Author(s): Geoff Hurst
Sir Geoff Hurst, from his vantage point as a true national hero and international football ambassador - and still the only man ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final - risks controversy as he narrows down football's finest to a select 50 in this brilliant new book. From unerringly consistent shot-stoppers to explosively temperamental forwards, not to mention the odd libero, false nine and wing half, the list brings together the greats of every shape, size and position. Sir Geoff brings many first-hand tales of former teammates and rivals, along with tributes of those he's admired from the terraces. Each entry is accompanied by a photo of the player in their prime. Is Franz Beckenbauer preferred to England's heroic Bobby Moore? Has Messi managed to edge ahead of his countryman Diego Maradona? Have Bale or Suarez done enough to make the cut? This absorbing book from one of the great icons of the British game is a must-read for football fans everywhere - and the likely start of many forthright debates...
Sir Geoff Hurst MBE is the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final - for England in their historic 4-2 victory over West Germany at Wembley in 1966. Having shown an early flair for cricket - playing a first-class match for Essex against Lancashire in 1962 - Hurst opted for a career in football, and with West Ham United he scored 248 goals in 499 first team appearances. There he won the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners' Cup 1965. He was selected by Alf Ramsey to lead England's attack between 1966 and 1972 - the longest run of any forward under Ramsey, scoring 24 goals in that time. After three seasons with Stoke he finished his Football League career with West Bromwich Albion in 1976. Hurst enjoyed stints in the USA (Seattle Sounders) and Ireland (Cork Celtic) before returning to England to manage non-league Telford United and then Chelsea, and in recent years he has travelled with the England team. He lives in Cheltenham.