England's "forgotten heroes" from the 1966 World Cup are to receive winners' medals from the game's world governing body, Fifa.
The 11 members of Sir Alf Ramsey's squad who did not play in the final – including Jimmy Greaves, Jimmy Armfield and Peter Bonetti – are to be given gold medals following calls by the Football Association and the former sports minister Richard Caborn, who said it was unfair to such players when from 1978 onwards all members of the winning squads were given medals.
The decision also means that Pele will be awarded a gold medal for the 1962 final, which he missed due to injury, meaning he will now be in the unique position of owning three winners' medals. In all, 122 players will get medals, many posthumously. "It's justice for all those players and for those that have died – we will give the medal to their families," said Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president.
Blatter also warned that future World Cups could be overrun by teams full of Brazilians if the growing trend for players to be naturalised and turn out for other nations – as in the case of Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva, who plays for Croatia – is not checked.
"If we don't take care about the invaders from Brazil, then we could have problems at the 2014 and 2018 World Cup finals," Blatter said.
England's 1966 reserves: Jimmy Greaves (Tottenham), John Connolly (Man Utd), Ron Springett (Sheff Wed), Peter Bonetti (Chelsea), Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool), Gerry Byrne (Liverpool), Ron Flowers (Wolves), Norman Hunter (Leeds), Terry Paine (Southampton), Ian Callaghan (Liverpool), George Eastham (Arsenal).Reuse content