FA chairman Greg Dyke believes that England are capable of emulating their 1966 triumph and winning the World Cup.
Dyke launched this year’s 50th anniversary of England’s sole World Cup triumph by lifting the Jules Rimet trophy at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, in the same room where the tournament’s draw was made 50 years ago on Wednesday.
The hotel was also the venue for the team’s celebratory dinner the night they beat West Germany in the final. Sir Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Gordon Banks and George Cohen, four of England’s 1966 heroes, attended the event.
50 years on from World Cup glory, Dyke believes that England’s current squad are capable of emulating the team of ’66.
Dyke said: “It was one of the most remarkable sporting years in English history and I am standing next to this golden reminder.
“I genuinely believe the building blocks are in place to one day soon emulate the 66 winners.
“We owe it to them. We owe it to a generation of teenage dreamers to show we can do it again.”
The day marked the first of a number of events planned this year to celebrate England’s only major football success, while exhibitions will also be held at Wembley and the National Football Museum in Manchester.
Hurst famously scored a hat-trick in the 4-2 win in the final, with Peters also on target, while Cohen played right-back and Banks in goal.
“Anyone of my age will tell you it was one of the days of their life,” Dyke said.
“I can remember going to at least three of the games. I couldn’t get a ticket for the final and watched the match on a little black-and-white telly at my aunt’s house.
“Alf Ramsey (England’s manager) announced beforehand that we would win it, and he never wavered. It was the tournament when England welcomed the world for the first time and our football hot-beds in the north showed their passion for the game on a global stage.
“It is important to remember and pay tribute to each and every player in the final and also in the squad. We hope the celebrations cement the ’66 winners their place in history and hope a new generation will hear their story and be inspired by it.”