Ayresome Park in Middlesbrough was the scene of one of the greatest World Cup shocks on this day fifty years ago.. Picture credit: Steve McCulloch wikipedia creative commons.
19th July 1966 – Pak Doo Ik shocks Italy
During the 1966 World Cup, Yorkshire saw one of biggest shocks of the tournament as unfancied North Korea humbled strong favourites Italy to send the Azzuri home after the group stages. Cheered on by a near 20,000 strong crowd at Ayresome Park in Middlesbrough, the teams were separated by a 42nd minute strike by Pak Doo Ik. The plucky Koreans would make it through to the quarter finals, where they finally succumbed 5-3 to a rampant Portugal and Eusebio, despite taking a 3-0 lead. Ayresome Park was knocked down in 1997 and is now a housing estate. Such is the legend of Pak Doo Ik around these parts there’s a sculpture and plaque at the very spot where he created the biggest World Cup shock of all, exactly fifty years ago.