in 1962.

Eusebio had already scored eight goals in the tournament heading into the game and many people wondered whether England could do anything to stop the free scoring striker. During the semi-final Alf Ramsey played Nobby Stiles in the defensive midfield role - becoming one of the first managers to do so at the time.

Stiles thrived in the role and played a key role in nullifying the threat of Eusebio. England ran out 2-1 winners in the semi-final courtesy of a brace from Bobby Charlton.

The 1966 final

England came head to head with West Germany on 30 July 1966 to determine the winner of the FIFA World Cup.

The match is regarded as one of the most entertaining World Cup finals of all time and remains England’s only ever major international title.

England fell behind in the game after 12 minutes with German forward Helmut Haller scoring the goal, however just six minutes later the Three Lions equalised after a goal from West Ham United striker Geoff Hurst and his club team mate Martin Peters fired England into a second half lead in the 78th minute.

England were on the brink of World Cup glory after Peters’ goal but had to settle for extra-time after a 89th minute equaliser by Wolfgang Weber.

The Three Lions prevailed in extra-time after a double from Geoff Hurst in the 101 and 120 minute. In doing so Hurst became the first player to ever score a hat-trick in the World Cup final - a record which he still holds today.