66: The World Cup in Real Time gets a fab showcase in today’s Currant Bun. And you can download a free chapter now!


66 is a World Cup story with a difference. It retraces the dramatic arc of the Finals in real time, and in irrestible new detail.


Long-forgotten tales from on and off the field are unearthed in the book, released to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup. Journalist Ian Passingham offers a unique take on the summer when England hosted and won football’s biggest tournament.


The book brings the finals back to life, with 'real time' newspaper-style reports drawn from coverage of the time. Colourful stories range from a bitter row which threatened to destroy FIFA to Soviet Union players visiting a North-East barber’s shop to have their hair cut like the star of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


The WAGs of the day feature, there are players breaking curfews and even a bust-up over an attempt to smuggle women into the hotel rooms of one squad. Other offbeat stories to feature in the book include:

  • Uruguay players being given heart tests to monitor their stress levels before facing England.
  • The Mexican player who turned down a career in bull fighting.
  • Argentina captain Antonio Rattin's World Cup being saved by a Birmingham dentist.
  • England stars being stood up by Muhammad Ali when they visited his London gym.
  • Portugal's squad joining in a Manchester couple's wedding celebrations.
  • Jimmy Greaves denying his injury was a cover story for being dropped.
  • The president of FIFA being branded "a moron".
  • Merseyside fans boycotting the Goodison Park semi-final because FIFA staged England's last four match at Wembley.
  • And Jack Charlton's heavily pregnant wife insisting their baby wouldn't be called World Cup Willie!


Click here for more information, or to read a sample from 66: The World Cup in Real Time