The Fantasy Football Club: Sir Geoff Hurst picks his #One2Eleven

Image: Sir Geoff Hurst: Who were the best players he appeared alongside?

Geoff Hurst is one of English football’s most famous figures, but who are the best players he played alongside during his illustrious career?

He gave The Fantasy Football Club his #One2Eleven… and there are no real surprises from the 1966 World Cup winner!

GOALKEEPER:  Gordon Banks

This is an easy choice. He was one of our five world-class players and I don’t think we’ve had a goalkeeper like him. He’s well-known for his save against Pele in the 1970 World Cup, but more important for Gordon was a save against me in the semi-final of the League Cup!

RIGHT-BACK: George Cohen

George was arguably the fittest player in the England team. We used to laugh and joke about him doing 15 knees-up to warm up! We used to see clips of games we’d played against teams in the hotel and one of the laughs of the night was to run things backwards, so we saw a lot of George Cohen doing overlaps backwards!

LEFT-BACK:  Ray Wilson

Again, this is easy. He wasn’t so well-known in the England team, but in my opinion and in the opinion of the other players he was one of the five world-class players in the World Cup team. He was a fantastic player.

CENTRE-BACK:  Jack Charlton

He was a fantastic defender who played 700 games for Leeds and was almost 30, unusually old, when he started his career with England. He once asked Alf Ramsey why he picked him at that age and Alf said he would fit in the team. There was a lot of success in our team because Alf picked a good team and not necessarily a good individual.

CENTRE-BACK: Bobby Moore

You don’t really need me to tell you who the other central defender is. I always say he is the best player I played with. I grew up with him and he was a great leader and a brilliant reader of the game at the back. He took responsibility. People think of him as a sweeper or defender, but he got forward a lot more than people give him credit for. In fact he made two of the goals in the World Cup final.

RIGHT MIDFIELD: Alan Ball

He was the youngest player in the World Cup final team and many of us regard him as the man of the match. He had a fantastic attitude and once said to Alf in the early days, ‘if you want the shirt back you’re going to have to tear it off my back’.

LEFT MIDFIELD:  Martin Peters

He is not so well known and maybe people don’t talk about him today, but he was very good in comparison with people like Steven Gerrard in the middle of the park. He played 67 games and scored 20 goals for England.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: Nobby Stiles

He played the holding role in the middle of the park, which was such an important role then and now in the world game. I grew up with Nobby from under-17s to under-23s and have known him longer than most of the England players. Alan Mullery would have been vying for that holding midfield spot as well.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: Bobby Charlton

He was effectively a midfield player but scored 49 goals, which is still a record. It won’t be held for very long with Wayne’s world now shaping up. Bobby was one of the most two-footed players I’ve ever seen and one of our genuine world-class players.

STRIKER: Jimmy Greaves

Although he didn’t play in the World Cup final, you look at his record. For Spurs played he played 368 games and scored 268 goals and that’s a 75 per cent ratio. It’s three goals every four games in his career. He was a genuine world-class player. Had he not been injured he would have almost certainly played in the final and I wouldn’t be talking to you today.

STRIKER: Roger Hunt

I’ll go for my partner on the day, Roger Hunt. He was a fantastic player and a god up in Liverpool. He had a great ratio of goals – one in two for England – and he was a smashing lad. He is someone I’m still very fond of today.

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