Geoff Hurst is an English national hero, the man whose goals won the World Cup for England and still the only man in history to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final. His unique achievement saw him knighted in 1998.
Hurst began his football career with West Ham United in 1959 as a midfielder, but was converted to a striker by manager Ron Greenwood. He quickly found success, winning the FA Cup in 1964 with the Hammers and scoring the second goal in a 3-2 victory over Preston.
A year later, Hurst was back at Wembley for the final of the European Cup Winners Cup against 1860 Munich, which West Ham won 2-0. He had become a mainstay of a successful Hammers side, alongside Martin Peters and Bobby Moore.
In February 1966 his form was recognised by then England manager Alf Ramsey and he was called up for international duty for the first time. By the time the World Cup began on home soil in June, Hurst was just a squad member, an understudy to the first choice pairing of Jimmy Greaves and Roger Hunt. Indeed, Greaves started the first three games, but a leg injury meant that Hurst started as his replacement in the quarter-final against Argentina. Hurst scored, and was rewarded by keeping his place all the way to the final.
Hurst's first goal in the final against West Germany was a well-taken header; his second, a snap shot that cannoned down off the crossbar and was controversially judged to have crossed the line by the Russian linesman. His third, in extra time, was immortalised, by the commentary of Kenneth Wolstenholme: as Hurst broke free and headed towards the goal Wolstenholme said: "Some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now!"
By the time Hurst's career was over he had played 499 games for West Ham scoring 252 goals, and 49 times for England, scoring 24 times.