Sir Geoff Hurst wrote his name into World Cup folklore when he scored three times in the 1966 Final at Wembley Stadium to help England lift the Jules Rimet trophy following a 4-2 win over West Germany.
It was the first time anyone had ever netted a hat-trick in the showpiece match – and some 52 years later, Sir Geoff’s achievement remains unique. But, as the Three Lions prepare to launch their challenge in Russia, the former West Ham United and Stoke City forward says it’s time someone else joined his one-man club.
“I’ve had a good run with my achievement but I’d be delighted to see an England player score a hat-trick in this year’s final!” said Sir Geoff, now aged 76. “Nothing would make me happier than for England to win the tournament and Harry to score three in the final.
“Over the last three or four years at Spurs, Harry has been fantastic, consistently scoring goals. All strikers get this period in their lives when they score goals for fun and he’s right in the middle of that. I’ve been there before and I know how great it feels.
“I have to say it’s been fantastic to watch the way Spurs play, they are a very attractive side and, of course, Harry has been scoring goals for his country as well. I think he will be vital for England to do well at the World Cup.”
Sir Geoff was a welcome visitor to Hotspur Way earlier this year when he met Harry, Dele Alli and Eric Dier while filming for BBC’s Sport Relief. And while he discussed his hopes for England and captain Kane at the showpiece tournament that starts today, he acknowledged that it’s going to be tough for Gareth Southgate’s side to go deep into the knockout stages.
“Let’s be fair, England have been disappointing at the last two tournaments and it won’t be easy this time around with the number of good teams involved. But we qualified in style so now it’s all about seeing how well we can do in Russia,” added Sir Geoff, who was impressed with what he saw of Harry after meeting him.
“I don’t know (Harry’s) routine but you hear people talk about how dedicated he is and how much hard work that he puts in. Seeing him in the flesh, he’s such a well-built lad, lean and fit and he’s improved year on year.
“Harry seems to be a good lad, I listen to him talk and he’s got his feet on the ground which is what you need if you want to be at the top of your profession for a long time. You couldn’t wish to meet a nicer guy and good luck to him.
“I’m a passionate England fan and I sincerely hope Harry can score the goals to help us be successful at this World Cup.”