A Q&A with footballing legend Sir Geoff Hurst

Sir Geoff Hurst is coming to Derby Theatre on Father's Day this June
...here is a Q&A with the footballing legend

What did it feel like to win the World Cup in 1966?

It’s hard to put the feeling into words, especially in my case, because I only made my debut in 1966, so it was all potentially overwhelming. I was young though, and it all came so suddenly but I enjoyed it all. 

What was the feeling like with the population after you won?

It was less of a major thing in the months after winning the World Cup. We were congratulated, and it was obviously a great achievement. It’s become bigger and bigger with the passage of time, because England haven’t won it subsequently. 

Which is your favourite goal in the final?

Everywhere I go I’m asked about the hat trick, it all passed in a blur at the time. I guess my second is best remembered for the accompanying controversy, but I view them all as equal. 

Who was the best player you played with in your England career?

There were many, Bobby Charlton was immense. In the World Cup final, Alan Ball was magnificent. He ran his heart out and he cared so much - his patriotism shone through. Jimmy Greaves was the best goal scorer in English history, and a mate aswell. Obviously, Martin was my team mate for years and we had a great understanding on the pitch but overall, MOORO, Bobby Moore would be the calming influence, and overall leader, and quality player that I would choose as the number one. 

We have had good chances to win it again, especially in 1970 and 1990. I guess it’s surprising that we never won again, but West Germany exacted revenge for our victory over and over again in subsequent years. I’m always cautiously optimistic when the World Cup comes around. I’d love us to win, but realistically, there are probably better qualified teams this time 

Which team do you support?

West Ham are my team and always will be. However, I live a long way from there so I only get there a couple of times per year. 

How did it feel when you were knighted?

Obviously, it was an honour to be knighted. I don’t know what else to say about that, other than I feel very privileged and to receive it for winning something for England is even better. 

How do you spend your time these days?

I send a lot of time with my wife and grandchildren and see my children as much as possible. I still attend all England games at Wembley and I make lots of personal appearances, such as this theatre tour I am undertaking with Terry and Freda, my agents from A1 Sporting Speakers, as well as sportsman’s dinners and lots of corporate events. 

Where are your happiest memories from your playing days?

My favourite grounds were the old Wembley and Upton Park. Great atmospheres at both and many happy memories for me

What do you think of the huge amounts of money players are paid these days?

Wages have changed, I think I was on about £20 a week in the sixties, but good luck to today’s players. They exist in a different world today, but it’s a short career, so I say let them enjoy it whilst they can. 

Why are you doing this short theatre tour?

It’s based around the World Cup this year. We are looking forward to getting out and about and meeting the fans of England and hopefully a few West Ham fans as well. It’s always interesting to have a laugh with the people that have supported football for all these years. I’ve hopefully got an interesting story to tell and little did I know that on the 31st of July in 1966 when I was lucky enough to score my World Cup final hat trick, people would still be asking about it fifty two years later! And the fact that it hasn’t happened since has kept it as a major talking point.

An Evening with England's World Cup Winner Geoff Hurst will be at Derby Theatre on Sunday 17 June (Father's Day)