MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 02:35:23| >> :120:16875:16875:

Top 20 England players of all time - #17

Sports Mole's countdown of the top 20 England players of all time continues with number 17 - Geoff Hurst.

Geoff Hurst (49 caps, 24 goals)

Geoff Hurst poses for a photo in 1966© Getty Images

Geoff Hurst holds a privileged and exclusive place in world football as the only man to have ever scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final, and his heroics on July 30, 1966 have earned him the undying adoration of England fans everywhere.

Hurst's story is perhaps the best example of how a stroke of luck can change everything in a game like football, though. The West Ham United man was very much behind the prolific Jimmy Greaves in Sir Alf Ramsey's pecking order for the 1966 tournament, and only got his chance alongside Roger Hunt due to an injury for England's main marksman.

A nasty cut to Greaves's leg saw Hurst selected for the quarter-final against Argentina and he scored the only goal of the game to fire the hosts into the last four, where he set up what proved to be the winning goal in a 2-1 triumph over Portugal.

Greaves was back fit and available for the final, but Ramsey made the difficult decision to leave one of the greatest goalscorers English football has ever seen on the bench and keep faith with Hurst. It is safe to say that decision was vindicated, with Hurst going on to score the opening goal in the final before his brace in extra time sealed the Jules Rimet trophy for Ramsey's home heroes.

Unsurprisingly, that proved to be the peak of Hurst's international career and, while he went on to feature at Euro 1968 and the 1970 World Cup, he was in and out of the team before playing his 49th and final England game in 1972, by which point he had scored 24 goals for his country.

At club level, Hurst was part of the West Ham trio alongside Bobby Moore and Martin Peters that enjoyed Wembley glory three years in a row, helping the Hammers to the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965 before their crowning achievement a year later.

ID:300056: cacheID:300056:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:2925:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Read more about England Football

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 fixtures
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
 
5pm
Thursday, June 17, 2021
 
5pm
Friday, June 18, 2021
 
2pm
Saturday, June 19, 2021
 
2pm
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!