They Think It's All Over: A Geoff Hurst Story
The 1966 World Cup Final, held at Wembley Stadium in London, England, remains one of the most memorable moments in football history. The game featured two footballing giants, England and West Germany, battling for supremacy on the grandest stage of them all. 57 years later the two biggest moments of this epic encounter are still talked about, and both surround Geoff Hurst who was etched into football folklore forever.
Geoff Hurst was born on December 8, 1941, in Ashton-under-Lyne, England. He began his football career at West Ham United, where he quickly made his mark as a potent goal-scorer. By the time the 1966 World Cup arrived, Hurst had only earned a handful of caps for the England national team. He was not the first-choice striker, but his manager, Alf Ramsey, had seen his potential and decided to give him a chance.
The 1966 World Cup was a significant event in football history as it marked the first time the tournament was televised worldwide. The eyes of the footballing world were fixated on England as they progressed through the tournament. In the group stages, England advanced without losing a game setting the tone for the teams heroics to come.
In the knockout rounds, England faced tough opposition in the quarterfinals against Argentina and the semi-finals against Portugal. With Jimmy Greaves injured in the group stage it was Geoff Hurst who was called upon to deputise by Alf Ramsey. Hurst was instrumental, scoring the crucial goal against Argentina that propelled his team to the semi-final. His stellar performances meant he kept his place in the side and was chosen to represent England on the biggest stage of all. It turned out to be a good decision!
On July 30, 1966, the day of the final, Wembley Stadium was filled to capacity with over 96,000 spectators eagerly awaiting the clash between England and West Germany. The match started with an early setback for England as Helmut Haller of West Germany scored in the 12th minute. England, led by their captain Bobby Moore, fought valiantly to find an equaliser, and it came in the 18th minute through Geoff Hurst.
With one minute left of regulation time remaining England found themselves 2-1 up and heading towards victory, however, West Germany weren't finished yet and Wolfgang Weber crashed home the equaliser.
With the score level at 2-2, the final headed into extra time.
The Ghost Goal
In the 101st minute of the final, with the score still tied and legs getting weary, Geoff Hurst unleashed a powerful shot that struck the crossbar and bounced down near the goal line. The ball seemed to spin back towards the field of play, leaving uncertainty about whether it had crossed the goal line completely.
The match referee, Gottfried Dienst of Switzerland, initially didn't award a goal, but he turned to the linesman, Tofiq Bahramov, for assistance. After a brief consultation, Bahramov raised his flag, indicating that the ball had indeed crossed the line, and a goal was given to England.
This decision sparked immediate controversy and heated discussions among players, fans, and football pundits. The West German players vehemently protested the goal, claiming that the ball had not fully crossed the line. Over the years, footage and photographs of the incident have been analysed extensively, with different angles and interpretations contributing to the ongoing debate.
The latest Admiral 'Ghost Goal' t-shirt depicts this sporting quandary graphically through abstract shapes, modular geometry and colour blocking.
They Think It's All Over
Hurst wasn't quite done yet. As the clock ticked down and with the West German defence pushed up-field in search of another equaliser he completed his hat-trick with a fourth goal in the dying moments of extra time, securing a historic 4-2 victory for England and cementing his place in footballing folklore.
It was not the goal alone that was etched into the minds of generations to come, it is more often than not accompanied by the soundbite of BBC's 1966 World Cup Final commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme who captured one of the greatest moments in sport perfectly.
"And here comes Hurst. He's got... some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now! It's four!"
In our latest 1966 Collection we have graphicly interpreted this moment with our 'They Think It's All Over' t-shirt.
To date this Geoff Hurst is the only player to have scored a hattrick in a World Cup Final on the winning side and this remains England's only major victory on the International stage.