We look back at the career of Geoff Hurst, scorer of the only ever World Cup Final hat-trick.
Sir Geoff Hurst has the honour of being one of the most famous players ever to have played for his country.
His legendary hat-trick against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, which to date remains the only hat-trick scored in a final, culminating with those famous words of commentator, Ken Wolstenholme: "Some people are on the pitch…they think it’s all over… IT IS NOW!" has secured his place in England’s hall of fame.
Hurst’s second goal in the final was one of the most controversial in World Cup history when his shot hit the crossbar and bounced over the line.
The prolific forward made his international debut against West Germany, only five months before the World Cup and only made a late breakthrough into the side following an injury to Jimmy Greaves.
Hurst had initially started out as a wing-half, ironically as understudy to Bobby Moore, before becoming one of the most feared strikers in the English game.
He was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire on the 8th of December 1941 and made his first-team debut for West Ham against Nottingham Forest, just after his 18th birthday in 1960.
Hurst went on to make his name with West Ham, where he made 499 league and cup appearances, scoring 248 goals between 1959 and 1972.
One of the highlights came during a league game against Sunderland in 1968 when he netted six goals – a joint club record alongside Vic Watson who managed the same feat almost 40 years earlier.
He was player of the year three times, won The FA Cup with West Ham in 1964, the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965, with Hammers’ colleagues Bobby Moore and Martin Peters and the Football League Cup runners-up medal in 1966.
His best ever goal-scoring tally came during the 1966/67 season when he netted 41 goals in Division One.
To date, he remains ninth in the Hammers’ all time league appearances, and arguably only the late Bobby Moore has enjoyed more fame.
Geoff appeared in the 1970 World Cup and in 1972 he moved to Stoke City for £80,000, where he scored 30 goals in 100 appearances.
He then moved to West Brom before spending a year in America with the Seattle Sounders.
Hurst won 49 caps and scored 24 goals for England. He managed Chelsea and Telford United and assisted Ron Greenwood with the national squad between 1977 and 1982.
His appearance for Essex against Lancashire means that he is the only first-class cricketer to have won a World Cup winner's medal at football.
Sir Geoff received his knighthood in 1998. In recent years, he has been promoting the Grassroots game as McDonald’s Director of Football, playing a major role in increasing the standards of coaching and development in English football.
”We are giving coaches the organisational skills to teach kids in the right way, making it enjoyable for them," he says, “Children love playing the game and they can channel their energy into a sport which teaches friendship, self-esteem, discipline, camaraderie.
”It’s not rocket science. Football is a simple game, it’s fantastic.”