IN 1966 England’s core comprised three heroes from the East End, but this summer another working-class hotbed will provide the main driving force behind the nation’s quest for glory.

At the end of Green Street, just outside West Ham’s Boleyn Ground, there stands a bronze statue commemorating the east London club's contribution to England’s only World Cup win.

The statue, designed by Philip Jackson, shows Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters holding up their West Ham team-mate Bobby Moore, who has triumphantly raised the Jules Rimet trophy.

That year – 1966 – was the year that West Ham won the World Cup, if you believe Hammers fans.

If England are to win it this year, Liverpool supporters will do their damnedest take the credit.

England boss Roy Hodgson, once manager of the red half of Merseyside, will be looking to Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling to provide the inspiration for the nation at the World Cup.

Liverpool have no Moore-esque centre-half in the squad, but in Gerrard they have a man who possesses the same leadership skills as England's only World Cup-winning skipper.

Gerrard, captain ever since Hodgson replaced Fabio Capello as manager, heads to Brazil on the back of a fine season.

Opposition fans may well remember Gerrard for his costly slip against Chelsea, but they will also struggle to forget the way he pinged a pass between five Fulham defenders to find goalscorer Sturridge at Craven Cottage.

His two penalties against Manchester United, his rousing team-talk after the hugely impressive win over Manchester City and his stunning free-kick against Hull will also take a while to fade from memory.

Ever the man to shun the limelight, Gerrard has tried to deflect attention away from his performances.

Instead, he has spent most of the campaign showering praise on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, and the young English charges that took the Reds so close to their first title in 24 years.

Gerrard's assessment of Sterling must have sent the young winger's heart fluttering with pride.

“The form he is in at the moment he is the type of player you play good money to go and see,” the Liverpool captain said.

“He gets you off your seat, he is exciting. He is strong and the pace he has is electric.

“He will be a big player for this country for a long time and I'm glad he is a red."

While Sterling has provided the pace down the flanks for Liverpool in their desperately close push for the title, Sturridge has been the Englishman who has provided the goals.

The former Chelsea man has scored 25 for Liverpool this year, but is yet to reproduce that kind of form for his country.

Gerrard hopes that will change. “The stage is set for Daniel.

He is in terrific form,” the midfielder said.

There is Glen Johnson too – the defender who is back to his best following injury.

And let us not forget Jordan Henderson. Bizarrely derided for his running style by Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of the year, the midfielder has answered his critics with a series of stunning performances.

It is not beyond possibility that all five could start England's Group D curtain-raiser against Italy in Manaus on June 14.

They are all that good.

Hodgson has cast off the shackles of conservatism by selecting one of the most bold and inexperienced World Cup squads in living memory.

Luke Shaw, Sterling and Ross Barkley have less than 10 caps between them.

Only six have been to a World Cup before.

Hodgson hopes inexperience will prove to be a help, rather than a hindrance.

“We have seen the emergence of a new generation of players who are on the cusp maybe of becoming something," he said.

“There are a lot of things to be positive about and I am very anxious that I don't do anything to put the brakes on.

“They can do great things.”

Hodgson famously said he would put a tenner on England winning the World Cup prior to the draw. He still maintained he would after England were pitted against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

For England to progress, Wayne Rooney will have to step up and perform well at a World Cup for the first time.

Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka will have to gel at centre-back.

England conceded just four goals in qualifying, but the likes of San Marino, Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine do not have a striker in the same class as Luis Suarez - the man Hodgson admitted was his player of the year.

The draw has been relatively kind to England after that.

Ivory Coast or Colombia are likely to lie in wait in the second round, but the Three Lions may then have to tackle Brazil or Spain just to make the semifinals, where Portugal or Argentina could be waiting.

If England lift the World Cup on July 13, maybe Hodgson will be minded to put his winnings towards a statue of Gerrard, Sterling and Sturridge outside Anfield.