One person who was not there to enjoy his triumph was his wife Pat – who was at home just days from giving birth to their third child Peter.

As it's revealed World Cup 66 legends Martin Peters, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson have Alzheimer's Frank Lampard and Gary Lineker want some answers

His goals became a little less frequent, and indeed Jimmy Greaves, playing purely as a striker, would overtake Charlton's England tally in October 1964. Nevertheless, he was still scoring and creating freely and as the tournament was about to start, he was expected to become one of its stars and galvanise his established reputation as one of the world's best footballers.

In his corner of south-east London, however, Powell is something of a hero. He played 270 times for the club — across three spells — and became that rare thing, a Charlton player and England international simultaneously.

But some have recently been unable to attend due to illness.

After spending almost the entire 2009–10 season in the top six of League One, Charlton were defeated in the Football League One play-offs semi-final second leg on penalties against Swindon Town.[35]

Since the return to The Valley, three sides of the ground have been completely redeveloped turning The Valley into a modern, all-seater stadium with a 27,111 capacity. There are plans in place to increase the ground's capacity to approximately 31,000 and even around 40,000 in the future.[61]

But Jack, who as a tough centre-half never shied away from heading the ball himself, is not so sure.

Jena are now in Regionalliga Nordost, one of the local German leagues that comprise the fourth tier. The average gate in the league is below 2,000. Alcorcon are a Madrid-based second division club playing in a  stadium that holds 5,607. Ujpest are 11th of 16 in the 29th-ranked league in Europe. They are also drawing crowds of less than 2,000.

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“We are still good friends,” says Jack. “A lot of us get together every year, in May. We play golf, the wives go shopping and we all have a meal together.”

Of course, Liege have a tradition of genuine success. Ten Belgian league titles, most recently in 2009, six Belgian Cups, the latest in 2011, beaten by Barcelona in the final of the 1982 European Cup-winners’ Cup, semi-finalists in the 1962 European Cup; this makes Charlton’s lone FA Cup win in 1947 seem very meagre.

Having run 120 kilometres at 30kmh one imagines they could do without it. Then again, they could do without much of what unfolds in the world of Middle East endurance racing.

He was selected for the squad which competed at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, but did not kick a ball, something at which critics expressed surprise and bewilderment,[citation needed] even allowing for his lacklustre performance in Belgrade.

And there are plenty out there like Joan Trotter, waiting for the owner of her dreams to come to Charlton’s rescue. That man is not Duchatelet, whose thoughts extend no further than what Charlton can do to facilitate the Belgian arm of his operation, or maybe the German end if that looks like turning a quicker buck. Ask not what Carl Zeiss Jena can do for you, ask what you can do for Carl Zeiss Jena.

‘It’s not to be excluded that some players will be sold to Standard Liege to play in the Champions League,’ he said of Charlton’s future, as if their fans should be proud or grateful at the thought of Poyet Jnr bettering himself with a move to Belgium, while their own club slide towards obscurity.

In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division,[8] in 1938 finished fourth[9] and 1939 finished third.[10] They were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War.[1] This continued during the war years and they won the "war" cup and appeared in finals.

Getty The victorious England team after their World Cup win in 1966

Like the Pozzo family in charge at Watford, Duchatelet picks up the mediocre or quietly slumbering across Europe in the hope of transforming them into a powerful collective.

Having failed with an appeal against his red card in their Champions League first leg, Martin Demichelis will not be able to play for Manchester City in Barcelona on Wednesday night.

He was selected for four World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970), and helped England to win the competition in 1966. At the time of his retirement from the England team in 1970, he was the nation's most capped player, having turned out 106 times at the highest level. This record has since been held by Bobby Moore and Peter Shilton.

In the event of a tie at the top of the Six Nations Championship, the order is decided by points difference.

“Roger Hunt was stood right there,” says Jack.

Yohann Thuram-Ulien was a Standard Liege goalkeeper so ordinary that coaches at his new club placed him at Conference level. When he was left out, Duchatelet demanded to know why.

The sweet moment of World Cup victory remains etched in the memory of a nation still waiting for a repeat, 50 years on.

But he has vivid memories of the day England won 4-2 over West Germany at Wembley.

The 2015–16 season began promisingly but results under Luzon deteriorated and on 24 October 2015 after a 3–0 defeat at home to Brentford he was sacked.[38] Two days later Karel Fraeye was announced as "Interim Head Coach".[39] His tenure lasted for just 14 games, only two of which were won, and he was sacked on 13 January 2016 with the club now second from bottom in the Championship.[40] On 14 January, Jose Riga was appointed Head Coach for a second spell.[41]

On his wedding day it is revealed that Rodney Trotter’s middle name is Charlton. ‘His mum was a big fan,’ says Del Boy, tenderly. ‘What, of Charlton Heston?’ asks Marlene. ‘No, Charlton Athletic,’ Del replies.

Getty England's Jack Charlton falls to his knees in relief after the win

Happily Jack’s memory has got no worse since he stopped driving two years ago.

Duchatelet wishes to feed Charlton to foreign rivals who are barely  superior, when if the new owner had any interest in realising their true potential, the Championship club might choke Liege, Carl Zeiss Jena, Ujpest or Alcorcon to death.


Not quite as bizarre, though, as the practice of starting the final games at different times so the team who play last know exactly what must be done. Even those old frauds at FIFA got wise to that one.

"It’s very sad. There are quite a few of them from that team who aren’t too well now.”

Charlton were bottom of the Championship at the time, and had just lost in a quarter-final of the FA Cup to Sheffield United of League One, so sympathy will not be widespread.

Charlton fans' chants have included "Valley, Floyd Road", a song noting the stadium's address to the tune of "Mull of Kintyre", and "The Red, Red Robin".[65]

There was a tragedy at the club late in the 1992–93 season. Defender Tommy Caton, who had been out of action due to injury since January 1991, announced his retirement from playing on medical advice in March 1993 having failed to recover full fitness, and he died suddenly at the end of the following month at the age of 30.

But the former Ireland manager has also had to scale back his outdoor pursuits – including shooting, one of his favourite hobbies outside football.

Whatever The Valley holds now, however many attend Wednesday night’s home game with Huddersfield Town, there were once over 75,000 people who cared passionately for the club. And those people have descendants, generations on, who would still call Charlton their team even if they don’t go.

In September 2016, Jon McCaffrey, the Charlton fan responsible for the recording of the song "Valley Floyd Road" banned the club from playing it before matches claiming "it feels like it currently has no place at Roland Duchâtelet's Charlton".[57] Also in September, it was announced CARD would resume their protests, coinciding with a lack of improvement in results for new manager Russel Slade's team.[58]

“They were there celebrating with the rest of us. No one bothered, everyone was just enjoying the moment.”