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Happy Birthday Sir Geoff Hurst – England and West Ham Hero

By on 7 December 2017

A number of England’s 1966 World Cup squad have been beset by ill-health in recent times and at Soccer Attic we wish them well of course. At least West Ham and England legend Sir Geoff Hurst is healthy and celebrating his 76th birthday today. Happy Birthday Sir Geoff and let us to pay tribute to the man who is still the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

Geoff Hurst star strip appeared in Charles Buchan before the 1966 World Cup

Hurst made his debut for West Ham in 1960 in a 3-1 defeat but struggled to make much of an impact on the first team for the remainder of that season.  It’s perhaps less well-known that cricket was his other great love and he seriously considered giving up football as he failed to secure regular first team appearances. He did in fact miss pre-season training in 1961-62 to focus on his cricketing commitments.

But it wasn’t really until 1962-63 season when Ron Greenwood moved him from left half to try him as a striker that his career began to move forward as he forged a successful partnership up front with Johnny Byrne. He would go on to score West Ham’s second goal in their 3-2 victory over Preston in the 1964 FA Cup final the following season.

As far as England is concerned we all  know what he famously went on to achieve at Wembley in 1966. Our book ‘The Road to Wembley 1966’ tells the whole story of how that amazing day took place from humiliation in their first World Cup in 1950 through to triumph in 1966 – all through the pages and pictures of Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly, the only dedicated football magazine to do so at the time.

It’s interesting that Sir Geoff doesn’t tend to feature much until just before the finals. In fact he didn’t make his England debut until February 1966, ironically in a 1-0 victory over West Germany. Interesting also is that Nobby Stiles scored his only goal for England in that game (wearing the number 9 shirt!) and the line-up was different from the World Cup winning XI only in that Norman Hunter played instead of Martin Peters and Ray Wilson came on as sub for Keith Newton at half time. Was this the moment when the pieces of the jigsaw began to come together for Alf Ramsey?

We will never know other than to say that Geoff would play four more friendlies for England before the World Cup Finals where he would start his first game in the quarter finals against Argentina.  There are many great pictures like the ones featured here in the book. You can buy the book by clicking on the link at the end of this post.

England v West Germany – Wembley 23rd February 1966

The Road to Wembley 1966

Click on any of these images from the book to buy The Road to Wembley 1966 – a sensational stocking filler for any football fan.












Xmas Gifts From Soccer Attic Gift Shop

If Sir Geoff Hurst, West Ham and/or England are your passion there are some great gifts to be bought at our gift shop all based on original images from the pages of Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly. Click on any image to buy or browse.