GEOFF HURST FILLED WITH 'GREAT SADNESS' OVER LOSS OF TEAMMATES

  • Sir Bobby Charlton's death last October left Hurst as only surviving player 
  • 82-year-old reflected on memories with teammates and sadness looking back
  • Another nightmare… which players are to blame and should Thomas Tuchel come in? Listen to the It's All Kicking Off! Man United Crisis Special podcast 

Sir Geoff Hurst shared how he is filled with 'great sadness' when he looks back on memories of his early career as the last surviving member of the 1966 World Cup-winning team.

The England striker famously scored three as Sir Alf Ramsey's side beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley to win the national men's team's only major trophy 58 years ago.

But the death of Sir Bobby Charlton at the age of 86 last October following a battle with dementia left Hurst - who spent the bulk of his career at West Ham - as the only remaining hero from the final-winning team.

'I spent so much time with those players, not just playing but we had many golf days afterwards for many, many years,' the 82-year-old told Mirror Football in a candid interview ahead of Euro 2024

'It's extremely sad. They've all gone. I'm still not the oldest yet. I've still got a bit to go. You know Jack [Charlton] was older than me, George [Cohen] was older, Ray [Wilson] was older, so I've still got a bit to go to be the oldest one.' 

Wistfully reflecting on his relationships with the team, Hurst said he could not recall his last conversation with Bobby Charlton before his passing late last year.

'Once we finished the golf days I didn't see or hear much of him,' he told the outlet. 'I started to become aware things were not right when I started looking at him at the Manchester United games in the crowd.'

Charlton, who played as a midfielder and forward alongside Hurst in his youth, was revealed to have been diagnosed with dementia in 2020, some three years before his passing in October last year.

The former England legend, who also played with Hurst in the 1966 final, largely withdrew from public life after the diagnosis was announced.

'They'd always focus naturally on Bobby,' Hurst told The Mirror. 'Then all of a sudden, you know, he's not there. Not much was said, it was kept very, very sensibly quiet on everything.'

'He was just unbelievable. You just talk about him. One of our true greats then and forever,' he added, reflecting on his memories of Charlton as a colleague.

Hurst said he would now be delighted to see Gareth Southgate's team bring home their first European Championship this summer.

'We want to win the Euros. We've had enough disappointments, so it would be really fantastic if we can. And I want to say to the players "Come on!"

Hurst is positive about England's future, assessing the nation has one of the best squads available in recent times, and that he hopes to 'see us win a major trophy in my lifetime'.

But he has spoken about the challenges of looking backwards. Speaking to The Times last month he described the 'extreme sadness' he still feels looking back through old photographs.

'To go through what we did together… They were a great bunch of lads and a great bunch of players,' he said.

'It's no fun getting old,' he added. 'There's an element of lottery about it. About how long you've got and what you might get.' 

A number of the 1966 England side have died in recent years. 

Ray Wilson passed away in 2018 aged 83, Gordon Banks (81) and Martin Peters (76) went in 2019, while Jack Charlton (85) and Nobby Stiles (78) died in 2020.

Roger Hunt was 83 when he passed in 2021 and George Cohen the same age when he died in 2022.

Captain Bobby Moore died of bowel cancer aged 51 back in 1993, while Alan Ball suffered a fatal heart attach aged 61 in 2007.

Ramsey himself died of a heart attack in 1999 at the age of 79.

Hurst also reflected on the major changes in football since his playing days.

'The only thing that is the same is the goalposts,' said Hurst, an ambassador for AbilityNet, a charity supported by BT Group that offers help with technology for older people.

'It's still a fantastic game, although there are one or two things I dislike. One is VAR [video assistant referee] - I think it's spoiling the game. 

'And, second, the diving and feigning of injuries. I find that absolutely disgraceful.'

Gareth Southgate and his England players will try and end that agonising 58-year wait for success at this summer's European Championship in Germany.

'I think they're the best bunch of players we've had since '66, and with Southgate we've already got to the semi-final of the World Cup and the final of the Euros.

'So I am extremely hopeful we could win it. That would be fantastic.'

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2024-06-14T01:05:23Z dg43tfdfdgfd