World Cup fever in Essex

With the World Cup in full swing in Brazil, we look back to the glory year of 1966, when the World Cup came to Essex.

The team from Uruguay stayed near Harlow for the duration of the World Cup.  They arrived on 1 July 1966 and stayed at the Saxon Inn (now the Park Inn by Radisson Harlow). The Epping and Ongar Gazette reported the team’s arrival.

Uruguay team 01071966

Reproduced courtesy of Epping & Ongar Gazette/Essex Chronicle series

The following week the paper reported that the team would make an unexpected public appearance at the local cinema to thank the town for the warm welcome which the players had received.

cup team appearance08071966

Reproduced courtesy of Epping & Ongar Gazette/Essex Chronicle series

It has been stated that Harlow Town FC arranged a friendly match against Uruguay, and that they were defeated, 6–1, but we have not been able to find a press report of the match.

Do you remember a match between Harlow Town FC and Uruguay?  Do let us know if you have any memories, photographs or programmes of this match.

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