Video & Gallery: Sir Alf's World Cup medal 'comes home'
SIR Alf Ramsey's long-awaited World Cup winner's medal was delivered to Ipswich today by one of his most trusted 1966 heroes.
IT may have taken 43 years, but Sir Alf Ramsey's 1966 World Cup winners' medal has finally come home.
Ramsey - who famously led Ipswich to the Division One title in 1962 before winning the World Cup with England four years later - was never awarded a medal following the Wembley triumph and died in his beloved Ipswich aged 79 in 1999.
Now though governing body FIFA has decided to give medals to every non-playing squad and staff member from every World Cup-winning country from 1930 to 1974.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave 11 ex-England players and staff their medals at a special ceremony earlier this month and George Cohen - Ramsey's trusty right-back from '66 - picked up the award on behalf of Sir Alf's family.
Today the Fulham legend delivered the medal - an exact replica of those awarded in 1966 - personally to Ramsey's widow at her Ipswich home in a private ceremony.
“He would have loved this,” said Cohen. “I know he was hugely proud when he received his knighthood and he would be just as happy for all the other players and staff that didn't receive anything at the time too.”
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David Sheepshanks, the former Ipswich Town chairman and current FA and Football League board member, said: “This is a special day and it is not before time that we as the FA recognise his efforts.
“Because of the passage of time sometimes peoples' memories are dulled, but we should never forget the enormity of his achievements.
“He is one of the most famous and most favourite sons of Ipswich and he should never be forgotten.
“To win the league championship with an unfancied club like Ipswich and the World Cup with England - I don't think his achievements will ever be matched again.
“In many ways this is a crowning moment for Sir Alf Ramsey because although he will have a bust erected at Wembley Stadium soon, this medal is more of an intensely personal thing that I am sure he would be very proud of.
“In terms of the hosting the World Cup here we don't talk about 'football coming home' because it sounds arrogant. But in terms of Sir Alf's medal coming to Ipswich I think it's highly appropriate to say that it is coming home.”
- Buy tomorrow's paper for in-depth coverage of the event, with full interviews with David Sheepshanks and George Cohen and much more.