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How 1966 commentary legend Kenneth Wolstenholme cheated death as WW2 bomber pilot

A WARTIME RAF logbook reveals how football commentating icon Kenneth Wolstenholme cheated death after the plane he piloted came under heavy fire.

He is known for the line, ‘They think it’s all over . . . it is now,’ at Geoff Hurst’s third goal sealing England’s 1966 World Cup win.

The famous 1966 World Cup commentator was earlier an exceptional RAF pilot
He was best known for the famous phrase ‘they think it’s all over … it is now’
He commentated as Geoff Hurst made the third goal sealing England’s World Cup victory

But he had earlier been an exceptional RAF pilot who flew 89 raids for Bomber Command in World War Two.

He was nearly killed in a sortie on the German archipelago of Heligoland in 1941.

An entry in the logbook tells of his Blenheim bomber being badly damaged and observer Sgt John “Polly” Wilson killed.

Wolstenholme wrote: “Very shaky do. Three shells in nose — one got Polly.

“P (port) Wing smashed; tail and elevator riddled. Big shell hole in fin; bomb doors shot away; electric system shot away; cockpit, belly, both engines riddled with holes.

“Hell of a lot of flak. Glad to see West Raynham (RAF base in Norfolk) and land. Drunk that night — thank God!”

Wolstenholme also flew on Operation Varsity — history’s largest airborne operation on a single day and in one location.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar.

The Lancashire-born hero returned to journalism after the war and began working in TV at the BBC in 1948.

He died in March 2002, aged 81.

His logbook, medals and wartime photo album may fetch £15,000 at auction.

Adam Gascoigne, of Graham Budd Auctions of London, said: “A modest man, Wolstenholme rarely spoke of his courage as a bomber pilot.”

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar
A wartime logbook reveals how the commentating legend cheated death
The Lancashire-born hero returned to journalism after the war

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