Kenneth Wolstenholme

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Kenneth Wolstenholme DFC & Bar (17 July 1920 – 25 March 2002) was the football commentator for BBC television in the 1950s and 1960s, most notable for his commentary during the 1966 FIFA World Cup which included the famous phrase "some people are on the pitch...they think it's all is now!", as Geoff Hurst scored England's fourth goal.


Early life

Wolstenholme was born in Worsley, Lancashire. His family were primitive Methodists and his brother attended Elmfield College. He attended Farnworth Grammar School, where Alan Ball, Jr. (on whom Wolstenholme commentated in the 1966 World Cup Final) was also a pupil some years later.

World War II

Wolstenholme started his career as a journalist with a newspaper in Manchester, before joining the RAF, and from 1941 onwards flew 100 missions over Germany and won the DFC and bar as a bomber pilot. Based at RAF Massingham in Norfolk, he flew Blenheims with 107 Sqn, before joining Bomber Command's 8 Group Pathfinders flying Mosquitos.


After the war, he became a freelance journalist, working for BBC radio before moving to television in 1948.

1966 World Cup: "They think it's all over"

While most sports commentators gain some recognition if their career is long enough, Wolstenholme is best remembered for his commentary of the 1966 Football World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, specifically the impromptu words he used with impeccable timing as the match came to a conclusion during injury time, as a small pitch invasion took place just as Geoff Hurst scored to put England 4-2 ahead:

These have become some of the most famous words in English football, and a well known phrase in modern English. Wolstenholme always said that it was just a natural verbal piecing together of the situation before him and it took years before he realised just how well it fitted.[citation needed]

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