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  Sunday, 1 October, 2000, 22:55 GMT 23:55 UK
Champions of the world
Geoff Hurst
Hurst completes a magnifiicent hat-trick for England
England 4-2 West Germany (AET)

Date: 30 July 1966

England held on against a resilient West German side to claim their place in folklore after winning the World Cup in a thrilling display of football.

The English heroes may have started the match as favourites, but the Germans certainly gave them a run for their money on their home turf of Wembley.

But two goals from Geoff Hurst in extra time, to complete his hat-trick, managed to seal the victory.

96,924 packed the stadium to see England claim its greatest sporting accolade ever as Alf Ramsey's team became overnight World Cup legends.

End-to-end action

From the beginning, it was clear both sides were not going to hold back as England and Germany mounted attack upon attack

Geoff Hurst
Hero Hurst battles against the Germans
However things did not go to plan for England as defender Ray Wilson made an uncharacteristic mistake.

Thirteen minutes in, Wilson headed Held's left-wing cross straight to the feet of Haller on the far post.

Haller brought down the ball and drove it sharply into the left-hand corner wide of keeper Gordon Banks.

But England remained unperturbed and replied with an equaliser six minutes later, Hurst heading in Bobby Moore's free-kick after Overath's foul.

The game was open again with the Germans looking flexible and dangerous with Held Seeler and Haller putting on the pressure in midfield.

Yet German keeper Tilkowski was looking less than happy, managing to only just palm out Hurst's gentle header and sent hearts thumping as Alan Ball whipped it invitingly across the goal.

But Germany were not to be outdone and soon struck back when Overath tried to drive in a weakly headed out corner from Held.

Banks blocked and Emmerich, even closer, shot again and Banks again was forced to make another desperate block.

Three minutes from half-time, Alf Ramsey's preference of Roger Hunt over Jimmy Greaves was brought into question as Hunt failed to put a chance away on the left post.


The second half started in rain and both sides, adopting more defensive tactics, entered a period of stalemate.

But in the 78th minute, Ball won a corner after Tilkowski had saved his thumping shot.

Ball played it towards Hurst who shot from outside the box, but was blocked by Weber.

The ball rose in the air and fell temptingly to Martin Peters who volleyed it in.

Later it looked like England could finish off Germany before the final whistle when Bobby Charlton had a chance in the 86th minute, but his shot flew wide after Hunt had passed to him too early.

The Queen and Bobby Moore
The Queen hands captain Bobby Moore the trophy
With a minute to go, all hell broke loose as Held and Charlton jumped for a header.

Though many claimed Held had backed into Charlton, Swiss referee Herr Dienst gave the West Germans a free kick just outside the penalty box.

Emmerich took it and hit it into the wall, but it fell to Weber at the far post who coolly put it past Banks to take the game into extra time.

Nothing left

England looked exhausted as they lay sprawled out on the pitch during the interval.

England's youngest player Alan Ball proved he had something left and put the wind back in his teams sails when he tore down the right-wing and unleashed a powerful shot that Tilkowski could only tip over the bar.

Then in the 100th minute, Ball was in the midst of action again when he latched onto a sublime pass from Nobby Stiles and stormed up the right-wing past the heavy Schnellinger once more.

He passed to Hurst at the near post who let it go with a tremendous right-footed shot.

The ball blasted past Tilkowski who had no chance and hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down.

Roger Hunt, in front of the goal, seemed sure the ball had gone in and raised his arms in joy.

Ball, Charlton, Moore and Cohen
England take their lap of honour
The referee was not so certain and, besieged by protesting German players, Dienst walked over to the right-hand touchline to check with the Russian linesman Bakhramov.

After a quick consultation, Dienst awarded England the controversial goal and there was a moment of ecstatic euphoria across the stadium as the English crowd and players realised the Cup was clearly theirs.

They think it's all over

The West Germans surged forward in a state of panic leaving themselves vulnerable at the back.

In the dying seconds of the game, Moore gathered Seeler's header and sent a long, accurate pass through to Hurst.

As kids in the crowd ran onto the pitch thinking the game was over, an exhausted Hurst stumbled goalwards and let go with a terrible left-footer, beating Tilkowski and completing a magnificent hat-trick.

It was a dizzy catharsis as everyone in the stadium realised that the World Cup and football had just come home to where it all began.

England: Banks, Cohen, J Charlton, Moore, Wilson, Stiles, Ball, B Charlton, Hunt, Peters, Hurst.

Germany: Tilkowski, Hottges, Schulz, Weber, Schnellinger, Haller, Beckenbauer, Overath, Seeler, Held, Emmerich.

Referee: Dienst (Switzerland)

See also:

01 Oct 00 | Wembley
01 Oct 00 | Wembley
01 Oct 00 | Wembley
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