MX23RW : Friday, April 26 00:39:51| >> :600:149527730:149527730:

On this day: England win World Cup

Forty-eight years ago today, England overcome West Germany to win the World Cup for the only time in their history.

After years of disappointment, the majority of England supporters have accepted that following their country is going to provide them with more lows than highs.

However, 48 years ago today in front of home support, the Three Lions reached the pinnacle of the World Cup final. Having progressed through a group that contained Uruguay, Mexico and France, Sir Alf Ramsey's men disposed of Argentina and Portugal in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

It meant that all that stood in England's way of the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley was a West German side that had won the tournament 12 years earlier.

German playmaker Helmut Haller silenced the home faithful with an early strike, but Geoff Hurst, who retained his place in the England starting lineup despite Jimmy Greaves's return to fitness, restored parity in the 18th minute.

With 12 minutes remaining, Martin Peters put England in front for the first time, but just when it appeared that the hosts had recorded a famous victory, defender Wolfgang Weber poked the ball into the net with virtually the last kick of the game to force extra time.

It was in the 101st minute that the encounter took a controversial turn that would ultimately send England on their way to victory. Having freed himself enough space for a shot, Hurst saw his rising effort hit the underside of the crossbar and bounce down. The England players celebrated a goal, while the Germans protested, believing that the ball had not crossed the line.

As confusion took hold, referee Gottfried Dienst consulted with his linesman Tofik Bakhramov, who insisted that a goal should be awarded, much to the anger of the German players.

It was a setback that they never recovered from and while in search of an equaliser, gaps started to appear in defence. In the final minute Hurst exploited those as he lashed a shot into the top corner of the net, sealing the outcome and also completing his hat-trick. The Englishman remains the only player to have scored three times in a World Cup final.

England squads that have followed since that triumph have failed to scale the heights of their 1966 counterparts, with their best performance coming at Italia '90, where they reached the semi-finals.

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A general view of Brazuca and the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the Maracana before the adidas Brazuca launch on December 3, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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