They think it's all over
"They think it's all over" is a well-known quotation popular in England. It is taken from Kenneth Wolstenholme's BBC TV commentary in the closing moments of the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, when England beat West Germany 4–2 after extra time to win the FIFA World Cup.
Soon after the 1966 victory, Wolstenholme's quote became a popular expression.
Transcribed, the quotation is:
- And here comes Hurst! He's got...
- (Wolstenholme's attention is diverted by some of the crowd spilling onto the pitch)
- Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over!
- It is now, it's four!
In pop culture
The phrase, along with other calls from English football matches, appears in New Order's song "World In Motion", although in that case Wolstenholme re-recorded it inaccurately ("Well, some of the crowd are on the pitch. They think it's all over. Well it is now"). The British band The Dentists called their first album Some People are on the Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now in Wolstenholme's honour; the LP begins with a sample of Wolstenholme's original commentary. Track #3 on British folk metal act Skyclad's EP Jig-a-Jig is called "They Think It's All Over". The song contains the phrase "They think it's all over. Well is it now?" in its chorus and includes several references to the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
In Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers the last words that the character Cooper says are, "You think it's all over? It is now."
The quotation was also used as the title of the BBC's satirical sports quiz show They Think It's All Over, which appeared on BBC One from 1995 to 2006. The show has heightened the popularity of the phrase in recent years, though Kenneth Wolstenholme was reportedly unhappy with the use of the phrase for the title of the show.
An alternate mix for The Beatles song "Glass Onion", which appeared on Anthology 3, contained a portion of Kenneth Wolstenholme's commentary. At the end of the track he can be heard shouting "It's a goal!" repeating for several seconds until the track fades.
- Boys of '66 hey take a bow..
- They think it's all over, it is now!
The incident was also parodied in a 2012 edition of the Metro. In the final game of the Premier League season, Manchester City were trailing to Queens Park Rangers in a game they needed to win to be league champions. Their manager thought they could not win but they then scored twice in added time to be champions. The parody ran "he thought it was over but it wasn't".