One of George Cohen’s abiding memories from the 1966 World Cup is the tax bill that followed.

Actually, he recounts it hitting the doormat with a wry smile in the same way he jokes that a second England victory will rob him of the fete and fuss that goes with every significant anniversary of that golden Wembley day.

The 50th anniversary is today (Saturday July 30) of course, and Cohen has had to pass on all media requests to his representative as the world and his journalistic life wants a word with the team’s unsung right-back on the day.

“No; go on - use all the old stories. None of them have changed,” says Dave Davies the man detailed to hold back the avalanche of interest.

So, it’s just as well GetWestLondon twice previously interviewed the former Fulham player - the only club Cohen ever played for between 1956 and 1969 totalling 459 games.

Video thumbnail, 1966 memorabilia
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England were each paid £1,000 bonus for winning the Jules Rimet Trophy, embarrassingly stolen and recovered by Pickles the dog just four months before the tournament.

His owner got £5k for finding the trophy - four times more than Cohen or winning it - and the Pickles man bought a house with the reward money.

The players got the bill.

“What you might call the thanks of a grateful nation,” recalled England’s right-back with heavy irony.

However, a grand don’t come for free, even if 50 years ago a gallon of petrol cost 26p.

Cohen has been through the mill over the last 47 years since he was forced to quit the game when only 29 in 1969.

What followed is a well documented battle with bowel cancer that almost killed him, as well as the heartbreak of his brother, Peter, a nightclub owner and father of England rugby union player Ben Cohen, who was killed.

For many years, Cohen felt he and four of his ’66 team-mates were denied their due by the establishment.

Video thumbnail, Homecoming Heroes: Remarkable lost footage of Jack and Bobby Charlton being mobbed by screaming girls in 1966
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Six of the team were honoured in one way or another: two of them knighted. But Cohen, Alan Ball, Roger Hunt, Ray Wilson and Nobby Stiles were the forgotten five. Belatedly, they received MBEs in 2000.

What is the main memory of the game?

"The final whistle. I couldn't tell you how tired we were,” he said.

“OK, you were elated, but you couldn't even enjoy the official dinner: our wives were upstairs in a burger bar, which is just about as bad manners as you could get.

“We'd been away from our wives for ages, and even Nobby Stiles can look attractive after six and a half weeks. Perhaps not! But it was such hard work, so the final whistle was amazing.”