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Most Exciting World Cup Moments: Number 4 – Geoff Hurst’s Final Hat-Trick [VIDEO]

4 Hurst 600x395 Most Exciting World Cup Moments: Number 4   Geoff Hurst’s Final Hat Trick [VIDEO]

No.4: Geoff Hurst’s Final Hat-trick (England, 1966)

You don’t envy managers ahead of a World Cup final. For the players in the squad, it’s set to be the biggest occasion of their entire life. But the boss can only pick 11 players and ahead of such a vital game, big decisions have to be made.

Ahead of the World Cup final in 1966, Alf Ramsey made a very big call.

At Wembley in front of a 96,924 strong home crowd, he named a team without wide men. In the modern day, it’d almost resemble a diamond, with Nobby Stiles at the base, Alan Ball and Martin Peters in front of him, and Bobby Charlton pushing forward. They’d soon come to be know as the “wingless wonders”.

England were set to tackle West Germany in the final, a side that had been on an upward curve since their triumph in 1954. Galvanised by their inspirational skipper Franz Beckebauer, the Germans made it through to the final after winning all but one of their five games, conceding just two goals in the process.

But the England team had also won four of their games, conceding just one goal en route to the final. The centre-back duo of Bobby Moore and Jack Charlton had been formidable at the back for the Three Lions, and a such, the final looked set to be quite the cagey affair. Things didn’t turn out quite like that, though.

The Germans stunned the Wembley crowd early on, as Helmut Haller pounced on a loose ball inside the England box to put his team in front. That paved the way for a frantic 90 minutes that saw Ramsey’s team come out and attack West Germany.

They weren’t behind for long; after 18 minutes Geoff Hurst glanced home a header to level things up. The scored remained tied after a back-and-forth contest up until the 77th, when Peters must have thought he’d won it for England with a strike from eight years out.

But in the last minute, the German side—in somewhat typical fashion—struck a late equaliser through Wolfgang Weber to send the tie into extra time. What happened from that point onwards remains the most iconic spell of soccer in the history of the English game:

What happened next?

“And here comes Hurst. He’s got… some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over. It is now!”

Those were the legendary words offered spoken by commentator Ken Wolsthenholme as Hurst raced through to score his third and England’s fourth, effectively sealing the World Cup for his country.

But it was the third goal of the game that was the most talked about, and debate rages about it even to this day.

Hurst turned on a sixpence in the area and smashed a shot towards goal. It ricocheted off the crossbar bounced down and was cleared; nobody was really sure if it had gone in or not, aside from the England players who had begun celebrating. The referee consulted with his linesman Tofik Bakhramov, and he nodded his head to confirm it had gone in.

The “goal” deflated the German outfit, and as they pressed for another late equaliser, Hurst broke away to make the game safe. To this day, he remains the only man ever to net a treble in a World Cup final.

Find out the top 25 most exciting World Cup moments.

About Matt Jones

Matt has been writing for World Soccer Talk for more than two years, contributing pieces about myriad topics and regularly lending his voice to the podcast. Matt has covered games live for the website from a host of venues, including Wembley, London and the ANZ Stadium, Sydney. He is a regular at Goodison Park where he watches his beloved Everton, but harbours an unyielding interest in all aspects of European soccer. You can get in touch with Matt via e-mail at or on Twitter @MattJFootball
View all posts by Matt Jones →

3 Responses to Most Exciting World Cup Moments: Number 4 – Geoff Hurst’s Final Hat-Trick [VIDEO]

  1. goatslookshifty says:

    And that has been the only good bit of luck the English have had since.
    Four years ago, Germany got their revenge with the Frank Lampard no-goal that could have been a turning point in the game. Instead, Germany went on to win convincingly.

  2. Smokey Bacon says:

    As the years go by those clips look more and more like a bye-gone era. It’s amazing to think we were that good once. What a team. Great individuals, balance with a spine of a Banks, Moore, Charlton and Hurst.

    Sturridge could do with watching Sir Geoff in action. No over elaboration or falling over when shooting. Just a sniff of goal was all he needed.

    • jtm371 says:

      Got to see Sir Geoff play one season for Sounders in old NASL. I know past his prime but was still a thrill to see a great ply his talent.

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