The 1966 World Cup Final is arguably the most revered sporting achievement in English history, certainly English football’s most frequently eulogised match, but have you actually ever seen it? If not this enhanced DVD release is nothing short of essential. Featuring the original black and white BBC coverage of the match, with Kenneth Wolstenholme at the commentator’s mike, this is an opportunity for even those familiar with the big moments–five goals and „they think it’s all over”–to watch the action in its entirety. It’s an experience rather similar to people’s descriptions of meeting TV stars–everyone’s shorter, taller, fatter, thinner, balder than you expect–but even simply viewed as a game of football this is something of a classic, with disputed goals, clattering tackles, last-minute equalisers and dodgy officials, putting the achievement of Moore and co into its proper context.
On the DVD: The 1966 World Cup Final comes to DVD with a sparkling slew of extras. The choicest feature is the alternative match commentary provided, live, by five of the England team themselves–Jack Charlton, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, George Cohen and Gordon Banks. It’s a frequently hilarious, sometimes touching additional perspective, delivered in an entertainingly chaotic style by five men who may share a common bond, but clearly see the task in hand somewhat differently.
Aside from text-only profiles of the England 11 (no subs in those days), and a gallery of stills from the match and build-up, there are three additional mini-programmes. Exclusive interviews with Tina Moore (wife of late England captain Bobby Moore), and with the late commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme, tear down some of the media-generated nonsense that has grown to obscure the match and its key participants, with their personal reflections on the event and its resonance. John Motson narrates an entertaining documentary on „The Summer of 66”, featuring archive and contemporary interviews with players and fans. —Alex Hankin