• Short Summary

    JULY 30, 1966 -- AND THE EYES OF THE SPORTING WORLD WILL BE ON BRITAIN'S MOST FAMOUS SPORTS CENTRE, THE WEMBLEY EMPIRE STADIUM, AS TWO OF THE WORLD'S TOP INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAMS MEET IN THE FINAL OF THE WORLD CUP FOOTBALL COMPETITION.

  • Description

    JULY 30, 1966 -- AND THE EYES OF THE SPORTING WORLD WILL BE ON BRITAIN'S MOST FAMOUS SPORTS CENTRE, THE WEMBLEY EMPIRE STADIUM, AS TWO OF THE WORLD'S TOP INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAMS MEET IN THE FINAL OF THE WORLD CUP FOOTBALL COMPETITION.

    A MAJOR EVENT IN EVERY SOCCER FAN'S CALENDAR THE FINAL WILL BE JUST ANOTHER ITEM IN THE HISTORY-FILLED DIARY OF THIS 100,000 SEAT STADIUM SITUATED NEAR LONDON.

    THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS FOOTBALL STADIUMS OF ALL. IT IS THE PREMIER "HOME" GROUND OF ENGLAND, THE PITCH ON WHICH THE ANNUAL BATTLE FOR THE ENGLISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION'S CUP TAKES PLACE, AND THE GROUND THAT SAW ENGLAND BEATEN FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THEIR HOME PITCH AND THEN BY ONE OF THE 1966 WORLD CUP FINALISTS, HUNGARY.

    YET FOOTBALL IS ONLY PART OF THE WEMBLEY STORY BOOK. THE LEGEND REALLY BEGINS WHEN THE SITE WAS CHOSEN BY THE ENGINEER, SIR HENRY WATKINS, TO BUILD A TOWER TALLER THAN THE FAMOUS EIFFEL TOWER OF PARIS. THE SITE WAS PREPARED AND THE CONSTRUCTION STARTED -- BUT THE WEIGHT OF THE FIRST STAGE CAUSED THE FOUNDATIONS TO SINK AND THE PROJECT WAS ABANDONED.

    BUT THAT SITE WAS TO BECOME THE CORNER OF A MASSIVE STADIUM BUILT AS PART OF THE WEMBLEY EMPIRE EXHIBITION OF 1924. AND, WORKING IN A TOBACCO KIOSK OPPOSITE THE HUGE STRUCTURE WAS A MAN WHO REALISED ITS POTENTIAL. ARTHUR ELVIN -- LATER SIR ARTHUR ELVIN -- HAD FORESIGHT AND SAVED THE STADIUM WHEN THE EXHIBITION WAS CLOSED.

    WEMBLEY HIT THE HEADLINES FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH THE NOW-FAMOUS CUP FINAL OF 1926 WHEN THE ORGANISERS WERE SO CONFIDENT THAT THE TERRACES COULD ACCOMMODATE ALL WHO WANTED TO SEE THE GAME THAT THEY DID NOT BOTHER TO MAKE IT "ALL TICKET". THEY WERE WRONG. THOUSANDS WHO WANTED TO SEE THE GAME DID NOT GET IN, THOUSANDS OF OTHERS WHO DID NOT WANT TO SEE THE FINAL WERE SWEPT IN BY THE CROWD. SOME ESTIMATE THAT OVER 125,000 PEOPLE WERE INSIDE THE STADIUM THAT DAY.

    BUT WEMBLEY HAD ESTABLISHED IT'S PREMIER POSITION IN BRITISH SPORT. IN THE FOLLOWING YEARS IT WAS TO PRESENT SPEEDWAY RACING, GREYHOUND RACING, RODEOS AND MILITARY TATTOOS, SKI JUMPING, RUGBY LEAGUE AND AMERICAN FOOTBALL. JUST BEFORE THE SECOND WORLD WAR, ARTHUR ELVIN EXPANDED HIS INTEREST BY BUILDING THE EMPIRE POOL AND SPORTS ARENA ALONGSIDE THE STADIUM.

    WEMBLEY STADIUM CAN BE SAID TO HAVE TRY "COME OF AGE" IN 1948 WHEN IT WAS CHOSEN AS THE VENUE OF THE FIRST POST-WAR OLYMPIC GAMES.

    THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW DRESSING ROOMS IN 1948 WAS THE FIRST MAJOR WEMBLEY IMPROVEMENT -- A MODERNISATION PROGRAMME TO BE CONTINUED SOME YEARS LATER WHEN THE MAIN STAND ROOF WAS CONTINUED ROUND THE CURVED END STANDS AND THOUSANDS OF NEW SEATS WERE INSTALLED. IN ADDITION A MASSIVE NEW FLOODLIGHTING SYSTEM WAS INSTALLED.

    EVEN THE WORLD CUP IS EXPECTED TO RESPECT THE HALLOWED WEMBLEY TURF. TEAMS REACHING THE 1966 FINAL WILL BE ALLOWED TO VISIT THE GROUND AND RUN ROUND ON THE TURF -- BUT ONLY ONCE AND IN THE TRADITION OF ALL CUP FINAL TEAMS PLAYING AT WEMBLEY THEY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TAKE A PRACTICE BALL OUT ON TO THE GROUND.

    USING THE EXPANSIVE 1948 OLYMPIC DRESSING ROOMS, THE FIRST TWO TEAMS TO STEP ON TO THE FIELD IN THE COMPETITION WILL BE ENGLAND AND URUGUAY WHO OPEN THE COMPETITION ON JULY 11 -- ENGLAND ATTEMPTING TO WIN THE COVETED CUP FOR THE FIRST TIME, URUGUAY SEEKING TO REGAIN A WORLD TITLE THEY HAVE ALREADY WON TWICE. OTHER TEAMS IN THIS SECTION ONE OF THE CUP ARE FRANCE AND MEXICO.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA46L41EV5LQKD648K6WCIIGLQD
    Media URN:
    VLVA46L41EV5LQKD648K6WCIIGLQD
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    24/01/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:42:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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