England World Cup winner Peters dies aged 76

By Rob Lancaster 22 December 2019 5
England World Cup winner Peters dies aged 76

Martin Peters, who was part of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup on home soil, has died aged 76.

The midfielder scored England's second in a 4-2 final win over West Germany at Wembley, joining West Ham team-mate Geoff Hurst – who famously grabbed a hat-trick in a thrilling game that went to extra time – on the scoresheet.

Peters had helped the Hammers lift the European Cup Winners' Cup the previous year and spent over a decade with the London club, eventually leaving in 1970 after over 300 appearances.

His departure to Tottenham made transfer history, as he became Britain's first £200,000 player in a deal that also saw Jimmy Greaves move in the opposite direction.

Nicknamed 'The Ghost' for his ability to get into scoring positions unnoticed, Peters lifted the League Cup twice with Spurs, with a UEFA Cup triumph in 1972 sandwiched between those triumphs.

He also played for Norwich City and Sheffield United, where he had a brief spell in charge in 1981, and made 67 appearances for England, scoring 20 goals during his international career.

"It is with profound sadness that we announce that Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at 4am this morning," a statement from Peters' family, released via West Ham's website on Saturday, read.

"A beloved husband, dad and grandad, 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."

West Ham said they were "deeply saddened" at the passing of a "legendary Hammer" in a glowing tribute to their former player.

"The directors, management, players and staff wish to pass on our sincere condolences at this extremely sad time to Martin's wife Kath, his children Leeann and Grant, granddaughters Hannah and Meg, and all of Martin's family and friends," they wrote on their website.

Tottenham, meanwhile, confirmed they will pay tribute to Peters with a minute's applause prior to Sunday's home fixture against Chelsea in the Premier League.

"We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Martin Peters. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family and friends at this difficult time," Spurs tweeted.

Hurst declared Peters – who served as a club ambassador for West Ham – to be "one of the all-time greats".

"Today is a very sad day for football & for me personally," he wrote on Twitter.

"Martin Peters was one of the all-time greats and a close friend and colleague of mine for in excess of 50 years.

"A fellow World Cup final goalscorer & my West Ham partner for years, along with Bobby Moore. RIP old friend."

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Rob Lancaster