When Pele and the 1966 World Cup Brazil team came to Lymm

Brazil at Lymm Image copyright Neil Perkins
Image caption Hotel manager Roger Allen snapped players relaxing by the Lymm Hotel bowling green

Previously unseen photos of Brazil's 1966 World Cup squad relaxing in a rural Cheshire hotel are to go on show.

An exhibition is being held at the Lymm Hotel where the world's most glamorous football team was based for the tournament, 50 years ago.

It includes images of football greats Pele and Garrincha and their team-mates at ease in the hotel grounds.

Some of the shots were taken by then hotel manager Roger Allen and have been loaned by a private collector.

Current manager of the hotel in Lymm, Jamie McDonald, said: "My granddad never stopped talking about meeting Pele. I'm told the players were very approachable, some even borrowed bikes to go round the village."

The arrival of the most famous footballer on the planet, Pele, attracted scores of autograph hunters.

Glenda Bowers, who was 15 at the time, recalled: "My friend and I hung round outside all the time. We got loads of autographs of the Brazilian team.

"I must have had Pele's a dozen times. I think when I got married my mum threw them out!"

Image copyright Neil Perkins
Image caption Members of the 1966 squad with hotel secretary Adele Hough in a shot taken by her boss
Image copyright Neil Perkins
Image caption Autograph hunters flocked to the hotel
Image copyright Neil Perkins
Image caption Hotel manager Roger Allen also captured Pele and team captain Bellini

Pele's gift

Also on display are more personal items including Pele's training kit, which he gave to the hotel laundryman.

Exhibition organiser Alan Williams said: "A press photographer wanted to photograph Pele throwing something to the laundryman.

"So he threw his training kit, which he allowed him to keep. The man didn't have any interest in football but his family have kindly loaned it to us.

"Another item is a picture of one of the bar staff, Bessie Vale, with Pele. She has kept the photo in her purse for the last 50 years."

Image copyright Betty Vale
Image caption Hotel barmaid Bessie Vale treasured her snap with the world's most famous footballer
Image copyright Alan Taylor
Image caption Pele threw his training kit to the hotel laundryman
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The exhibition also features archive press photos

While the locals loved the arrival of the boys from Brazil, the tournament was disastrous for the team as they failed to get past the group stage.

Pele vowed never to play in a World Cup again - although he broke this pledge four years later - after suffering repeated kickings in all three group matches played at Everton's ground, Goodison Park.

The exhibition, BrazilLymm66, runs for four days from Sunday in aid of funds for a Lymm Heritage Centre.

Roger Hunt, who was one of the stars of the England team that won the 1966 tournament, will open the exhibition at 18:00 GMT.

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