1966: The First FIFA World Cup Mascot

On July 30, 1966, England became the first World Cup host country to create a logo and mascot. The mascot, Willie the Lion, was created by commercial artist Reg Hoye and wore a lucky Union Flag. The mascot not only promoted England but served as a lucky charm for the host country: England did end up winning the World Cup that year, and England’s Geoff Hurst scored his third goal in the last seconds of overtime play, making the score 4 to 2 and handing England the Jules Rimet Trophy. From then on every World Cup tournament has featured its own mascot and logo. It's the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, often exceeding the number of viewers for the Olympic Games.