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Alf Ramsey

Alf Ramsey

English footballer and manager

Sir Alfred Ernest Ramsey (22 January 1920 – 28 April 1999) was an English football player and manager. As a player, he represented the England national team and captained the side, but he is best known for his time as England manager from 1963 to 1974, which included guiding them to victory in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Knighted in 1967 in recognition of the World Cup win, Ramsey also managed his country to third place in the 1968 European Championship and the quarter-finals of the 1970 World Cup and the 1972 European Championship. As a player, Ramsey was a defender and a member of England's 1950 World Cup squad.

Ramsey was born and raised in a quiet Essex village. He showed sporting promise from an early age and, after serving in the British Army during the Second World War, embarked on a football career, primarily as a right-back. He was considered a rather slow but accomplished player with a tremendous grasp of the tactical side of the game. Nicknamed "The General", he played for England 32 times between 1948 and 1953, captaining the side three times, scoring three times and appearing in the 1950 World Cup. He played his club football for Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur and was part of the Tottenham side that won the English League championship in the 1950–51 season.

Ramsey retired from playing aged 35 to become the manager of Ipswich Town, then in the third tier of English football. Ipswich rose through the divisions over the next six years, winning the Third Division South in 1956–57 and the Second Division in 1960–61. In the 1961–62 season, Ipswich's first ever campaign in the top division, Ramsey's team defied expectations to become champions of England. Ramsey took charge of the England team a year later. In a distinct break with common practice of the day, he used a narrow formation that led to his England side being dubbed "The Wingless Wonders". England's World Cup victory at Wembley in 1966 made Ramsey a national hero, though he had his critics, both at the time and since. He lost the England job acrimoniously, following the team's failure to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

After managing England, Ramsey briefly held football-related roles at Birmingham City and Panathinaikos, before retiring in 1979–80. He led a somewhat reclusive life in Ipswich over the next two decades and died in 1999, aged 79. A statue of Ramsey was dedicated at the reconstructed Wembley Stadium in 2009, and various honours have been afforded to him in Ipswich. He is the first person to have been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame twice: an inaugural inductee in 2002, in recognition of his achievements as a manager and admitted again in 2010 for his achievements as a player. He remains widely regarded as one of British football's all-time great managers.

Timeline

January 22, 1920
Alf Ramsey was born in Dagenham.

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