World Cup hero Hurst played in his last England match on this day.
Geoff (later ‘Sir Geoff’) Hurst, still the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final, pulled on an England shirt for the last time on this day in 1972.
By a huge coincidence both his first and last England matches were against West Germany, the country against whom he made history in ’66.
Alf Ramsey (also later knighted) handed the powerful West Ham United striker his international debut in a Wembley friendly with the Germans a mere seven months before England hosted the World Cup. Hurst, then 24, enjoyed a winning start, Nobby Stiles scoring the only goal of the match just before half-time.
His 49th and last appearance was also at Wembley, in the first leg of a European Championship quarter-final. England were beaten 3-1 by a German side for which the great Gunther Netzer pulled the strings in midfield and Hurst failed to add to his tally of 24 England goals. The return leg in Berlin finished goalless.
Later in the ‘70s, Hurst had a spell as an assistant coach in the England set-up after his West Ham manager Ron Greenwood had taken over the reins.
Now one of English football’s leading ambassadors, he won The FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup with the Hammers and later scored more than a hundred League goals for Stoke City. He also managed Chelsea.