A Geoff Hurst hat-trick inspired England to a controversial extra-time win over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.
Sure it might have been dubious, but let’s enjoy it! Those who made the game can now officially say to be the best in the game, and we deserved it! A sold out Wembley was there to watch history as England, lead superbly by captain supreme Bobby Moore, beat West Germany 4-2, to secure the Julies Rimet trophy.
Though it’s fair to say it could’ve been different; with the game at 2-2 in the first period of extra time Hurst saw his shot come down of the bar, without appearing to cross the German line; however after consultation with his linesman, Gottfried Dienst gave the game changing goal; to the palpable relief of the Wembley crowd.
Originally England trailed to a Helmut Haller goal, before Hurst scored the first of his hat-trick heading home a Moore free-kick. The game stayed level until with 12 minutes left England took a deserved lead as Martin Peters smashed home from close range after Horst-Dieter Hoettges failed to clear. England missed chances to make sure of the win; and they were made to pay as Wolfgang Weber was quickest to react to a loose ball from a late West German free-kick to take the game into extra-time. Then came the games controversial moment as Hurst fired England ahead for a second time. Hurst completed his hat-trick in the dying moments of the game; which ensured England were champions of the world.
England, who named the same XI that overcame Portugal in the semi-final, created the games first real chance as a Nobby Stiles cross caused havoc in the German penalty area. Hurst beat his marker to the ball only to see Hans Tilkowski beat the West Ham forward to the ball. Tilkowski was busy in the West German goal again not long after, doing well to parry behind a long range Peters shot.
Arguably against the run of play, West Germany took the lead through their tournaments top scorer Haller. A Sigi Held deep cross wasn’t cleared well by Ray Wilson, and the ball feel perfectly for Haller who didn’t connect brilliantly with the ball, but it still had enough to beat the despairing dive of Gordon Banks in the England goal.
Alf Ramsey’s side responded quickly and the West German lead wasn’t a long one. Bobby Moore was fouled mid-way in the German half and England’s captain took the free-kick quickly, crossing superbly for the un-marked Hurst who headed perfectly past Tilkowski in the West German goal.
Uwe Seeler saw his header go marginally wide for West Germany, as the game was beginning to ebb and flow back and forth as both teams took it in turns to attack. England created the games next best chance as Alan Ball cut inside Held and saw his shot blocked, the ball feel perfectly for England’s semi-final two goal hero Bobby Charlton, who saw his long range effort easily kept out by Tilkowski.
England nearly took the lead for the first time when George Cohen’s perfect cross was headed on goal by Hurst, only for Tilkowski to thwart the striker brilliantly. England’s captain Moore recovered brilliantly to prevent Lothar Emmerich from going through on goal. Gottfried Dienst blew the whistle to signal the end of a lively first-half, with the game fairly level at 1-1.
The second half at times failed to live up to the intensity of its predecessor, and neither side created any chances of note in the opening exchanges of the half; with Franz Beckenbauer volleying West Germany’s best chance over the bar.
With 78 minutes of the game gone, Roger Hunt won a corner for England. Alan Ball’s floated corner was only cleared as far as Hurst whose shot was poorly cleared by Hoettges, which bounced perfectly for Peters who smashed home from close range to give England a lead.
Jack Charlton headed a good chance wide, after a beautiful delivery from Ball. England missed another chance to seal the game as Charlton screwed his shot wide, after Peters had played the Manchester United midfielder in. This time it was Peters who missed a guilt-edged chance as he shot over the bar when in a great position to at least make the German keeper work.
Alf Ramsey’s side were made to pay for their wastefulness as West Germany leveled in the 90th minute. West Germany won a late free-kick; the delivery caused mayhem in the English box, which the England defence failed to clear and Weber reacted first to the loose ball and made no mistake from close range.
The equaliser so late in the game came as a real blow to England, within minutes of seeing the game through and holding aloft the World Cup; they had the reality of another 30 minutes. Extra time started in the same fashion that normal time ended with West German pressure; however this time they failed to create a goal scoring chance of real note.
And 11 minutes into the first half of extra time, the games real talking point occurred. Ball made a run down the right wing, and somehow managed to get a cross into the centre; Hurst turned the West German centre half with an exquisite first touch, meaning the West Ham forward could get a shot away. The strike hit the underside of the cross bar, and bounced clear; on first viewing the shot looked good; however replays have proved inconclusive. Originally the referee and linesman failed to give the goal; only for consultation between the two to award Hurst his second of the game and England’s third.
This time around however there was to be no last minute West German equaliser, and with barely seconds left on the clock Hurst completed his hat-trick in style. Moore, who was excellent throughout, played a long ball over the top of the West German defence, and up against a tiring Weber, Hurst ran past the defender before unleashing a wonderful drive to beat Tilkowski, to seal England’s win, and ensure they were Champions of the world!