George Cohen MBE – Fulham and 1966 World Cup Football Legend. Entertaining After-Dinner Speaker.
George Cohen was born in Kensington on the 22nd October 1939.
Cohen spent his entire playing career with Fulham after turning pro with his local club in October 1956.
George Cohen made his debut at Craven Cottage the following March, losing 2-1 to Liverpool, and helped the London club to promotion to the top flight in 1958-59 when they finished runners-up to Sheffield Wednesday in the old Second Division.
George Cohen made his debut for England in a 2-1 win against Uruguay at Wembley in May 1964 and missed just five of the next 41 internationals.
In the 1966 World Cup Cohen helped England get through their group games containing Uruguay, Mexico and France, and maintained his form as England got past a thuggish Argentina in the last eight.
In the semi-final against Portugal, one of Cohen’s overlapping runs and clever near-post passes contributed to Charlton’s winning goal.
In the final against West Germany, George Cohen won his 30th cap and was his usual immaculate self throughout the game, which England ultimately won 4-2.
George Cohen’s 37th and final England appearance came in a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland at Wembley on November 22, 1967
Cohen played with Fulham for 13 years until 1969. He ended his career with 459 appearances for the club, a figure surpassed by only four other players in Fulham’s history.
Manchester United’s legendary winger George Best described Cohen as “the best full back I ever played against”. Alf Ramsay called Cohen: “England’s greatest right back”.
George Cohen was awarded the MBE in the 2000 New Years Honours List.
He is considered to be one of Fulham’s all-time great players.
In a documentary on Channel 4 to find the Greatest England XI, Cohen was given the right back spot by the public, ahead of the likes of Phil Neal and Gary Neville.