1966 SWC winners a smash at Wimbledon

2016-07-02 15:15
Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst (AP)

London - England's current football team would not get much of a cheer these days but there was a standing ovation at Wimbledon on Saturday for members of the 1966 World Cup-winning side.

While England went tumbling out of the 2016 European Championships with a humiliating defeat to Iceland, the squad from 50 years ago can still raise a rousing reception, as proved when they were introduced to the Centre Court crowd.

It has become a Wimbledon tradition on middle Saturday that the great and good of British sport are invited to the Royal Box.

The ovation for Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton, Roger Hunt and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst from the 1966 World Cup-winning team raised the roof - which was back on due to yet more rain.

They were joined by 1966 Wimbledon champions Manuel Santana and Billie Jean King, plus fellow former title winners Ashley Cooper, Margaret Court and John McEnroe.

Sharp-suited former England football captain David Beckham was also invited into the Royal Box.

British Olympic cycling legend Chris Hoy, who was in Andy Murray's box when his fellow Scot won the 2013 title, and 2000 Sydney heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis, were also introduced to the crowd.

Cricket stars Geoff Boycott, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Charlotte Edwards were joined by boxers Carl Froch and Nicola Adams, World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont and former Ireland and Lions rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll among the host of stars.

There were huge cheers too for Joy Lofthouse, one of the very few female pilots in World War II, who flew Spitfires and Hurricanes.

Saturday's Centre Court schedule started with Simona Halep's clash against Kiki Bertens, followed by Murray taking on John Millman and Milos Raonic versus Jack Sock.

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  soccer

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