George Cohen, England’s right-back for their 1966 World Cup triumph, has died aged 83. The news was announced by his former club Fulham on Friday. No cause of death was given.
“Everyone associated with Fulham Football Club is desperately saddened to learn of the passing of one of our greatest ever players – and gentlemen – George Cohen MBE,” said a statement on Fulham’s official website.
“All of our thoughts are with Daphne, his beloved wife of more than 60 years, sons Anthony and Andrew, his grandchildren and extended family, as well as George’s many, many friends.”
Cohen was one of three surviving members of the famed England side that defeated West Germany 4-2 after extra time in the World Cup final at Wembley in 1966. He played in every game at that tournament.
Tributes for Cohen have poured in from teammates and organizations alike.
The Football Association, the governing body of the sport in England, posted a remark from chair Debbie Hewitt, reading, “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.”
Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the final victory in 1966, wrote on Twitter saying that he was “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.”
Cohen’s death means Hurst and Bobby Charlton are the only surviving members of England’s victorious squad.
Cohen spent his entire professional career at Fulham, playing 459 times for the Cottagers between 1957 and 1969.
He was forced to retire at age 29 after suffering a knee injury. The club immortalized Cohen in statue-form in 2016.
England announced it is to pay a “full tribute” to Cohen when the men’s team takes on Ukraine on March 26.