We’ve all heard the expression “They think it’s all over” but I wonder just how many of the younger generation know of its origin.
Let’s set the scene. It’s 1966; and the entire nation is glued to millions of TV’s and Radio’s for the final of the FIFA world Cup Final at the old Wembley Stadium.
It’s the final few minutes of extra time and England are beating their old rivals West Germany 3-2.
The Veteran BBC football commentator, Kenneth Wolstenholm screaming over the cacophony of sound from his lofty commentary box suddenly shouts,”…And here comes Hurst! He’s got… ….Some people are on the pitch! ….They think it’s all over! Geoff Hurst then puts a screamer into the German net and Wolstenholm continues “…It is now, it’s four!
And today Sir Geoff Hurst; World Cup legend came home to Ashton – the place of his birth, and the place where he lived as a child, is still the only man to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final, is back to receive the freedom of Tameside and to open the new £600,000 antenatal unit at Tameside Hospital.
Sir Geoff was born at Tameside Hospital’s forerunner, the old Lake Hospital, Ashton, in 1941. He lived on Ruby Street and Cemetery Road, Denton, and attended St Lawrence’s School, Stockport Road, until the family moved to Essex when he was eight.
The new antenatal unit, which he had the honour of officially opening, offers care, guidance and support for more than 80 mums-to-be every day.
He was greeted at the hospital by Chief Executive Karen James, Trust Chair Paul Connellan and Ashton MP Angela Rayner before being given a tour of the facilities, talking with health care staff and mums to be.
After lunch at the hospital, Sir Geoff visited Hyde United’s Ewen Fields ground where Tameside Council have recently installed a state-of-the-art 3G synthetic pitch to maximise its use as a community facility.
He also met members of the club’s academy and watched a game of walking football.
Following afternoon tea with the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Joyce Bowerman, and other civic dignitaries at Dukinfield Town Hall, Sir Geoff attended an extraordinary meeting of Tameside Council where he was made an honorary freeman of the borough.