Sir Harold Thompson

A tribute to Alf Ramsey, football’s forgotten hero

No better book about England’s victory in the football World Cup of 1966 and what followed it has ever been written. Duncan Hamilton’s Answered Prayers has the authority of a work of history and pulses with the narrative power of fiction. Its unlikely hero is Alf Ramsey. He emerges as a curiously complicated character through whom Hamilton tells his story. The men in charge of the FA were regarded as a vengeful, ungrateful bunch of heartless incompetents This is not a tale of the glory of that sunny day. It is instead a kind of melancholy eulogy. England won despite English football’s powers that be – ‘unpleasant men’ such as