World Cup hero's home town statue in Greater Manchester

Sir Geoff Hurst visits his statue in Ashton-under-Lyne Sir Geoff visited the statue for the first time on Monday

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England football legend Sir Geoff Hurst returned to his home town to see a new statue celebrating Tameside's three World Cup winners.

He is shown alongside fellow 1966 squad member Jimmy Armfield and Simone Perrotta who won with Italy in 2006, but was born in Ashton-under-Lyne.

On seeing the sculpture for the first time, Sir Geoff said: "It's smashing. I'm very privileged."

The statue was unveiled outside local club Curzon Ashton in December 2010.

'Tonsils removed'

Sir Geoff Hurst is the only footballer to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

His three goals came in England's 4-2 victory over West Germany at Wembley in July 1966.

At the time, he played for West Ham United.

He was born in Ashton in Greater Manchester in 1941, and then lived in Denton before his family moved to Essex when he was eight years old.

Geoff Hurst scoring his controversial second goal in the 1966 World Cup final Sir Geoff was one of the stars of England's 1966 World Cup team

Sir Geoff, 69, said: "It proves anything in life is possible.

"I've got a statue now in where I was brought up, and I've got a statue in the main road outside West Ham United where the toilets used to be, so anything can happen."

Asked what he recalled of his childhood in Tameside, Sir Geoff said: "The only thing I remember of my time in the North is having my tonsils removed."

Jimmy Armfield CBE was born in Denton in 1935 and was captain of England before Bobby Moore, winning 43 caps.

Although he played no part in the 1966 World Cup final matches, he qualified for a winner's medal as a member of the 22-strong squad.

Simone Perrotta was born in Ashton in 1977 but moved to Italy at the age of six.

He plays for AS Roma and was in the Italy team which beat France in the 2006 World Cup final.

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