How the SAFC chairman Syd Collings played a key role at 1966 World Cup final when England lifted the trophy

The last time England reached a major final, Sunderland AFC’s chairman was right in the thick of things.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 4:55 am

At the 1966 World Cup final, Syd Collings presented the captains of England and West Germany, Bobby Moore and Uwe Seeler, to The Queen.

Mr Collings was in charge at the club between 1960 and 1968. He made his money from several businesses, including an interest in Luxdon Laundry based in Sunderland. Born in Gateshead in 1903, he joined the board at Roker Park in 1947.

He was also a significant figure at the FA, becoming a member of the FA Council in 1950 and part of the International Select Committee between 1963 and 1966.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Collings’ influence helped to bring the World Cup to Sunderland. Roker Park staged three Group 4 matches involving Italy, Chile, North Korea and the USSR, as well as a quarter-final between the USSR and Hungary.

His profile rose when FA chairman Joe Mears died from a heart attack on June 30, 1966 – days before the World Cup kicked off. Mears’ stress levels had no doubt been raised in March when he received a ransom note for the stolen Jules Rimet trophy.

Mr Collings retired from the Sunderland board in February 1976 and died three months later. His son, Keith Collings, was SAFC chairman between 1971 and 1980.

Syd Collings’ official 1966 World Cup blazer is on permanent display in the foyer at the Stadium of Light, beside a replica Jules Rimet trophy.

Bobby Charlton raises the Jules Rimet trophy in the air  following England's 4-2 victory after extra time over West Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, 30th July 1966. Amongst his team mates celebrating with him are goalkeeper Gordon Banks, Alan Ball on his right and team captain Bobby Moore (1941 - 1993) at his left. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Bobby Charlton raises the Jules Rimet trophy in the air following England's 4-2 victory after extra time over West Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, 30th July 1966. Amongst his team mates celebrating with him are goalkeeper Gordon Banks, Alan Ball on his right and team captain Bobby Moore (1941 - 1993) at his left. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

* The squad numbers on the current England squad’s shirts were designed by SAFC senior graphic designer Alex Middleton; another connection between the club and England’s major finals.

Read More

Read More
Sorensen and Shearer: When Denmark put one over on England – and Sunderland fans...

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Sunderland Echo has been on Wearside since 1873, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.

Syd Collings' official FA 1966 World Cup blazer is on permanent display in the foyer at the Stadium of Light.
The crest on Syd Collings' blazer.
Syd Collings' official FA 1966 World Cup blazer is on permanent display in the foyer at the Stadium of Light.