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1966 and All That: My Autobiography Hardcover – 23 Aug 2001
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How many "years of hurt" is it now? As England World Cup hero Geoff Hurst relates in his evocative, challenging autobiography 1966 and All That hardly a day goes by without someone reminding him of the hat-trick he scored in the Wembley Final that brought football "home" the last time.
The referee had the whistle in his mouth ... Bobby Moore, untroubled and completely in control as usual, chested the ball down, played a short pass to Alan Ball, received the return and looked upfield to see where to play it next. I remember Jack Charlton screaming at him, "Kick the f****** thing out of the ground!"
Moore didn't, of course. With the final seconds ticking away he conjured a perfect pass to the galloping Hurst--the young West Ham striker with just seven international caps, who found himself spearheading Alf Ramsey's "wingless wonders" in English football's biggest ever game.
The rest you probably think you know, but 1966 and All That is far from a rehash of rosy memories of the glory days. Hurst reflects on the "Ramsey years" with a critical eye, relating it all with refreshing candour--Ramsey's fierce loyalty to his players, matched only by his failure to grasp the first principles of public and personal relations; the anguish of Jimmy Greaves, the man Hurst controversially replaced; England's rise and fall, which saw Ramsey sacked in 1974--along the way revealing sides of legends like Pele, Beckenbauer, Banks and the Charltons, that put flesh on the fables, including the inside take on one of the most bizarre stories in World Cup history, when England captain Moore was arrested for jewellery theft at the 1970 tournament.
There's also plenty of fascinating, forthright stuff on the "forgotten" Hurst--his phenomenal scoring record at club level, (though spending the bulk of his career at West Ham and Stoke kept medals to a minimum); a management career which will probably be best remembered for an acrimonious dismissal by Chelsea, that ended up in the courts; and his involvement in promoting England's 2006 World Cup bid, which provides a revealing glimpse at the political machinery driving football's world authorities.
Hurst has plenty to say--not least on the England players who have inherited the weight of expectation he helped create in 1966--and the status accorded to a living sporting legend gives him the licence to speak freely. It's a combination that makes for engrossing reading. --Alex Hankin
There was a whole-page interview with Geoff Hurst in the Mirror 1/9
He was the subject of It's Your Funeral in Night & Day: Mail on Sunday 2/9
and of My First Home in the Daily Telegraph 1/9
He was featured in the World Cup Diary in the Daily Telegraph 1/9
Stands out from the standard ghosted autobiographies ... the period detail gives it huge charm (Simon Barnes, The Times)
Riveting (Mike Pattenden, The Times)
the Times `riveting autobiography' 29/9
'sheds an interesting new light on some of the legends of the game' 26/8 (The Sunday Express)
Sir Geoff Hurst's Perfect Hat Trick was featured in the Observer Life magazine with a strapline for the book 26/8 (The Observer)
1966 And All That was no.1 in the Sunday Express, no.2 in the Observer and and Sunday Times and Independent sports books bestseller lists
1966 And All That was no.2 in the Sunday Times and the Observer and no.3 in the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and no.1 in the Independent and Independent On Sunday bestseller lists
There were two pieces about Geoff Hurst in Metro, talking about the book 6/8
There was a whole-page extract from 1966 And All That in the Mail On Sunday 12/8 See all Product description
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An honest and interesting autobiography from his time up until 2006 where there has been a bit added in to build up the anticipation to the 2006 World Cup (where England sadly produced yet another poor performance).
So there is obviously much mention of the World Cup, the other squad players, the manager and the 1970 World Cup where hopes were high for repeat win. But there is also much about his youth, his time at West Ham and his life in football and business following retirement as a player. Such is his status in the game that he can be honest about certain players and the modern game and he has strong views that talent is not enough if you don't put the work in. The flow does move about a bit and there are some elements that are repeated a little, but this is an interesting insight into the story behind England's greatest footballing day.
Finally, I would just like to add that I was rather disappointed by the lack of reviews on here(one of them is even Geoff's agent!) This guy is a national sporting hero for heavens sake and the book itself is a top rate autobiography!!
The man comes across as a gent and I for one feel that his career alone deserves this book. Very Good - a true role model.