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England World Cup hero Martin Peters dies aged 76

4:36 am AEDT 22/12/19
Martin Peters
The former West Ham and Tottenham forward scored for the Three Lions when they best West Germany to lift the World Cup in 1966

Former England striker Martin Peters, who scored for the Three Lions in their 1966 World Cup final win against West Germany, has died at the age of 76, his former club West Ham have confirmed.

Peters scored England’s second goal in a 4-2 win at Wembley Stadium, which briefly looked set to be the deciding strike to bring the nation its first international triumph, before West Germany equalised in the final seconds. England went on to win in extra time.

Peters, who spent the most successful spell of his career with the Hammers between 1959-70, died at home in the early hours of Saturday. It was announced in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

A statement from the club said: “It is with profound sadness that we announce that Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at 4.00am this morning.

“A beloved husband, dad and granddad, and a kind, gentle and private man, we are devastated by his loss but so very proud of all that he achieved and comforted by the many happy memories we shared.

“We will be making no further comment and kindly ask that the privacy of our family is respected at this extremely difficult time.”

Peters’ contribution to English football’s most famous moment is sometimes shadowed by the hat-trick scored by his West Ham team-mate Sir Geoff Hurst, who remains the only player to have scored three goals in a World Cup final.

Hurst equalised in the first half for Sir Alf Ramsey’s England after Helmut Haller had given West Germany the lead, but it was Peters’ strike 10 minuets from the end that looked to have won the final.

The Germans equalised in the final minutes, but England regained the lead when Hurst’s extra-time strike cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and was controversially judged to have crossed the line by the Soviet-Azerbaijani linesman, Tofiq Bahramov.

Hurst then added a fourth late on to ensure Ramsey's team secured the game's most-coveted trophy on home soil.

Peters also represented Sheffield United, Norwich and Tottenham in a 22-year professional career before dropping into non-league with Norfolk-based Gorleston in 1981.