In 1956 Walter Tuckwell having previously worked for the Rank Organisation and Disney set up his own company appopriately called Walter Tuckwell & Associates Ltd specialising in the licensing of character merchandise.

Initially handling Noddy and The Lone Ranger by 1960 he had grown so much that he was called the Prince of Character Merchandising and the company that started off from a tiny office had by 1966 expanded into the full top floor of a building in Piccadilly, London complete with a team of executives. One of those executives was Geoffrey Ward who joined as a director in 1964. Geoffrey was the man in charge of all the World Cup merchandising with help from Richard Culley who had joined the company in 1963

In an interview, Walter Tuckwell said he was most proud of World Cup Willie as it was a character created and conceived by his organisation