FOOTBALL has changed almost beyond recognition since England last reached a major final.

In July 1966, top players were paid about £100 a week (about £1,900 in today’s money), Northampton Town had just been relegated from the top division and Match of the Day was only one year old.

Oxford United were a very different club, too, and had just reached the end of their fourth season as a Football League side – although they were in the third tier, like they are now.

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The U’s had only been 'Oxford' United for six years, having changed their name from Headington United in 1960.

They went on to win successive Southern League titles and were elected to Division Four in 1962, before winning promotion three years later.

Legendary manager Arthur Turner had been in charge since New Year’s Day 1959 and his squad included several iconic U’s names.

Brothers Graham and Ron Atkinson would become United’s highest goalscorer and appearance-makers respectively, but there were plenty of others who would write their names in the club’s history.

John Shuker played more games than everyone other than Ron Atkinson, while Tony Jones’s 100 goals puts him behind only Graham Atkinson and James Constable in the all-time charts.

Maurice Kyle and Cyril Beavon were more names who had been part of United’s rise from the Southern League, while Colin Clarke would go on to make almost 500 appearances.

The club’s maiden season in the third tier included first competitive meetings with Swindon Town and Reading, with mixed results.

A 0-0 draw at The County Ground was followed by a 3-0 home defeat, with 16,074 packing into The Manor Ground for a then-record league attendance.

They did the double over Reading, though, winning 1-0 at Elm Park and 2-0 in Headington.

It saw United finish 14th and the close season included a couple of notable changes to personnel.

Trainer and masseur Tom Webb left the U’s, having been on the staff since 1935 when they were in the Oxfordshire Senior League.

United signed Ricky George, who would later score the winner in Hereford United’s famous FA Cup giant-killing of Newcastle United in 1972.

The U’s had played at The Manor for 41 years and their rise through the leagues had seen the ground’s capacity increase to 19,000.

In summer 1966, the Cuckoo Lane terracing was extended, but two more upgrades never came to fruition.

United wanted to put a roof on the stand and extend it backwards, but the plans were scrapped following opposition from the hospital behind the ground.