World Cup ‘66 Live, South Holland Centre, Spalding
It was meant to be a trip down memory lane to the sights, sounds and smells of England’s greatest sporting day.
Fifty years on and the 1966 World Cup Final still holds an iron-like grip over the consciousness of the national sporting psyche.
Nothing that has come along since Bobby Moore held the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft, perched high on the shoulders of team-mates Roger Hunt and Ray Wilson, has quite captured the euphoria and sheer disbelief of Saturday, July 30, 1966.
Exactly half a century later, a much smaller than expected audience at Spalding’s South Holland Centre were given a glimpse of what it was like to be “alive and kicking“ (as Scottish rockers Simple Minds sang almost 20 years after English football’s Mount Everest moment) in the summer of 66’.
However, despite show-stopping performances by the likes of Lemar, The Troggs, Chris Farlowe, Kerry Ellis (all performing hits from 1966), the piecemeal coverage of the World Cup Final itself left you with the feeling that not only the cherry had been left off the cake but the icing as well.
It was as if the people who really mattered, i.e. the 11 players who actually won the World Cup, as well as manager Sir Alf Ramsay, were just cast members in an even bigger play which starred a multitude of actors and actresses.
The performances, every one of them, did just to originals hits like Sunny Afternoon, These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, Wild Thing and Substitute.
But be very clear, South Holland Centre had absolutely no control over this spectacularly missed opportunity.
Review by Winston Brown