Sir Geoff Hurst in Dubai

We speak to England World Cup football legend

Interview, Hot seat

Of all the places you could watch Euro 2012, why Dubai?
Well, primarily, it’s a holiday, and I’ll also spend some time talking about the games. I’m a bit fed up with the English weather and I haven’t been to Dubai for about ten years. My wife fancied a break and it gets her away. It’s more for her than for me, really.

Would anyone in the current England squad have made the team in your day?
My old answer, as someone who’s won it, would be no! I’m partially joking. There are a few of players who are striking: Steven Gerrard is a class act, and, of course, so is Wayne Rooney.

Should England be performing better than they are?
We should be performing better with the players we’ve had. It’s about getting the mood right and doing it on the day, which has proved tough.

How well do you know new manager Roy Hodgson?
I’m not mates with him. I met him recently at an event and he spoke a lot of sense, so I understand why he’s been lined up for the job. If you look at the fantastic job he’s done at West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, he’s deservedly been given the chance to manage England – although, as he’s said, it will be tough.

Do you think England missed out with Harry Rednapp?
I don’t think we missed out. What Harry’s done at Spurs has been fantastic, but Hodgson deserved to have an opportunity and he’s a good choice. He’s the only manager we’ve had who has managed
a national side before.

How was your time managing the Kuwait Sporting Club?
I enjoyed my time in Kuwait, and the money was good. Tax free for a couple of years: I earned more during two years than I earned in 10 years playing pro football in England!

You must be sick of talking about your 1966 hat-trick.
Not at all! It’s a significant national event, something you expect to talk about on a daily basis. Everybody [who was alive at the time] in England remembers it. I still get people coming up to shake my hand every day – and I never get bored of that.

Given the controversy over your second goal in the 1966 World Cup final, do you support goal-line technology?
Yes, absolutely. They’re testing it now and it will come in, if not this season, then the season after. It adds to the game and it’s exciting for the audience.

Will anyone ever beat your hat-trick in a final record?
It’s proved to be difficult for 46 years! Like all records, it’s there to be broken, but I half expect to take it to my grave.

Geoff Hurst will be in Dubai for England’s Euro 2012 games on June 15, 19, and (if England get through) June 23 or 24, and July 1. See him at Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel (04 444 0000).

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