world cup 1966

The 1966 FIFA World Cup was the eighth FIFA World Cup and was held in England from 11 July to 30 July 1966. England secured their first World Cup title defeating West Germany 4-2 in the final at Wembley Stadium, London.

Host selection

England, Spain and West Germany bid to host the tournament but Spain withdrew from the bidding prior to voting by the FIFA Congress, held in Rome, Italy on 22 August 1960. England defeated West Germany by 34 votes to 27.

Seventy four1 countries entered the qualifying competition with Israel and Syria of the Asian Football Confederation competing in the European qualifiers.

The hosts, England, and the defending champions, Brazil, qualified automatically. Of the remaining 14 places, nine were allocated to Europe (UEFA), three to South America (CONMEBOL), one to the North and Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF) qualifiers with the African (CAF) and Asian (AFC) qualifiers fighting it out for one place.


The 29 European teams, alongside Israel and Syria, were drawn into nine groups of three or four teams each. The group winners would qualify for the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England.

Uefa qualifying Group 7

no.datescorescorers (wales)venue 
25821/10/1964Denmark 1-0 Wales Idrætspark, CopenhagenWCQ
26009/12/1964Greece 2-0 Wales Leoforos Alexandras Stadium, AthensWCQ
26117/03/1965Wales 4-1 GreeceI Alchurch (2), Vernon, EnglandNinian Park, CardiffWCQ
26430/05/1965USSR 2-1 WalesW DaviesLenin Central Stadium, MoscowWCQ
26627/10/1965Wales 2-1 USSRVernon, I AllchurchNinian Park, CardiffWCQ
26801/12/1965Wales 4-2 DenmarkVernon (2), W Davies, ReesRacecourse Ground, WrexhamWCQ

Group standings

Wales and the 1966 World Cup

Wales were drawn into Group 7 alongside Denmark, Greece and the Soviet Union; the first time they would meet all three countries.

In a campaign which saw Juventus force John Charles to miss several matches, Denmark's victory over Wales in the opening match would be the Danes' only victory during the qualifyng campaign.

Peter Rodrigues of Cardiff City and Herbie Williams of Swansea Town made their debut in the 0-2 loss in Greece before John Charles won the last of his 38 caps in the 1-2 defeat in Moscow against the Soviet Union.

Rotherham United's Keith Pring made his debut in the final game against Denmark bringing the total number of players used by Wales over the course of the six qualifying matches to 22.

Mike England, Barrie Hole and Ronnie Rees were the only players to have played all six matches.


1Of the 74 countries who entered, South Africa were disqualified because of the country's apartheid system. A further 17 withdrew, including the 15 African nations who withdrew in protest that the Confederation for African Football were not awarded an automatic qualifying place.

Syria withdrew in solidarity with the African countries whilst South Korea withdrew citing logistical problems once their qualifying group was moved from Japan to Cambodia.

The entries of the Congo, Guatemala and the Philippines were rejected by FIFA.

22 pts for a win / 1 pt for a draw