Singer who topped charts on day England won 1966 World Cup remembers ‘euphoria’

·3-min read
Chris Farlowe (PA Archive)
Chris Farlowe (PA Archive)

Chris Farlowe, the singer who was at number one when England won the World Cup in 1966, has recalled the “complete euphoria” that swept the country 55 years ago, and said he hopes the Three Lions can secure another football victory again on Sunday.

The musician, now 80, topped the charts with Out Of Time on the same day England secured its win over West Germany at Wembley however he said he did not learn about either result until the next day.

He told the PA news agency: “We were driving to Wales to do a show with Tom Jones and we stopped off at a pub along the way and the match was on.

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“We couldn’t stay the whole time so we didn’t watch the whole match because we had to get to Wales, so we drove to Wales and came home, not knowing anything, and went to bed.

“Then my mother woke me up in the morning and said, ‘there’s a bunch of photographers at the front door and they want to take your photo.’

“So I went down there in my pyjamas and they said, ‘we’d like you to come out and get some photographs, please.’

“I said: ‘what’s it for? and they said: ‘you’re number one today, did you know that?”

“I said I didn’t know, and by the way, how did we do in the football yesterday?

“And they said, ‘we won the World Cup!’

England v West Germany – 1966 World Cup Final – Wembley Stadium (PA Archive)
England v West Germany – 1966 World Cup Final – Wembley Stadium (PA Archive)

“So I said ‘Bloody hell, on the same day?’ so that was my claim to fame.”

Farlowe, who was 26 at the time, said he remembers celebrating the dual triumphs with his family, adding: “My father was over the moon because he was a football fanatic. And I said to him, ‘I’m number one today Dad, same as the World Cup.’

“I went out with my mum and dad and we went and got fish and chips. The big days, they were.”

Farlowe said “complete euphoria” swept the country after England’s victory, adding: “It was lovely, it was like winning the Second World War.”

He will be tuned in on Sunday when England meet Italy under the Wembley arch for the Euro 2020 final, adding: “I shall be glued in my seat here, I hope they do it because we need a little bit of luck and happiness in this country. I hope it happens.”

Reflecting on his chart-topping song, which was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, and made him a star, Farlowe said: “The title was good: Out Of Time.

“We won something. The lyrics sort of say ‘Come on England, get your boots on and do something about it’.”

The 80-year-old still sings it to this day, adding: “I always say I never look a gift horse in the mouth, and Judy Garland had to sing Over The Rainbow until she passed on.

“So I understand that the great songs have got to be sung. I never got tired of it and the crowd love it, as soon as you sing Out Of Time the whole dance floor is full.”

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