When this photograph of the England football squad was taken in 1970, Ford was celebrating the start of another World Cup by lending each of the players a Cortina 1600E. As the press release that accompanied the photo explained, “members of England’s World Cup squad have now taken over the Ford Cortina 1600Es they will drive for a year”.
And what made these new H-reg Cortinas special? As Ford said, “the cars were all registered GWC (Great World Cup) 1 to 30. Bobby Moore of West Ham was handed GWC 1. Bobby Charlton had No. 9 and Geoff Hurst No. 10, the numbers they wear on their shirts.”
Oh, how times have changed. Can you imagine Wayne Rooney being so pleased if Ford insisted on him driving a Mondeo for the year? These days, England’s best footballers are more used to Bentleys and Aston Martins than humble saloons wearing Blue Oval badges.