An Evening with Sir Geoff Hurst, Tamworth
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Exactly 60 years ago to the day that the Beatles performed at this theatre in Tamworth, Staffordshire, another legend graced the very same stage. The Fab Four made their amazing appearance at the town's Assembly Rooms
on 1 February 1963, and the audience that packed into the historic venue six decades later were no less enthusiastic to see Sir Geoff Hurst
. The former West Ham and England footballer will forever have his place in sporting history, having become the first and, for more than 50 years, the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. And, although Sir Geoff's 1966 feat was matched last December by France's Kylian Mbappe at World Cup 2022, as England's hero pointed out here, his hat-trick was in a "winning team".
An Evening with Sir Geoff Hurst, which visited Tamworth on February 1 as part of a national tour, is a wonderful nostalgia trip for lovers of the beautiful game. He looks splendid at the age of 81, and no less sharp than when scoring 242 goals in 500 first team appearances for West Ham, and 24 in 49 caps for England. Knighted in 1998, Sir Geoff starts off by saying he never dreamt he would play for his country, before going on to delight the predominantly male audience with stories, some hilarious, from his illustrious playing career and beyond. No chat involving Sir Geoff can ever escape the question he is asked more than any other - 'was the ball over the line'? - a reference to his controversial strike in the 1966 World Cup final that was given by the linesman. As Sir Geoff said here, he was in the worst place to see as the West German goalkeeper blocked his view. He then describes his hat-trick goal in the dying seconds, with fans already streaming onto the pitch, immortalised in the 'they think it's all over, it is now' commentary on the game.
Sir Geoff, who forged a career in insurance after being sacked as manager of Chelsea in 1981, spends the second half of the show with his friend and agent Terry Baker, taking questions from the audience. And this is when Sir Geoff, who finished his playing career in America after spells at Stoke and West Bromwich Albion, is occasionally knocked off his stride. One such question was how Sir Geoff lost his front teeth, which turns out to be from his brief cricket career with Essex before deciding to concentrate on football. And then someone bravely reminds him of the time West Ham were the victim of a huge FA Cup giant-killing act at the hands of third tier Mansfield in 1969. Other questions involve what happened to the 1966 World Cup final ball (Sir Geoff didn't get it!), the plight of dementia among former players, and the awarding of honours to some, and not all, members of a winning team, including the OBE for Bobby Moore shortly after that '66 final.
The evening raised nearly £6,000 for charities including The Jimmy Greaves Foundation, with around £4,000 coming from the sale of four autographed shirts, including Pele's Brazil strip and Messi's newly signed Argentina shirt.
8 February 2023 City Varieties Music Hall
Leeds 0113 243 0808
9 February 2023 St Helen's Theatre Royal
01744 756 000
12 February 2023 Alive Corn Exchange
Norfolk 01553 764864
20 February 2023 Palace Theatre
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7 March 2023 Darlington Hippodrome
Darlington 01325 405405
8 March 2023 Royal Spa Centre
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15 March 2023 Loughborough Town Hall
Leicestershire 01509 231914
16 March 2023 The Bowdon Rooms
Altrincham 0161 926 8992
29 March 2023 The Beck Theatre Hayes
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30 March 2023 Deco Theatre
Northampton 01604 491005
For more information about Sir Geoff visit his official website at:https://geoffhurst.com/events.html
!date 01/02/2023 -- 01/02/2023
74000 - 2023-02-02 22:21:59