In England's last major tournament final, Sir Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick
Credit: GEOFF PUGH
Sir Geoff Hurst is set for a pitchside role at Wembley on Sunday night should England reach their first major tournament final since he scored a hat-trick to win the 1966 World Cup.
The BBC has lined up the England legend to join its coverage if Gareth Southgate’s England team prevail against Denmark in Wednesday’s Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley.
Gary Lineker, who was a member of England’s 1990 World Cup semi-finalists, and Alan Shearer, who reached the last four in Terry Venables’ Euro ’96 team, have spearheaded the BBC’s England coverage throughout the tournament but the presence of Hurst would represent a significant coup for the corporation.
Hurst, who is now 79, scored the most iconic hat-trick in football history against West Germany at Wembley Stadium 55 years ago, sealing the 4-2 win in extra-time to Kenneth Wolstenhome’s immortal ‘they think it’s all over – it is now’ BBC commentary.
Should England win their semi-final, Hurst is ready to form part of the BBC’s pitchside punditry team for what would be the national side’s most important match since that moment.
Sir Bobby Charlton, George Cohen and Roger Hunt are the only other surviving members of Sir Alf Ramsey’s starting XI following the deaths last year of Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles.
Captain Bobby Moore and Alan Ball, the man-of-the-match in the final, respectively died of cancer and a heart attack in 1993 and 2007, and half of the 1966 outfield team have been diagnosed with dementia in later life.
Sunday’s final will be screened by both the BBC and ITV.
The BBC had broadcast England’s wins in the last-16 and quarter-finals but the semi-final against Denmark will be televised live on ITV. Gary Neville, another member of the Euro ’96 semi-final team, will be summarising on Wednesday night alongside Lee Dixon and Emma Hayes. Pitchside pundits will include Ashley Cole and Nadia Nadim, the star striker in Denmark’s women’s team. Lineker and Chris Waddle, another 1990 World Cup semi-finalist under Sir Bobby Robson, will be at Wembley working for BBC Radio.
The event is being hosted by Uefa, with VIP guests for England’s 2-0 victory against Germany last week including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, David Beckham, Ed Sheeran and David Seaman. The Football Association has only limited tickets and does not publicise its guest-list in advance.