GOD...."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! "
West Ham 2 v Blackburn Rovers 1.
Geoff Hurst - West Ham United, Upton Park, London, England - Saturday March 15th 2008.
Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst, MBE (born 8 December 1941 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire) is a former footballer of West Ham and England, enshrined in the game's history as the only player to have scored 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 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.
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. When he was scouted for West Ham United, he played for a Sunday team in the Tandridge League (Surrey area), Chipstead.
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 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 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 several more times in the Essex Second XI in 1963 and 1964, before concentrating entirely on football.
1966 World Cup campaign
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 violent 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.