Jimmy Greaves, Peter “Cat” Bonetti
One of the remarkable features about England’s win in the 1966 World Cup was how it was accomplished without the contributions of its best player, Jimmy Greaves, undoubtedly England’s finest striker. Greaves was kept out by injuries and then jaundice. But Greaves absence threw up an unlikely hero in Geoff Hurst.
Another point to muse was the surfeit of fine goalkeeping talent that England had at its disposal. There was of course, Gordon Banks. Very little can be added to his legend that has not already been said. However, I do want to mention that his understudy was probably one of the finest replacements who never saw a sustained England career, Peter “Cat” Bonetti. I think Bonetti’s goalkeeping abilities were just as great but he was unfortunate that the 60’s and 70’s threw up first Banks and then Peter Shilton. Bonetti was known for his litheness and his lightning quick reflexes. Old time Chelsea fans will remember him.