Franz Beckenbauer and West Germany trained in Stevenage before 1966 World Cup final defeat to England 50 years ago today

West Germany star Franz Beckenbauer trains at Bragbury End, Stevenage, days before the 1966 World Cu

West Germany star Franz Beckenbauer trains at Bragbury End, Stevenage, days before the 1966 World Cup final against England at Wembley. - Credit: Archant

Half a century ago this week England’s 1966 World Cup final opponents West Germany were training at Bragbury End in Stevenage.

The above photograph, from a sister paper of the Comet, shows German star man Franz Beckenbauer in Stevenage 50 years ago on Wednesday, sending the ball across the field to a team-mate.

With the help of news photographer Denis Williams, who had learned German in the RAF, the visitors made clear they were confident of victory – but on July 30, 1966, Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick helped England to a 4-2 win after extra time.