July 30: "They think it's all over . . . it is now!" Those
eight words by Kenneth Wolstenholme, interrupted by England's
fourth goal, marked a sporting triumph that everyone had dreamed
of but few believed possible.
The smart money was on West Germany to win the 1966 World Cup
at Wembley. But it was not mere flag-waving to suggest that what
Bobby's Moore's team lacked in skill they more than made up for
Wembley in full chorus was all the spur that England needed.
At full time they were holding the Germans to a 2-2 draw. In extra
time in quick succession England snatched a third and, while the
Germans were disputing that goal and the pitch was already being
invaded by delirious fans, a fourth.
Bobby Moore was hoisted on to the shoulders of his victorious
team, holding the solid-gold Jules Rimet trophy high. In the years
to come, Germany would avenge the defeat in full. But Wembley
'66 was a moment to savour.
January 13: The body of six-year-old Margaret Reynolds
was discovered in a ditch at Mansty Gully, Cannock, along with
that of five-year-old Diane Tift. The girls had disappeared from
their respective homes at Aston and Birmingham and the grisly
discovery sparked off the region's biggest ever child slaying
Nearly two years later detectives were investigating the third
of the Cannock Chase murders when the body of seven-year-old Christine
Darby - enticed from her home in Walsall - was found at Parr's
Warren. The hunt was to last another 15 months before Raymond
Leslie Morris, a 39-year-old engineer living opposite Walsall
police station, was arrested.
His name had come up five time during the long investigation
but he had ended by tripping himself up. He was sentenced to life
imprisonment in February 1969 after being found guilty of murder
at Stafford Crown Court.
March 17: In a year when most of the sporting heroes
had two legs, a four-legged one passed into legend. The new hero
was Arkle, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in masterful fashion.
Irish steeplechaser Arkle was the decade's favourite horse. Indeed,
so much so that when it was ill it received several sackloads
of get well cards. Many consider Arkle the greatest jumper of
May 6: Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were
convicted at Chester Crown Court and sentenced to concurrent life
prison sentences for the horrific murders of young children. During
the trial the jury heard harrowing tape recordings of one of the
victim's ordeals and also viewed nude pictures taken of the child
before her murder. It had been Hindley's brother in law who blew
the whistle on the evil doings after witnessing the axe murder
of one of the victims.
October 27: A coal tip in the South Wales mining village
of Aberfan collapsed and buried a generation of children. More
than 100 youngsters were killed along with 28 adults when thousands
of tons of slurry and slag engulfed the village school. The giant
tip began its deadly slide towards the village in mid morning
and demolished the school within seconds. An army of rescuers
- many of them frantic parents - toiled throughout the day and
night to reach the victims who included five children found in
the arms of the deputy headmistress.