The Salfordian who ‘won’ the 1966 World Cup with English football’s most iconic commentary

It was my late nana who first told me about Kenneth Wolstenholme – the Salfordian who could possibly lay claim to having made the most memorable prononouncement in the history of English football.

She’d known Wolstenholme growing up in Park Road, Salford, and was well-rehearsed in how he’d gone on to national fame.

You wouldn’t know it from his posh BBC accent but the commentator who most people acknowledge as having heralded England’s glorious 1966 FIFA World Cup victory was a northerner, born in Worsley, and later a resident of Park Road, not far from Salford Royal Hospital.

He had a brilliantly successful commentating career but it was of course those legendary words for which he’ll be remembered forever.

“Some people are on the pitch… They think it’s all over. It is now!”

Wolstenholme’s words, punctuated by Geoff Hurst scoring England’s fourth goal, are now as iconic as the victory itself.

Wolstenholme was a bomber pilot in the RAF during the war but began his media career as a journalist in Manchester before going on to work for the BBC on Match Of The Day.

Wolstenholme died in 2002 but I was fortunate enough to interview him as a journalist before then and asked him about growing up in Salford.

He did of course go on to find immortality in another way that was linked to his home, with his legendary words used in the New Order hit World In Motion.

Read more about Kenneth Wolstenholme on his Wikipedia page.