As 55 years of hurt could be set to end...what was life like last time England won?

·3 min read
England's national soccer team captain Bobby Moore holds aloft the Jules Rimet trophy as he is carried by his teammates following England's victory over Germany (4-2 in extra time) in the World Cup final 30 July 1966 at Wembley stadium in London.(From L : Gordon Banks, Alan Ball, Roger Hunt, Geoff Hurst - who scored three goals - , Ray Wilson, George Cohen and Bobby Charlton) (Photo by - / CENTRAL PRESS / AFP) (Photo by -/CENTRAL PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)
Captain Bobby Moore holds aloft the Jules Rimet trophy after England's 1966 World Cup victory (Getty Images)

We don't know if you've heard, but this Sunday, England will compete in the first final of a major football tournament since 30th July 1966 - when the iconic squad, captained by Sir Bobby Moore, famously won The World Cup final at Wembley against West Germany. 

It's a time that England fans will either never forget, or wish they could have experienced, depending on their age. But what was life in England really like 55 years ago? 

Watch: England fans celebrate historic Three Lions win

Willie the Lion, our World Cup Mascot, released a song in 1966 (Getty Images)
Willie the Lion, our World Cup Mascot, released a song in 1966 (Getty Images)

Music: Chris Farlowe was Number One

1966 saw the tail-end of true Beatlemania. Shortly after England's victory the band would release their famous album Revolver, and later that year they would play their last ever concert. Bob Dylan had just played his notorious first electric set at Manchester's Free Trade Hall. 

In London the 'swinging sixties' were in full, well, swing, but Radio One would launch until the following year.

Read more: A look at the 1966 World Cup Team Gareth Southgate's Lions hope to emulate

At the time of England's triumph, Chris Farlowe was number one in the charts with his song Out of Time, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Nevertheless, the Official World Cup song that year was 'World Cup Willie,' a ditty in honour of our Willie the Lion mascot by skiffle musician Lonnie Donegan. 

From Willie the Lion to Three Lions, it's amazing how much and how little we've changed. 

Watch: England fans celebrate historic Three Lions win

Politics: Harold Wilson was Prime Minister.

Former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Getty Images)
Former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Getty Images)

Labour's Harold Wilson was PM in 1966, following a long period of Tory rule. His government introduced various massive changes in the UK - including abolishing capital punishment, decriminalising homosexuality in England and Wales and relaxing divorce laws.  

Wilson called a snap election in 1966 which Labour won by a landslide - but the party then unexpectedly lost the 1970 election to Edward Heath's Conservatives. 

life
life

Money: A pint cost £1.75

A pint in 1966 cost just two shillings (£1.75 in today's money) (Getty Images)
A pint in 1966 cost just two shillings (£1.75 in today's money) (Getty Images)

They may not have been dealing with a pandemic, but during the World Cup Final in1966, Britain was in the middle of a six-month wage and price freeze, amid rising unemployment and the threat of recession.

The average weekly wage for men was £20 to £27 and for women it was just £10 to £14, while the average house cost £3,620. England fans would have paid around two shillings, or £1.75 in today's money, for their pint. 

TV: Corrie ruled the airwaves

Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch in Coronation Street (Getty Images)
Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch in Coronation Street (Getty Images)

1966 saw the launch of a brand new channel, BBC 2, but programmes across the BBC were still all in black and white (colour shows would launch the next year). The opening of UK parliament, with all its fanfare, was screened on TV for the first time. 

Coronation Street was everyone's favourite soap (Eastenders wouldn't launch until 1985) and in 1966 the iconic character Bet Lynch made her first ever appearance. 

She may no longer be there, but the soap is still going, and has just been visited by the Queen - who was also on the throne back in 1966. 

Watch this: Three Lions played at Clarence House

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