George Cohen, one of the last 3 surviving members of the England squad that made it to the 1966 World Cup finals, has died at the age of 83.
Cohen spent his entire playing career at Fulham, making 459 appearances and has been described by George Best as “the best full-back he has ever played against”.
Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in that famous nineteen sixty six victory, led the tributes, saying on Twitter: ‘Very sad to hear that my friend and England teammate George Cohen has passed away. Everyone, bar none, They said George was like that’ he was a lovely man. He will be greatly missed, my sincere thoughts go out to George’s wife Daphne and her family.”
Only Hurst and Bobby Charlton remain from the starting lineup that defeated West Germany 4-2 in the final. The other survivors from the 1966 England team are George Eastham, Terry Paine, and Ian Callaghan.
Cohen, a right-back and vice-captain of Alf Ramsey’s side in 1966, won the last of his 37 caps just over a year later. He appeared in two FA Cup semi-finals and continued to work for Fulham as a matchday host long after his retirement.
Cohen was notoriously prevented by Ramsey from swapping shirts with an Argentine player after the quarter-finals in a bad mood, prompting the manager to call his opponents “animals”. He later revealed that he had the photo on a wall at his home. The player eventually sold his winners medal, purchased from Fulham for £80,000, in 1998 for financial reasons, becoming the team’s first player to do so.
After receiving a colon cancer diagnosis in 1976, Cohen fought the condition for 14 years. He has turned become an advocate and fundraiser for research into dementia, which has recently affected certain members of the England team, as well as the condition that killed his teammate and 1966 captain Bobby Moore. In 2017, Cohen declared that following his passing, he will give his brain to science.
Ben Cohen, who was his cousin, was an England rugby player and World Cup champion in 2003. “Everyone at Fulham Football Team is profoundly sorry to learn of the demise of one of our greatest players of all time – and gentleman – George Cohen MBE,” the club wrote on its official Twitter account as a homage to its late star.
His contribution to the club was recognized in twenty sixteen when it was announced that a statue of him had been commissioned to be placed at Craven Cottage. It was unveiled in October this year.
“I think it’s absolutely great that they even believed I was worthy [of a monument], ” Cohen stated at the time. especially considering that he was the most well-known player. along with Johnny Haynes, in Fulham history.
“It was quite great to be by his side. It was gratifying to think that my monument will be placed there by both the club and the supporters.
George Cohen Wife
His great-grandfather, who was Jewish, left him the surname. Church of England was George Cohen’s upbringing. In 1962, he wed his wife Daphne. The couple has two kids.
He had a history of colon cancer, having been first diagnosed with the disease in 1976. He was finally declared cancer-free in 1990.
His nephew Ben Cohen is a former England rugby player and Rugby World Champion with England in 2003. Cohen died on December 23, 2022 aged 83. Known as one of the few “greatest wonders with a trophy”, he has only won one World Cup winner’s medal in his career.