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Former regional sports editor relives glory of ’66 in new book

Ian PassinghamA book telling the story of the 1966 football World Cup in real-time has been written by a former regional daily sports editor.

Ian Passingham, formerly of the Colchester Daily Gazette, has relived England’s famous victory in the tournament in 66: The World Cup in Real Time.

The book is not written retrospectively, but as if the action is unfolding in front of you, as off-field news and gossip from the 16 nations intermingles with the action on the pitch.

It includes tales of players breaking curfews, the English WAGs of the day and football’s first-ever drug-testing programme which left the Brazil team worrying whether drinking coffee would lead to failed drug tests.

Ian, 50, began working for the Gazette in 1985, working his way up to the position of sports editor.

He later moved on to work as a sub-editor in the Daily Star’s sports department, before moving on to his current role as The Sun’s deputy night editor for sport.

Ian had been inspired to pursue a career in journalism because his sister knew a reporter on the Romford Recorder who covered his boyhood team, West Ham United.

He came up with the idea for the book while preparing for the 2014 World Cup.

Said Ian: ” “I was researching for work and stumbled across some information about the 1966 World Cup which was really quirky.

“It made me laugh and was really interesting. The information was quite obscure and I decided to delve a bit deeper.

“I struck upon this idea to write a day-by-day account of the world cup, retelling the story as though it was in real-time.

“Writing the book to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup was not something I specifically set out to do. It just fell into place by chance.”

Extensive research included days spent in the British Library in London, reading through a variety of publications from when the library opened in the morning until he was kicked out at the end of the day.

Ian added: “It is unique in its format and hopefully a good read not just for the die-hard football fans.

“I think working in the newspaper industry for so long, you sometimes forget you are creating an historical archive.”

The book is published in hardback by Pitch Publishing costing £14.99. It goes on sale on 28 February but is available to pre-order from Amazon, Foyles, WH Smiths and Waterstones.


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  • February 10, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Interesting new approach to a story which is as familiar as the Nativity – all the best, Ian…

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  • February 10, 2016 at 10:00 am

    It’s a huge hit in Scotland, the Nativity, not the book.

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  • February 10, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    good to see a new approach. wish him luck. I hope he is not planning a book on England’s next World Cup final win unless he plans to live a VERY long time.

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