George Cohen Obituary, Footballer who won the World Cup with England in 1966 has died

George Cohen Obituary, Death – George Cohen, a member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning team, has died at the age of 83. Cohen spent his whole playing career with Fulham, making 459 appearances, and was described by George Best as “the best full-back I ever played against”. George Cohen playing for Fulham in 1965. George Cohen: England’s idiosyncratic World Cup-winning fitness fanatic
Read more The right-back in Alf Ramsey’s 1966 team, Cohen won the last of his 37 caps just over a year later. He played in two FA Cup semi-finals and worked for Fulham as a matchday host long after his retirement.

Cohen was famously prevented by Ramsey from swapping shirts with an Argentina player after an ill-tempered game at the 1966 World Cup and later said he had the photograph on a wall at home. He sold his winner’s medal, bought by Fulham for £80,000, in 1998 for financial reasons, becoming the first player in the team to do so.

Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in that famous 1966 victory, was one of the first to pay tribute, stating on Twitter: “Very sad to hear my friend and England teammate George Cohen has died. Everyone, without exception, always said that George was such a lovely man. He will be sadly missed, my heartfelt thoughts are with George’s wife Daphne and his family.” Hurst and Bobby Charlton are now the only surviving members of the World Cup-winning team.

Cohen was diagnosed with cancer in 1976 and helped to raise funds for cancer charities. He was a campaigner and fundraiser for research into cancer, which claimed the life of his 1966 teammate and captain Bobby Moore, and into dementia which affected a number of the team in their later years.

Cohen said in 2017 he would be donating his brain for scientific research upon his death. His nephew Ben Cohen played rugby union for England also won a World Cup, in 2003. Fulham also paid tribute to their club great, writing on the club’s official Twitter account: “Everyone at Fulham Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our greatest ever players – and gentlemen – George Cohen MBE.”

His contribution to the club was recognised in 2016 when they announced a statue of him to be situated at Craven Cottage had been commissioned. It was unveiled in October of that year. Cohen said at the time: “I find it absolutely wonderful that they even thought I was worthy of [a statue]. Especially as it was alongside Johnny Haynes, the greatest name in Fulham’s history.

“To be alongside him, it was rather unbelievable. It was great to think that not only the club but the supporters had wanted to put a statue of me there.” Football Association chair Debbie Hewitt said: “We are very sad to hear the news of George Cohen’s death today. George won 37 caps for England and was vice-captain of our World Cup winning team.

“We would like to pass on our deep condolences to George’s family and friends at this sad time.” A tribute posted on the official England Twitter account was simply titled: “Rest in peace George.” The website article confirmed a full tribute would be paid to Cohen when England host Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier at Wembley on March 26 next year.