Football: England at the World Cup: 1962 Chile - Garrincha the hero as 'war' breaks out

Ken Jones recalls the finals which ended the era of Winterbottom and Haynes amid broken legs and the shattered illusions of the naive

Ken Jones
Monday 01 June 1998 23:02 BST


England 1 Hungary 2

England 3 Argentina 1

England 0 Bulgaria 0


Brazil 3 England 1

Chile 2 USSR 1

Yugoslavia 1 W Germany 0

Czechoslovakia 1 Hungary 0


Brazil 4 Chile 2

Czechoslovakia 3 Yugoslavia 1


Brazil 3 Czechoslovakia 1

UNCAPPED, pedestrian, not up to much in the air, suspect stamina - how could England select young Bobby Moore of West Ham for the 1962 World Cup finals in Chile? They did, launching a celebrated international career: 108 caps and Pele's accolade, "the best defender I ever faced".

Added to the squad only as an afterthought, Moore, then 21, could scarcely have expected to be in the frame, but never looked back after selection for England's final warm-up game against Peru in Lima.

Moore's emergence, his first international steps taken as an all-purpose wing-half not as the uncannily perceptive central defender he would soon become, was England's one plus from a World Cup that Johnny Haynes remembers in one word - "crap''.

By then England's captain was finding international football less enjoyable. Taking Brazil's example from 1958 of 4-2-4 (often made 4-3-3 by their industrious outside-left Mario Zagallo) many coaches had gone to the flat defence that made it more difficult for Haynes and others of his type to switch play and create openings with long through passes.

Not that Haynes's blunt description relates only to personal disappointment. If the 1990 finals are generally considered to be the worst on record those of 1962, marred by cynicism and violent play, were instantly forgettable.

From all four centres, Santiago, Arica, Vin del Mar and Rancagua, came reports of bad temper and serious injury. Less than a week after the opening match it was announced that there had already been more than 40 casualties among the 16 teams. The Soviet Union full-back Dubinski, Colombia's captain, Zuluaga, and the Swiss inside-left, Eschmann, were in hospital with broken legs. Bulgaria had lost their centre-forward, Hrstov, and outside-right, Diev, for the duration of the tournament.

Four players had been sent off, two, David and Ferrini of Italy, by the Ilford schoolmaster Ken Aston (later described as a man among boys and a boy among men). A headline in the Santiago newspaper, Claron, said, "World War".

Summoned to appear before the World Cup Organising Committee, the 16 managers were warned that further rough play could result in expulsion from the tournament. "We weren't involved but I'd never known anything like it," Haynes said, "never been more glad to get out of a place."

Criticised in 1958 for choosing a large Stockholm hotel as England's headquarters, Walter Winterbottom had accepted an invitation from the American-owned Braden Copper Company to pitch camp at Coya, a small settlement perched at 2,500 feet in the Andes and an hour's drive from Rancagua, where group games against Hungary, Argentina and Bulgaria were being played.

"Living two to a bungalow and cooked for by an Englishwoman, the players had no complaints about their quarters. "We were well looked after," Haynes recalled, "but boredom became a problem and it was a bit hairy coming down that mountain for matches."

With only four centres available, the distances involved left no time for play-offs and replays. Consequently, the mood was set by the organising committee's decision that goal average should count in the first phase and if teams were still level their fate would be settled by drawing lots. "It meant that nobody took risks," Haynes recalled, "and led to a lot of nastiness."

Coached by Juan Carlos Lorenzo - who would be in charge of Atletico Madrid when three of their players were sent off against Celtic, and the Lazio team that attacked Arsenal outside a restaurant - Argentina (giving a hint of things to come) soon revealed the darker side of their nature, playing brutally against Bulgaria.

Meanwhile, England were about to meet up again with their old tormentors, Hungary. Again they lost, not by the crushing scores of 1953 and 1954, just 2-1 this time, but clearly enough to undermine confidence. "We didn't get going," Haynes said, "and it didn't help when fewer than 3,000 spectators showed up. I'd played in front of bigger crowds as a boy in Fulham's reserves."

It was no time to be facing Argentina. In fact, England were transformed and Argentina behaved themselves, possibly because of the respect their coach had for Winterbottom after attending a course at Lilleshall.

"When Argentina failed to qualify from the group Lorenzo told me that he was frightened to go home," Winterbottom recalled many years later.

A 3-1 victory and later a 0-0 draw against Bulgaria, with both teams needing only one point to go through, had altered the perception of England's chances, but Brazil were waiting for them. "It was a relief to discover that Pele was still injured [out of the finals entirely with a groin injury]," Haynes said. "On the other hand we were up against Garrincha, who was also capable of winning a match on his own."

Crippled from birth, his legs bowed in parallel, barely literate, Garrincha would die prematurely, ending up as a poverty stricken alcoholic, but 1962 saw the glorious flowering of his outrageous gifts. "How do you set about stopping the unstoppable?" Haynes said. "Walter [Winterbottom] talked a lot about possible ways of dealing with Garrincha and warned especially about his free-kicks which were as dangerous then as Roberto Carlos's are now."

To no avail. Garrincha scored twice, in the 31st and 59th minutes (England had drawn level in he 39th when Jimmy Greaves's shot rebounded from the bar to Gerry Hitchens) and finished off England shortly after half-time with a rocket free-kick that went from Ron Springett's fingers to Vava.

Having already announced his retirement as manager, hoping to succeed Stanley Rous as FA secretary - a role for which he was eminently suitable but denied him by muddled thinking - Winterbottom wondered if England would ever be up to the task of winning a World Cup.

"Garrincha's free-kick emphasised our naivety," he said. "Players standing around instead of causing a commotion when Brazil altered the position of the ball so that Garrincha could get a clearer sight of goal. It's the way we've been brought up but not the way to win World Cup matches."

Injured in a car crash three months later, Haynes, now 62 and living in Edinburgh, had turned out for the last time in England's colours.

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