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england gordon banks world cup famous save

1960s Football: The Golden Decade We Discovered New Talent

A lot more talent was discovered or brought to the world’s attention during 1960s football. Due to the tremendous changes in football during the 1950s, the following decades were sure to reap the rewards of the alterations in style, tactics, and appreciation.

It was during the 1960s football decade that the game began to grow internationally. A sport often exempted from global issues was affected by a broader shift in world culture and a social revolution during this period.

The late 50s brought us the Busby Babes, who were tragically cut short following the Munich Air Disaster, and both Northern Ireland and Wales had impressive showings at the 1958 World Cup.

In the 1960-61 season, Tottenham Hotspur won their first domestic ‘double’ of this century, the league and cup. Ray Crawford led Ipswich Town to their first league victory the following season, during which Liverpool regained the top division under Bill Shankly.

Liverpool followed Everton and Manchester United with six league titles in the following three seasons. However, after winning the FA Cup at Wembley for the first time a year earlier, Liverpool Football Club claimed their seventh title with only a squad of fourteen players.

Manchester United gained domestic triumph a year later. Manchester City won the league by just two points from their local rivals in 1968. Don Revie’s Leeds United would win the championship in the decade’s final season.

YearChampionsRunners-Up
1960–61Tottenham HotspurSheffield Wednesday
1961–62Ipswich TownBurnley
1962–63EvertonTottenham Hotspur
1963–64LiverpoolManchester United
1964–65Manchester UnitedLeeds United
1965–66LiverpoolLeeds United
1966–67Manchester UnitedNottingham Forest
1967–68Manchester CityManchester United
1968–69Manchester CityLiverpool
1969–70Everton Leeds United

Over the last few months, we have been asking History Of Soccer readers to vote for their team of the 1960s football era.

Our unique and massive poll caught your imagination as football fans of all generations have been voting in their thousands, and now we have the results. Most of the voters were not around in this era, but with the likes of YouTube and the internet, they have been able to select their favorite team.

So here’s the 1960s football dream team you selected.

1960s Team Of The Decade

Gordon Banks

A goalkeeping legend, a World Cup winner in 1966, and voted Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the 1970 finals in Mexico, where he produced what has been described as the greatest save of all time to deny Brazil’s Pele.

bobby moore was voted Best English Soccer Players Of The Century

Bobby Moore

One of the finest players ever to have graced a football pitch anywhere in the world, and not only was he the perfect pro, but he was also the perfect gentleman respected by all. And, of course, the late great Bobby is still the only Englishman to have lifted the World Cup. Probably was the best goalkeeper in the world during this time in football history.

Jackie Charlton

Brother of Bobby and another key member of that famous class of ’66. He was a Championship, Fairs Cup and FA Cup winner with Leeds and a frightening sight for any center-forward. And, incredibly for a center-half, he scored almost 100 career goals.

nobby stiles manchester united and england soccer player

Nobby Stiles

Talking of frightening sights, there weren’t any more scary prospects than a 50-50 challenge with good old Nobby, whose toothless grin and merry jig around Wembley after the World Cup triumph is part of football folklore.

Duncan Edwards

A giant of a young man, Duncan sadly made a total of only 177 first-team appearances and scored just 21 goals before his death at Munich – yet former Manchester United boss Sir Matt Busby rated him as the most ‘complete footballer in Britain, possibly the world’.

george best showing off his skills in front of women

George Best

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the mercurial Belfast Boy tormented defenders with his dazzling skills. He was widely regarded as one of the greatest players to play the game, helping Manchester United win the European Cup in 1968.

Stanley Matthews

The original wing wizard, Stanley Matthews, graced the game for over thirty years and was voted European Footballer of the Year in 1956. And, of course, he was a famous FA Cup winner (at last!) in 1953. A Blackpool and Stoke legend and an England star who won over 50 caps.

sir bobby charlton hold the world cup trophy above his head

Bobby Charlton

The perfect player for 1960s football. A gentleman with international acclaims, such as Bobby Moore. He went on to win 106 England caps following his Player of the Tournament award at the ’66 World Cup. A former Manchester United player who later became a director.

Alan Ball

While it was hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst who claimed the bulk of the headlines after the 1966 triumph, the energy and determination of little Alan Ball are widely recognized as one of the critical factors behind England’s success. One of the game’s great characters who we lost recently.

jimmy greaves scoring for englandJimmy Greaves

One of the greatest goalscorers ever, Jimmy became the first player to score 100 goals before 21. He achieved an incredible 357 goals in 514 matches (mainly for Spurs and Chelsea)! He also scored 44 goals in 57 England appearances.

Denis Law

The ‘Lawman’ had a unique style and a unique goal celebration seen many times. During his 11 years with Manchester United, Denis (who also played for rivals City) made 309 league appearances and scored 168 league goals. He also scored 30 goals in 45 Scotland appearances.

There you go, folks.  Thanks to everyone who voted for the British 1960s football team of the decade.  If you like this article, then make sure to read Sir Bobby Charlton’s best English football team selections. You might be surprised by one of two of his team selections.

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