Sir Geoff Hurst: Ask A Silly Question

The World Cup hero answers futile queries.

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Morning, Sir Geoff. What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
I had a strange one the other night. We’ve agreed to part-exchange my wife’s car recently, but someone scratched it in a car park. I dreamt I was painting it a horrible red colour to cover up the scratch. Suddenly, a load of kids were throwing yellow paint all over it. The car was ruined. We drove to the garage and they gave  us four grand less than we were expecting. Nightmare!

A shocking blow! Let’s make things even worse: Imagine you’ve been brutally murdered. Which fictional detective would you want heading up the investigation?
It’s got to be Sherlock Holmes, I think. He’s as good as anyone in the business.

You’re the first person not to say Colombo. John Barnes, Peter Crouch, Barry Fry: they all went for the man in the Mac.
Colombo was good, wasn’t he? But I’m going to stick with Sherlock Holmes. He’s English, and his powers of deduction would soon have the case solved.

When did you last get plastered and have a good old karaoke session?
I’ve been known to! I like having a crack at The Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There. I remember being up at six in the morning doing karaoke in Wales after a golf day. I was singing along with Gary McAllister, a great guy. We’d had a few and were still singing once they turned the machine off.

Ever thought of growing a gigantic handlebar moustache, Geoff?
Never. I really don’t suit the moustache, even though a lot of footballers had them in my day. I grew my hair quite long; that was about as adventurous as I got.

What about a fisherman’s beard?
I’ve tried the beard, but Mrs Hurst doesn’t like it. It goes a bit grey and she says it makes me look like Compo from Last of the Summer Wine. So I shaved it off.

Ever been mistaken for someone else?
Quite often, someone will come up to me and say: “It’s you isn’t it? Martin Peters!” That’s quite odd, because we look completely different. I’m much more handsome, I keep telling him that! I guess it’s general confusion because we played for the same teams.

What’s your cooking speciality?
I reckon I’m in the bottom 0.005 percent worldwide for cooking talent. I’m useless. I could offer you a tin of soup – I’m world-class at heating that up, or beans on toast. I’ve been lucky that Mrs Hurst and my three daughters have taken care of me for so long.

Does Mrs Sir Geoff ever treat you to the king of snacks, the Scotch egg?
I like Scotch eggs, but I’ve not had one for a few years. I’ve been on a health kick – I was getting a bit heavy. I work out with a personal trainer now, and eat well. Scotch eggs are not part of my sensible eating plan.

A shame. When did you last go purple-faced with rage?
That would have been in the car somewhere. My wife calls me Mr Angry when I’m behind the wheel. I’m not a road-rage man – I wouldn’t get out the car and cause a fight – but I do have a good old shout...

Right. We’ve been chatting for a full five minutes without mentioning the 1966 World Cup Final, hat-tricks or those pesky Germans. Is that a record? What’s the longest you’ve gone without someone bringing it up?
Someone tends to mention it every three minutes or so. Everywhere I go, especially in England of course. But I’m not safe anywhere, really. I’ll be on a beach in Malaysia, and a passer-by will bring up the 1966 World Cup Final. I think I’d need to go to another planet to get through a full day without talking about it! But I can’t complain!

From the May 2008 issue of FFT.