Alan Bass, the doctor for England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, has died at the age of 90.
The former Harley Street consultant was seated next to manager Sir Alf Ramsey as England beat West Germany 4-2.
Bass was also England’s doctor at the 1970 World Cup, and treated Gary Lineker’s broken wrist before the striker went on to win the Golden Boot at the 1986 World Cup.
The doctor led a “brilliant” life, said his sister Shirley Livingstone.
Previously, Bass worked at Arsenal with former Gunners manager and England defender Billy Wright, and also helped famous film stars on set such as Sir Sean Connery.
“The England players almost treated him like a father,” Livingstone told BBC Sport. “He was very good at his job, and Alf had a great regard for Alan and how fit the players were.”
‘Alan Ball nailed his shoes to the floor’
That bond with Ramsey – the only England manager to win a senior World Cup – was crucial in keeping some of the England players in order, Livingstone said.
“My brother had a great sense of humour, and he needed it, because they were a terrible bunch,” she joked before telling a story about former midfielder Alan Ball.
“This wasn’t at the World Cup but Alan was a real prankster. He had a leg injury and they didn’t know if he was match-fit for a game against Norway, I think.
“My brother and the physios decided to check if he was match fit by getting Alan to run up the stadium steps with a sack of sand on his back.
“He was a bit peeved about this, as you can imagine, but he did it. That night, my brother put his shoes outside to be cleaned as they did in those days, on a beautiful polished wooden floor.
“Next morning, he heard a clatter and thought it was the staff bringing his shoes back but he went outside and Alan Ball had nailed them to the floor.”
Treating Lineker and looking after Jules Rimet Trophy
Livingstone also described how Bass was dedicated to his profession and never became star-struck as he treated famous golf and tennis athletes.
That outlook even applied to the 1966 World Cup celebrations, where he took the chance to offer then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson his opinions on the state of the health service.
That was why he left for Canada to become a professor, she said. He also became head of Fifa’s medical committee, but his benefit to England did not stop there.
Bass was on hand to help Lineker when he broke his wrist during a friendly in Vancouver before the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
The level of trust between Ramsey and Bass was summed up by another tale he told about the Jules Rimet Trophy – which was then awarded to the world champions – following the success in 1966.
Livingstone said: “The team had been entertained in Dublin or Belfast, and they put the World Cup on the stands so everybody could see it but when they returned home to Heathrow, there was nobody to meet Alf.
“Alf said to Alan, who was a big chap, I’m wrapping the trophy up in newspaper and you’re going to take it home with you and put it under your bed and we’ll call for it tomorrow.
“I’m not sure if it’s a true story, but he had the World Cup under his bed at some point.
“When he got the job, I just remember Alan wrote to my mother to tell her how proud he had been asked to be the doctor for England.”