Posted: 10/26/2017


       As an Englishman there is one hat-trick that stands out more than any other.  30th July 1966 in front of 96,924 fans at Wembley Stadium...including ME !! Geoff Hurst scored a hat trick in the 4-2  extra time victory over West Germany. Still the only hat-trick scored at a FIFA World Cup Final to this date.

      I sat opposite the spot where Hurst fired the 4th goal with a massive outlay of £2.50 for my cup final ticket.. the stub now worth £250.00 or more, so I am told. Earlier matches had cost me only £1.00 while standing tickets were only 50 pence.

      Anyway forward to India 2017 and the FIFA u17 World Cup in front of some massive crowds in this football backwater, but a SLEEPING GIANT. Tickets for the Saturday's final at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata with an all seater capacity of 68,000 sold out weeks ago. 

       We will have England v Spain in a repeat of the EURO u17 final in Croatia four months ago. England were leading Spain 2-1  well into added time when the Spaniards equalised from a corner kick. They went straight to penalties and Spain won 4-1 from the spot. I was there for part of the tournament and The Three Young Lions were sensational. The best England team at any level that I have EVER SEEN, and I have been watching England on tv or live since 1953 and the first ever televised World Cup in 1954 in Switzerland, broadcast on Eurovision. It was shared by 8 countries that showed part of 9 matches, usually just the second half, with no choice. The fee paid to the Swiss FA for the rights..a massive total of £1,500.00 !!!

        Rhian Brewster of Liverpool FC is of course the double hat-trick hero and top scorer in the tournament with seven goals-two clear in the race for The Golden Boot.  A quarter final treble against USA and the same against Brazil in the semi-final...both at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

         It has been a marvellous summer for young England teams. The u20s won the World Cup in South Korea..the first at any level since 1966. They beat Venezuela 1-0 in the final at SuwonWorld Cup Stadium. At the UEFA u19 championships in Georgia, England defeated Portugal 2-1 in the final in Tbilisi, their 10th title in what is now an annual event. In 2018 the hosts will be Finland.

       At the prestigious Toulon Tounament, for u20s, played at small stadiums in Provence, defending champions England defeated Ivory Coast 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny in Auberge.

      So, let us hope for yet another England winner on Saturday in Kolkata..The City of Joy.