The Queen presents the 1966 World Cup to England Captain, Bobby Moore

As England kick off their latest World Cup campaign, we take a trip down memory lane - all the way back to 1966 - to see how house prices and wages have performed over the years.

House prices

The Three Lions had just won their first World Cup and the nation’s spirits were riding high. And it wasn’t a terrible time to get on the housing ladder.

Back in 1966 the average home cost £2,006 - that’s 106 times less than today in 2018!

By the next World Cup, just four years later, they’d doubled to £4,163. And the incredible growth didn’t slow down…

1966 - £2,006
1970 - £4,163
1974 - £9,139
1978 - £14,236
1982 - £22,685
1986 - £34,931
1990 - £57,901
1994 - £55,925
1998 - £72,469
2002 - £124,747
2006 - £176,819
2010 - £168,703
2014 - £191,669
2018 - £211,000

Wages

When Geoff Hurst secured his hat-trick to cement England the World Cup champions, the average person cheering on was earning £798 a year.

By the time England were travelling to Mexico for the 1970 World Cup, wages at home had increased by a mere 35% to £1,080.

In just four years, the average person went from having to borrow 2.5 times their salary to almost 4 times their salary.

1966 - £798
1970 - £1,080
1974 - £1,809
1978 - £3,269
1982 - £5,613
1986 - £7,551
1990 - £10,601
1994 - £12,900
1998 - £15,098
2002 - £17,576
2006 - £20,696
2010 - £22,724
2014 - £24,232
2018 - £26,500

Footballer’s wages

If you’re not a footballer, you might want to sit down for this…

Back in ‘66 top-flight football players earned around £2,288 a year. That’s about three times as much as the average person, which doesn’t sound too bad for a country that takes its football so seriously.

In the following years, wage growth was relatively modest. At the 1970 World Cup, wages had grown by 60% - slower than house prices. But a decade later the average top-flight player was earning £17,160 - five times more than the average person.

Today, Premier League footballers earn a staggering 1,136 times more than top-flight stars did back when Bobby Moore, George Best, and Pele were making history.

1966 - £2,288
1970 - £3,640
1974 - £5,304
1978 - £17,160
1982 - £39,000
1986 - £57,200
1990 - £78,000
1994 - £142,376
1998 - £371,072
2002 - £858,988
2006 - £955,084
2010 - £1,615,744
2014 - £2,300,000
2018 - £2,600,000

Much has changed since England last won the World Cup. We’ve put man on the moon, invented the internet, and we’ve seen technology transform almost every aspect of our lives.

We’ve also seen the UK housing market change dramatically. Prices have soared in the last 52 years, wages have struggled to keep pace, and the chances of getting on the property ladder today will feel a lot slimmer for young people than they did in 1966.

Perhaps it’s time to become a footballer…

World Cup Infographic - Comparing House Prices With Wage Growth From 1966 to 2018

The following sources were used to create this article:

  1. UK Housing Data
  2. UK Salary Data
  3. UK Housing Data
  4. UK Salary Data
  5. Top-flight footballers’ wages Source 1
  6. Top-flight footballers’ wages Source 2
  7. Top-flight footballers’ wages Source 3