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Germany World Cup ‘ghost-goal’ keeper Tilkowski dies


Berlin (AFP) – Former Germany goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski, who conceded a controversial Geoff Hurst ‘ghost-goal’ at the 1966 World Cup final, has died at the age of 84, his family told AFP subsidiary SID on Monday.

During the England v West Germany final at Wembley, Tilkowski, who made 39 international appearances, was beaten by Hurst’s shot which hit the cross bar and was adjudged to have crossed the line during extra-time before England went on to lift the trophy 4-2.

The incident continues to leave a mark on German football where the term “Wembley-goal” is used to describe goal efforts which are difficult to validate.

In English, “Russian linesman” is a term sometimes used to describe controversial refereeing decisions after Azeri Tofik Bahkramov gave the green light to goal.

“I will die with the certitude that the ball didn’t cross the line,” Tilkowski said of the incident.

Hurst, who had been informed of Tilkowski’s death by the family, paid tribute to the former keeper as a ‘terrific player’ and ‘fine man.’

“Very sad to receive a call earlier to let me know that Germany’s goalkeeper from 66 World Cup, Hans Tilkowski, has died,” Hurst tweeted.

“Terrific player for his club, Borussia Dortmund, and country and a very fine man, I very much enjoyed the time we spent together over the years.”

Tilkpowski won the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund in 1965 before clinching the European Cup Winners’ Cup a year later.

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