George Cohen: England legend and 1966 World Cup winner dies aged 83

England legend George Cohen has died aged 83, his former club Fulham have announced.

A World Cup winner with the Three Lions on home soil in 1966, the right-back played every minute of the tournament and was vice-captain for the 4-2 win over West Germany in the Wembley final.

Cohen represented his country 37 times in total.

A one-club man, Cohen is one of the Cottagers’ greatest-ever players, chalking up 459 appearances between 1956 to 1969.

A club statement read: “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.”

Cohen’s career was cut short by a knee injury when he was just 29 years old, though only three players in Fulham’s history have represented the club more: Johnny Haynes (658), Eddie Lowe (511) and Les Barrett (491).

George Cohen, left, in action during the 1966 World Cup final


While Cohen’s former England teammate Sir Geoff Hurst said: “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.”

Gary Lineker added: “Sorry to hear that George Cohen has died. Another of the heroes of the ‘66 World Cup-winning team leaves us. He’ll always have footballing immortality. RIP George.”

Cohen’s death leaves just two surviving members of England’s World Cup-winning team: Sir Geoff and Sir Bobby Charlton.

He would later work for his beloved Fulham, notably in the London club’s hospitality suites and telling stories from a legendary career.

In 2016 the club announced and later unveiled a statue of him outside Craven Cottage.

After being honoured by the club, Cohen said at the time: “I find it absolutely wonderful that they even thought I was worthy of [a statue].

Boys of 66: Cohen, Gordon Banks, Martin Peters and Sir Geoff Hurst pose with the Jules Rimet trophy in 2016


“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.”

Away from his career in football, Cohen was a campaigner and fundraiser for research into cancer, which claimed the life of his 1966 teammate and captain Bobby Moore.

He also raised money for dementia research which affected a number of the World Cup heroes in their later years.

Cohen said in 2017 he planned to donate his brain for scientific research.

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