George Cohen dies: World Cup-winning vice-captain and England's best right-back, according to Sir Alf Ramsey

THE man Sir Alf Ramsey called "England's greatest right-back" has died, aged 83.

The death of World Cup winner George Cohen leaves just two surviving members of the team which beat West Germany in the 1966 final - Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst.

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George Cohen remembered - what became of England's 1966 World Cup heroes?

Cohen, who won 37 caps, played every minutes of England's only victorious World Cup campaign.

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The London-born defender's entire playing career was spent with Fulham, amking 459 appearances before a knee injury brought it to an early end in 1969, when he was just 29.

His association with the Cottagers continued, coaching the youth team and later working in the club's hospitality suites. A statue of him now stands outside Craven Cottage.

Cohen owed his place in England's legendary team to an injury to future Leeds United manager Jimmy Armfield in 1964. Cohen took ihis chance brilliantly, and played in 21 of the next 23 games.

Whilst Cohen was England's vice-captain, Armfield an unused squad member at the World Cup in the era before substitutes.

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CROWNING GLORY: England right-back George Cohen meets Queen Elizabeth II before the start of the 1966 World CupCROWNING GLORY: England right-back George Cohen meets Queen Elizabeth II before the start of the 1966 World Cup
CROWNING GLORY: England right-back George Cohen meets Queen Elizabeth II before the start of the 1966 World Cup

When Ramsey switched to his "wingless wonders" formation during the tournament, Cohen's attacking qualities came to the fore.

As well as being a World Cup winner himself, Cohen is the uncle of one. His nephew Ben won the rugby union World Cup with England in 2003.

He was awarded an MBE in 2000, along with former Huddersfield Town full-back Ray Wilson, ex-Middlesbrough midfielder Nobby Stiles, Alan Ball and Roger Hunt. They were England's last World Cup winners to be honoured.

Wilson died in 2018, Sheffield-born goalkeeper Gordon Banks in 2019, and Stles and Leeds legend Jack Charlton in 2020.

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Like his brother and a depressingly high number of his other former international team-mates, SIr Bobby Charlton is suffering from dementia.

Hurst was until last week the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, as England won 4-2 at Wembley. France's Kylian Mbappe emulated that in the 2022 final.

Hurst was quick to tweet his condolences, writing: “Everyone, without exception, always said that George was such a lovely man. He will be sadly missed”.