FOOTBALL: GOODBYE TO SIR ALF; TRIBUTE TO WORLD CUP LEGEND 1920-1999 Soccer Mourns as 1966 Hero Dies Aged 79
Walters, Mike, The Mirror (London, England)
THE world of football was last night mourning Sir Alf Ramsey, the only man to deliver the sport's holy grail to these shores.
Sir Alf's death, at 79, robbed English football of its first knight - and only World Cup winning manager.
In a national outpouring of grief, his 1966 squad - and England managers who tried unsuccessfully to follow in his footsteps - paid their respects.
In a statement from their Lancaster Gate headquarters, the Football Association said: "Sir Alf's place in football history, and the country's heritage, is there for all to see.
"His achievements speak for themselves and we send all our sympathy to his family."
Sir Bobby Charlton, on his way home from an FA visit to Botswana, said: "I couldn't be more upset if it was family.
"Alf Ramsey gave all of us in the football business the greatest moment we have ever had as players, as coaches, as managers as fans and as officials.
"He was professional to his fingertips and as popular with the players as any manager I've ever seen.
"He was a winner and without Alf Ramsey England would not have won the World Cup in 1966.
"He gave us our proudest moment. I feel for his family as will every player in the 1966 squad."
Former England manager Graham Taylor said: "He will always have a great name in English football - that is there for ever. During my time as England manager I had many conversations with him and he was always very supportive.
"We will never forget his England exploits, but he also transformed Ipswich Town at club level."
George Cohen, right-back in Sir Alf's world-beating side, said all the 1966 team would be upset by their former manager's death. He said: "Although we knew he was ill, it was always going to be a shock when it came around.
"He was possibly the best manager I have ever played for and he is going to be sorely missed by all his friends and family."
Geoff Hurst, who scored the hat-trick that clinched victory in 1966, said …
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Publication information: Article title: FOOTBALL: GOODBYE TO SIR ALF; TRIBUTE TO WORLD CUP LEGEND 1920-1999 Soccer Mourns as 1966 Hero Dies Aged 79. Contributors: Walters, Mike - Author. Newspaper title: The Mirror (London, England). Publication date: May 1, 1999. Page number: 58. © 2009 MGN LTD. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
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