There are a handful of moments in football that are frozen in the memory, and two of them involve Geoff Hurst. His hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final remains a unique achievement and his second and third goals are iconic images to this day. The West Ham forward's strikes won the World Cup for England and guaranteed him a place in hearts of all English fans.
Hurst was a hugely talented centre-forward for a West Ham side that won the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners Cup the following year. By the World Cup Hurst was already a hero among Hammers' fans, but had only made his international debut five months before. The route to 'Hurst's final' began when Jimmy Greaves was injured. Hurst played in the quarter and semi-final and, even though Greaves recovered, he retained his place for the final against West Germany. Playing with West Ham team-mates Bobby Moore and Martin Peters, Hurst quickly settled into the game. After Germany scored, Hurst latched onto a Moore free-kick to head home the equaliser.
With 15 minutes left England went ahead when Hurst's deflected shot fell to Peters who smashed it home. The Germans scored to force extra time and help create football folklore. Hurst latched onto Alan Ball's pass and let fly with his right boot. The ball struck the German crossbar and, according to the match officials, bounced over the line. The 'did it or didn't it', argument has raged ever since.
With seconds remaining, Hurst lashed home a fourth England goal. The moment was immortalised by Kenneth Wolstenholme's commentary: "And here comes Hurst, he's got, some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over, it is now!" Hurst's England career carried on until1972 and for West Ham he played nearly 500 games, scoring 252 goals before moving to Stoke City, West Brom and finally Seattle Sounders in the US. He was awarded the MBE and knighted for his services to football. But he will forever be associated with that magical day in July 1966.