1966 and all that! Looking at a memento from yesteryear, ahead of the British Sports Awards

57 years ago, the Sports Writers’ Association annual dinner was marking arguably the greatest sporting success ever achieved by a British team – England’s FIFA World Cup victory on home soil – and the SJA has a memento from that night at the Cafe Royal…

By Patrick Collins

The SJA’s former President Patrick Collins has unearthed a fabulous memento from the association’s Sports Awards dinner held at the Cafe Royal in London in 1966.

Over to Patrick for the full story…

The inimitable Roy Ullyett crafted this cartoon for our awards menu on that memorable evening 57 years ago, when the Sportsman of the Year award was handed to the England World Cup winners.

John Bromley presided, the Sports Minister Denis Howell presented the trophy, and Bobby Moore responded on behalf of his team.

Our guests feasted on “Coupe de Melon au Marie Brizard” and “Escalope de Veau Elizabeth”… and this star-struck junior reporter departed with the autographs of Moore, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, the Charlton brothers and many others for a souvenir treasured ever since.

The SJA British Sports Awards 2023 will be held at The Kia Oval, London, on Thursday 7 December (12pm to 4pm) – book tickets here

In those days, our British Sports Awards dinner was an evening affair and the identity of the winners was by no means the closely guarded secret it is today.

That said, it did not take much journalistic know-how to guess that the World Cup winners would figure prominently.

The golden eleven from Wembley all featured in Ullyett’s cartoon for our menu alongside Sir Alf Ramsey.

Linda Ludgrove (image: Ron Kroon; CC0 1.0)

Our Sportswoman of the Year, Linda Ludgrove – winner of three swimming gold medals at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica – was also depicted.

Ullyett was then the star cartoonist for the Daily Express after a sensational transfer from the Daily Mirror in 1953. He remained there until his retirement in 1998.

Thank you to Patrick for providing this great memento!

Tickets to attend the SJA British Sports Awards 2023 are available to purchase through the awards website:

Tickets are available for individuals, groups and tables of 10 or 12 people. Ticket price includes a sparkling drinks reception; a three-course lunch with tea and coffee; and half a bottle of table wine per person.

TABLE OF 10: £1,200
TABLE OF 12: £1,440

* All Prices ex VAT

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