Slideshow: Geoff Hurst at Wymondham

PUBLISHED: 12:18 17 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:31 10 September 2010

As England footballers bask in the glory of making it to next year's World Cup finals, one of the country's all-time sporting stars paid a visit to Wymondham to help the next generation of players.

As England footballers bask in the glory of making it to next year's World Cup finals, one of the country's all-time sporting stars paid a visit to Wymondham to help the next generation of players.

Sir Geoff Hurst will always be remembered for scoring a hat-trick - including the disputed 'over the line' goal - in the 4-2 World Cup final win against West Germany in 1966.

More than four decades on, he is still a living legend and his visit to Wymondham on Saturday attracted up to 750 people.

Sir Geoff, whose first job after retiring from the game was hosting Anglia Football with Gerry Harrison in 1982, was at Ketts Park in his capacity as a director of football for the McDonald's restaurant chain, which stages community soccer events across the county.

He is still a football fan and predicts great things for Fabio Capello's England side which booked its place at the 2010 South Africa World Cup finals by beating Croatia 5-1 last week.

He said: “It was a fantastic performance. The energy and application of the team were like it was under Sir Alf Ramsey [England manager in 1966].

“And if they can keep their best players fit - Gerrard, Rooney and Lampard - they should be looking to beat the quarter-final position they achieved in the last World Cup.”

Sir Geoff teamed up with Kenny Russell, who lives in Wymondham, to bring the free football open day to the town.

Mr Russell, who owns seven McDonald's restaurants around Norwich, has sponsored Wymondham Town United FC over the last few years.

He is hoping to achieve his McDonald's/FA level 1 coaching certificate and manage one of the town's youth sides, particularly one which includes one of his children, all three of whom play for their local club.

Mr Russell said: “It's great to see Sir Geoff here and you can see what it means to the people of Wymondham by the crowds.”

Wymondham Town United FC chairman John Cook said: “From a club's perspective it has raised our profile.

“We have a brilliant working relationship with Norfolk FA and ultimately we are developing the ground with a new pavilion, and improving the pitches. I was only one in 1966, but Sir Geoff is someone you would aspire to.”

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