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Tuesday, May 2, 2006
ESPNsoccernet: May 5, 2:10 PM UK
1962 - End of an era

Dominic Raynor

By 1962, England were without the services of defensive stalwart William Ambrose Wright - Billy Wright, the first player in history to win 100 caps - as they travelled to Chile.

England were drawn in Group Four with Argentina - who were disgruntled that FIFA awarded the tournament to Chile and not themselves - Bulgaria and Hungary.

And, in Walter Winterbottom's final tournament as manager, they got off to their customary slow start. Although 21-year-old West Ham defender Bobby Moore emerged as an excellent talent, big names such as Tottenham striker Jimmy Greaves and skipper Johnny Haynes struggled to make an impact.

Greaves had been an excellent discovery for England - he scored in his first international against Peru in 1959, and at club level had scored 197 goals in 213 games.

However, in their opening match of the Finals, England were unable to break down the massed Hungarian defence - and then Lajos Tichy beat Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Ron Springet with a thunderous long-range strike. Wolves' Ron Flowers equalised from the penalty spot in the second half, but Florian Albert clinched a 2-1 victory 18 minutes from the end.

England found some form to beat Argentina 3-1, with another Flowers penalty, a Greaves strike and a Bobby Charlton goal clinched their first World Cup Finals victory since Switzerland in 1954.

Manchester United's Charlton had travelled to the previous tournament in Sweden but didn't play because he was still recovering from the psychological effects of the Munich air disaster, now he had announced his arrival.

However, the next match was a dull goalless draw with Bulgaria, which put Winterbottom's side level on points with Argentina and tied for 2nd and 3rd place. But unlike Sweden '58, there was no play-off - and, for the first time in the World Cup, goal difference was the deciding factor.

That meant England finished ahead of Argentina and could look forward to a quarter-final against reigning champions Brazil.

The formidable Samba Boys were without Pele - but the new star of the show Manuel Francisco dos Santos Garrincha Izidio Edvaldo Neto Vava (or just Garrincha for short) mesmerised England, scoring two and creating one in Brazil's 3-1 win at Vina del Mar. Gerry Hitchens grabbed England's goal.

It proved to be the end for Winterbottom, who resigned from his post as national team manager. He was replaced by former England defender Alf Ramsey - a man who would usher in a new era for English football.

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