Hurst in 2008
|Full name||Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst MBE|
|Date of birth||8 December 1941|
|Place of birth||Ashton-under-Lyne, England|
|1959–1972||West Ham United||411||(180)|
|1973||→ Cape Town City (loan)||6||(5)|
|1975–1976||West Bromwich Albion||10||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Sir Geoffrey Charles "Geoff" Hurst MBE (born 8 December 1941) is a former England footballer best remembered for making his mark in history as the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. His three goals came in the 1966 final for England in their 4–2 win over West Germany at the old Wembley. Such an achievement was made all the more remarkable by the fact that he was only five months and eight games into his international career, and was not considered his country's premier centre forward.
In club football Hurst played for West Ham United where he spent 13 years scoring 180 goals in the First Division. He joined Stoke City in 1972 where he spent three years before finishing his Football League career with West Bromwich Albion. Hurst went to play football in Ireland, USA and Kuwait before returning to England to play for Telford United. Hurst became manager of Telford in 1976 and after three years joined Chelsea but was sacked in August 1981.
Hurst was born in the Lake Hospital Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, but moved with his family to Chelmsford, Essex, at the age of eight. He attended Kings Road Primary School, where a house is now named after him. The son of a lower-division footballer, Hurst's own footballing career began when he was apprenticed to West Ham United.
Hurst played one first-class cricket match for Essex, against Lancashire at Aigburth in 1962, although it was not a successful outing: he made 0 not out in the first innings, and was bowled by Colin Hilton, again for 0, in the second. However, he appeared 23 times in the Essex Second XI between 1962 and 1964, before concentrating entirely on football.
Hurst was initially a strong-running midfielder but was converted to a centre forward by manager Ron Greenwood. West Ham won the FA Cup in 1964 with Hurst scoring the second equaliser in a tight and exciting 3–2 victory over Preston North End at Wembley. A year later, Hurst was back at Wembley for the final of the European Cup Winners Cup against 1860 Munich, and West Ham won 2–0. The following season he was in the West Ham side which lost the League Cup final on aggregate to West Bromwich Albion, and in February 1966 he was given his debut for England by manager Alf Ramsey. Hurst remains the most recent British-based player to notch a double hat-trick in a top-flight league match: he achieved this remarkable feat in a First Division match against Sunderland at Upton Park on 19 October 1968, which saw the Hammers defeat the "Black Cats" 8–0.
In 1972, West Ham reached the semi final of the League Cup when they played Stoke City over two legs. In the home leg for West Ham, they were awarded a penalty which Hurst took. His powerful shot into the top corner was saved by the Stoke goalkeeper and Hurst's international team-mate Gordon Banks, who succeeded in deflecting the ball over the bar. Stoke won the tie and ultimately the competition. Hurst left West Ham to join them later the same year for £80,000. He had played 502 games for West Ham, during which time he had scored 249 goals in all competitions. Hurst joined Stoke City in the summer of 1972. He scored ten goals in 1972–73, 15 in 1973–74, 11 in 1974–75 before being sold to West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 1975 for a fee of £20,000. He played 12 times for the Baggies at the start of the 1975–76 season scoring twice before deciding to leave for America.
He signed for the Seattle Sounders of the NASL in 1976. Unlike many players who went over to the NASL from Europe to end their careers, Hurst rapidly proved his worth, and became a valuable member of the Sounders team. He was the team's second-leading scorer, helping the Sounders make it to the playoffs for the first time in their brief history, with 8 goals and 4 assists in 23 regular season games, and 1 goal in the playoffs. More important than Hurst's numbers was his sense of timing: not only did he score the first (in the home opener against Portland) and the last (in the playoffs against Vancouver) goals of the season, 5 of his 8 goals were game-winners. After Seattle, Hurst played in Kuwait and signed for Cork Celtic in January 1976.
Hurst settled into international football quickly but as the World Cup approached, it seemed clear that his inclusion in Ramsey's squad of 22 would merely be as a different option to the first choice partnership of Jimmy Greaves and Roger Hunt. Greaves and Hunt were indeed picked for the three group games against Uruguay, Mexico and France, but in the latter game, Greaves suffered a deep gash to his leg which required stitches, and Hurst was called up to take his place in the quarter final against Argentina. With captain Bobby Moore and young midfielder Martin Peters already in the side, it completed a trio of West Ham players selected by Ramsey at this most crucial stage of the competition.
Argentina were talented but preferred a tougher approach to the game, which saw them reduced to ten men. The game was still tightly contested as it entered its final 15 minutes, but then Peters swung over a curling cross from the left flank and Hurst, anticipating his clubmate's thinking, got in front of his marker to glance a near post header past the Argentine keeper. England won 1–0 and were in the semi finals.
Greaves was not fit for the game against Portugal so Hurst and Hunt continued up front, and England won 2–1 thanks to a brace from Bobby Charlton, the second of which was set up by Hurst. As the final against the Germans approached, the media learnt of Greaves' return to fitness and, while appreciating Hurst's contribution, started to call for the return of England's most prolific centre forward.
Ramsey, however, would not be swayed. Hurst had played well enough to keep his place and, with substitutes still disallowed in competitive football, Greaves' hopes of taking part in the final were dashed. Ramsey informed Greaves and Hurst of his decision the day before the game, and would be conclusively vindicated.
The World Cup Final
West Germany took the lead through Helmut Haller early on, but six minutes later Moore was fouled just inside the German half of the field. He quickly picked himself up and delivered the free kick to Hurst, totally unmarked in his run, as the Germans regrouped. The goalkeeper seemed frozen as the header thundered past him, levelling the match. In the second half, chances went begging for both sides before England won a corner on the right with a quarter of an hour left on the clock. Alan Ball took it, outswinging the ball to Hurst on the edge of the area. Hurst turned to shoot and the ball deflected high into the air, looping down on to the right boot of Peters, who smashed it home.
The Germans equalised with virtually the last kick of the game, forcing extra time. The subsequent 30 minutes would shape the rest of Hurst's life. In the first period, Ball flicked a pass inside to Hurst in the penalty box who struck a strong shot towards goal with his right foot, falling backwards as he did so. The ball beat the goalkeeper, hit the crossbar and bounced down before Wolfgang Weber, scorer of the Germans' second goal, headed it out for a corner. England's players claimed a goal; the Germans were just as adamant that the ball had not fully crossed the line. The referee Gottfried Dienst, unsure, decided to consult his linesman, Tofik Bakhramov, on the right flank, who had waved his flag to get the official's attention. The Soviet linesman signalled that the ball had crossed the line, and the goal was given. The Germans were furious and protested with the linesman vociferously, but because the linesman spoke only Russian, Turkish and Azeri, that was a pointless exercise. Ever since, football reporters and commentators on England games have called in jest for a "Russian linesman" (although actually Bakhramov was from Azerbaijan) whenever there has been a contentious decision to make, especially when that decision has not gone England's way.
Advances in technology have never conclusively proved that the ball crossed the line; on the contrary, in 1995 the Sunday Times reported that image analysis by researchers at Oxford University had concluded that the whole of the ball did not cross the goal-line, and so a goal should not have been awarded (Computer blows whistle on England's 1966 World Cup win by Adam Jones and John Davison, 23 July 1995). Nevertheless, both Dienst and Bakhramov were insistent at the time and continued to justify their decisions in the decades to come, while Hurst never saw the ball bounce down because his momentum on shooting had taken him backwards on to the Wembley turf. However, he always believed the ball was in the net because of Hunt's reaction – the Liverpool striker was following in as the ball hit the bar and turned to celebrate a goal instead of trying to knock the rebound into the net. Hurst's argument was that a natural goalscorer such as Hunt would have put the ball into the net himself had he been in any doubt.
It looked like a 3–2 win for England with Hurst as the hero with the winning goal but in the last seconds, as the Germans were pushing everyone forward to seek the equalizer, Moore cleared his lines with a long ball over the German defence. While spectators ran on the field, Hurst ran on towards the goal, stating later that he aimed for the top left corner knowing that, should it miss, the resulting delay would eat away valuable seconds. As it happened, the left-footed shot was struck perfectly, completing a stunning victory and a hat-trick which remains unique to this day. The referee allowed the goal despite the spectators on the field, and there was no time for the Germans to restart the match.
Hurst still emerged the hero of the win but, as a result of the third goal, became an icon of the world.
It is stated often that Hurst's hat-trick is technically a "perfect hat-trick", as he scored with his head, right foot and left foot. Others feel this is contentious, as he scored a disputed goal. It is not a "flawless hat-trick" as this has to be scored without the opposition scoring any goals between the first and third goals.
The referee had put his whistle to his lips as Moore shaped to play the final pass to Hurst. He didn't blow it, however, yet some supporters misheard, assumed the game was complete and started invading the pitch. As Hurst collected the pass, BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme immortalised his own contribution to the day with one of the most famous pieces of football commentary ever:
And here comes Hurst, he's got ... [notices invaders] ... some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over! [Hurst shoots and scores] ... It is now! It's four!
Hurst was immediately jumped on by Alan Ball, the only other player upfield at the time Moore played the pass. Meanwhile, cameras quickly snapped a bemused-looking Greaves in his suit and tie on the England bench, amazed at the achievements of the man who had replaced him. Greaves would later say it was an emotional reaction but he was just as thrilled for Hurst and England as the other squad players who had not been picked for the final.
It wasn't until the celebratory banquet that evening that Hurst realised he had scored a hat-trick, assuming that the final whistle had been blown before he'd struck the ball into the net for his third goal. This meant he had not attempted to get the match ball as a souvenir, which hat-trick scorers traditionally do. Haller, scorer of the Germans' first goal, acquired the ball and was seen holding it as he collected his runner's up medal. He returned it to England more than 30 years later.
The media were desperate to speak one-on-one with Hurst and they found him the day after the final, back home in London. As if to prove that life had to go on, Hurst was carrying out the mundane task of mowing his lawn when the journalists turned up.
Later international career
Hurst continued to play and score for England, and although he won no further honours with West Ham or England in the 1960s he still maintained his England place for much of the period; for the 2–3 seasons immediately after 1966 he was an internationally renowned striker and goalscorer.
Hurst was named in the Ramsey squad which played in Mexico to defend the World Cup in 1970. He scored the only goal of England's opening game against Romania as England progressed to the quarter finals, where once again they faced West Germany. Hurst played a part in a goal for Peters which put England 2–0 up, but the Germans forced their way back and won 3–2 after extra time.
His England career ended the same year with yet another game against West Germany, in the qualification stages for the 1972 European Championships, which England lost. He had won 49 caps and scored 24 goals, currently putting him 11th in the all-time England scorers' list.
Hurst also played once for Essex once in 1962, but his footballing career meant that his cricket career was restricted to only one first-class match. He was an outstanding fielder and occasional wicketkeeper. He later recalled that the first time he played alongside Bobby Moore was for an Essex school's cricket team.
Upon his retirement from playing, Hurst moved into management and coaching. He was assistant to his ex-West Ham boss Ron Greenwood after the latter took over the England job in 1977, player-manager of Telford United and manager of Chelsea from 1979–81. He joined Chelsea, then in the Second Division, before the 1979–80 season, initially as assistant manager to Danny Blanchflower. When Blanchflower was sacked, Hurst was appointed manager. Things initially went well, and for much of the season Chelsea were on course for promotion, but two wins from their final seven league games ensured the club finished 4th. The following season again began well, with the Blues among the early promotion pace-setters before a dismal run set in, with Chelsea scoring in just three of their final 22 league matches, culminating in Hurst being sacked on 23 April 1981 and Chelsea finished 12th in the league. It was a far cry from a decade earlier, when Chelsea had been European Cup Winners' Cup winners, although his cause was not helped by Chelsea's perilous financial situation.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|West Ham United||1959–60||First Division||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|Stoke City||1971–72||First Division||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Cape Town City (loan)||1972–73||NFL||6||5||0||0||0||0||–||6||5|
|West Bromwich Albion||1975–76||Second Division||10||2||0||0||2||0||0||0||12||2|
|Cork Celtic||1975–76||League of Ireland||3||3||0||0||–||–||3||3|
- A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the FA Charity Shield, Texaco Cup, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and Watney Cup.
|Chelsea||13 September 1979||23 April 1981||79||35||18||26||44.30|
Legacy and post football career
In 2003 Hurst was included in The Champions, a statue of 1966 World Cup winning footballers, by sculptor Philip Jackson. It sits at the junctions of Barking Road and Central Park Road, Newham, London, near to West Ham United's Boleyn Ground and features Martin Peters, Hurst, Bobby Moore and Ray Wilson 
Hurst's contribution to the English game was recognised in 2004 when he was inducted in the English Football Hall of Fame. Hurst is also one of the few footballers who have been knighted, and this recognises his contribution to the game.
On 1 April 2010 Hurst took part in an April Fool with online betting company Blue Square. The company staged a mock up press conference to announce their continued sponsorship of the Football Conference in which a journalist asked Hurst if the second goal of his World Cup hat-trick crossed the line. For the purpose of the stunt Hurst acted out a confession that he'd known all along that the ball had not crossed the line. This was retracted later in the day.
A new statue of Geoff Hurst by Sculpture For Sport was unveiled outside local club Curzon Ashton in December 2010. He is shown alongside fellow 1966 squad member Jimmy Armfield and Simone Perrotta, all World Cup medal winners born in the borough of Tameside whose council commissioned the work.
He now lives in Weybridge, Surrey, with his wife Judith. They have been married since October 1964, having met three years previously at a youth centre. They have three daughters; Claire (born 1965), Joanne (born 1969) and Charlotte (born 1977) and four grandchildren.
In 1975 Hurst was appointed as a member of the Order of the British Empire. In later years, Hurst became a successful businessman, working in the insurance industry. He also became much in demand as a pundit and a motivational speaker. In 1998 Hurst was appointed as a Knight Bachelor.
- World Cup: 1966
- UEFA Euro/European Championships/ (Bronze-medal): 1968
- European Cup Winners' Cup: 1965
- FA Cup: 1964
- International Soccer League: 1963
- "Geoff Hurst player profile". Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 12 September 2008.
- "Lancashire v Essex, County Championship 1962". CricketArchive.com. Retrieved on 12 September 2008.
- "Second Eleven Championship Matches played by Geoff Hurst (23)". CricketArchive.com. Retrieved on 12 September 2008.
- "Geoff Hurst". Thefa.com. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- "Sunderland match preview | News | Latest News | News | West Ham United". Whufc.com. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "Welcome to the Wonderful World of West Ham United Statistics Geoff Hurst". Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0.
- "Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst MBE". Geoffhurst.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- "Geoff Hurst: Encyclopedia II – Geoff Hurst – The World Cup final". Experiencefestival.com. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- ESPNCricinfo Profile ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 10 December 2012
- "The Champions". www.phillipjacksonsculptures.co.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "McDonald's Sport Ambassadors". McDonalds.co.uk. Retrieved on 7 March 2010.
- "Geoff Hurst Makes Shocking World Cup Revelation".
- "Geoff Hurst Reveals All on World Cup Revelation".
- "England footballing legend Sir Geoff Hurst conferred with honorary degree by UEL".
- "World Cup hero's home town statue in Greater Manchester". www.bbc.co.uk. 22011-02-07. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "Footballers' wives of 1966 relive the memories". Daily Mail (London). 8 June 2006.
- The London Gazette: . 15 June 1998.
- Geoff Hurst Official iPhone App
- Geoff Hurst at CSA Celebrity Speakers
- The official website of Sir Geoff Hurst MBE
- Geoff Hurst management career stats at Soccerbase
- Sir Geoff Hurst's Hat-Trick – for England against West Germany in the FIFA World Cup on 30 July 1966
- England-Expects.org – Comprehensive website detailing current and historical information about the England team
- English Football Hall of Fame Profile
- Geoff Hurst's cricket record from CricketArchive
- BBC radio interview with Geoff Hurst, 1997