One of the all-time great threads was based on the unlikely Point of Departure (the point at which this alternative time line deviates from our own) that Gordon Banks played in the 1970 World Cup Quarter Final against Germany.
The Conservative victory in the 1970 election was far from inevitable.
The Tories entered the campaign trailing Labour in the opinion polls.
Prime Minister Harold Wilson didn't need to call an election until
April 1971, but he feared that the tide was turning away from the
Labour Party and, with decimalisation happening in January 1971, delay
would have left him without room for maneouvre. Despite warnings
against going to the country in June 1970, not least because the
election would fall in the middle of the football World Cup, in the end
he insisted on the date of 17th June.
England entered the 1970 World Cup as defending champions and, if
anything, with a stronger squad than in 1966. After meeting Brazil in
the first round Pele famously said to Bobby Moore that he would see him
again in the final. It was not to be. In the event England's goalkeeper
Gordon Banks<"> was taken ill on the coach journey to their quarter-final
<"> match against West Germany. Bankswas replaced by Peter Bonetti - but
> to no avail. Bonetti dived over a lacklustre shot from Franz
Beckenbauer and Seeler headed in a second goal while Bonetti was off
Germany scored a third goal in extra time and England were out of the
World Cup. Three days later Labour lost the general election. There
have been various explanations for Labour's defeat. Wilson blamed the
BBC, others blamed unexpectedly low balance of trade figures, others
the knock-on effect of England's defeat - in the words of one cabinet
minster "the bug in Banks tummy".
It could have been so different...
This was so entertaining that It really deserved to be published, so I am pleased to find that it has been archived here by the original author. Read it!
If you enjoy Gordon Banks, then you might also enjoy Thaxted, another 'what-if' based this time on the premise of a certain British female Prime Minister moving some 100 miles from Grantham to Thaxted as a young child and what the consequences might be. I won't spoil it, but Denis is displaced by a very unlikely challenger for the hand of the young Miss Roberts...