All at West Ham United would like to wish Sir Geoff Hurst a happy 70th birthday today.
Sir Geoff, who scored a hat-trick in the 1966 FIFA World Cup final victory over West Germany, scored 249 goals in 502 appearances for the Hammers during a glittering 14-year career at the Boleyn Ground, winning the FA Cup in 1964 and European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.
He continues to be an ambassador for the game at home and abroad. He was knighted in 1998 and even recognised with an honorary Master of the Arts degree by the University of East London last year.
While he is rightly feted wherever he goes, Sir Geoff will always recognise the role West Ham United played in his remarkable career as he rose to world acclaim alongside club-mates Bobby Moore and Martin Peters.
“The Boleyn Ground is a place that has great memories,” he said on a recent visit. “It is always great to come back. I don’t come back quite so often as I have moved to Cheltenham but my heart is here.
“It is a family club. A lot of people would say it is their second favourite club. It has a great tradition of developing players. From our time this club produced three players for a World Cup final – the captain and two goalscorers. West Ham fans will always say we won the World Cup.
“We have a history of great players here and it is good to see local boys like Jack Collison and Mark Noble in the team taking over that mantle.”
As part of his 70th celebrations, Sir Geoff will be reunited with the ball from the 1966 final. It has been taken to the Park Plaza hotel in London, the location for this year’s Sparks Winter Ball.
Sir Geoff is to receive a Lifetime Presidency Award from the charity’s patron, HRH Princess Michael of Kent. Sparks is a highly regarded children’s medical research charity and the former striker has long been a champion of their work. To find out more, visit geoffhurst.com