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England and the 1966 World CupA Cultural History$
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John Hughson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096150

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096150.001.0001

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Alf Ramsey and the importance of being earnest: masculinity, modernity and the 1966 World Cup squad

Alf Ramsey and the importance of being earnest: masculinity, modernity and the 1966 World Cup squad

Chapter:
(p.58) 4 Alf Ramsey and the importance of being earnest: masculinity, modernity and the 1966 World Cup squad
Source:
England and the 1966 World Cup
Author(s):

John Hughson

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719096150.003.0004

This chapter takes up the theme of masculinity. Traditional masculinity was undoubtedly affected by the emergent rock’n’roll era in Britain by the 1960s. Football was not especially quick to respond, but the young men moving through its professional ranks could hardly ignore the behaviour of peers in other fields. The England squad in 1966 did not contain any players in the Beatlesque guise of Manchester United’s star player from Northern Ireland George Best. Even the younger players in the England squad have been regarded as conservatively conformist. Examination is made of the masculinity of the 1966 England team via a parallel analysis of the masculinity of manager Alf Ramsey. Consideration of the complicated organisational circumstances which surrounded the players and, in particular, Ramsey, gives caution against accepting simplistic assessments of the manager and his players as establishment figures.

Keywords:   Masculinity, Military service, public man, Physical fitness, Working class

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