- The only player in history to score a hattrick in a World Cup final
- Won the World Cup in 1966
- Managed Chelsea from 1979 to 1981
At the age of 15, Hurst was apprenticed to West Ham United, turning professional in early 1959. His first competitive appearance came in 1960 and he went on to score 242 goals across 500 appearances for West Ham, including a brace in the 1964 FA Cup Final, which West Ham won.
In 1972, Hurst moved to Stoke City for a fee of £80,000, scoring 39 goals in 130 appearances and helping Stoke to a fifth place finish, a career high for Hurst. During this time, he contracted pneumonia and moved to South Africa to recuperate. While there, he played on loan for Cape Town City, scoring five goals in six appearances.Three years later, in 1975, he moved again, transferring to West Bromwich Albion for £20,000. After leaving West Brom, he played for Cork Celtic for one month before signing for Seattle Sounders in the US. While playing in the US, he helped the Sounders to the play-offs for the first time ever and retired on his return to England.
While Hurst’s club statistics are impressive, it was his contribution to the international team which won him the greatest acclaim. Winning his first cap in February 1966, Hurst was named in the World Cup squad later that year.
When Jimmy Greaves sustained an injury against France, in the final group game, Hurst was called up for the quarter-final against Argentina. Hurst scored the only goal of the game.England progressed to the final after beating Portugal 2-1 in the semi-final, facing off against West Germany.
An unparalleled hattrick
Despite Germany taking an early lead, a quickly-taken Bobby Moore freekick found Hurst who levelled the scores just six minutes later. With only 12 minutes left to play, a deflected Hurst shot fell kindly for Martin Peters who rifled the ball into the net. The lead did not last long, however, with Germany equalising just before full-time.
In the first half of extra time, Hurst struck a fierce shot which cannoned off the underside off the crossbar, bouncing down before being headed out of play by Wolfgang Weber. The goal, which is now known as the Wembley Goal, still provokes controversy as to whether it crossed the line.The result was put beyond doubt just before the full-time whistle as Hurst was put through by Bobby Moore and smashed the ball into the top corner.
Later England career
After retiring, Hurst moved into management, spending three years as player-manager of Telford United before joining England’s coaching team in 1977. Hurst was recruited by Chelsea in 1979 as assistant manager, becoming manager when Danny Blanchflower was sacked. Despite twice bringing Chelsea close to promotion, Hurst was sacked in 1981. Before being hired by Kuwait SC in 1982, Hurst worked as an insurance salesman, something he returned to in 1984.Hurst was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and is one of the few footballers to have been knighted.
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