Former England footballer Geoff Hurst, 68, scored a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final, and is still the only player ever to do so.
After a playing career at West Ham, Stoke City, West Bromwich and
Telford, Hurst became manager of Chelsea before retiring from football in 1981 and starting a career in insurance.
He received a knighthood in 1998 and is now working with the Royal Mint to
promote its free limited edition World Cup medal.
Sir Geoff lives in the Cotswolds with his wife Lady Judith. They have three daughters and four grandchildren, aged from one year to 21.
Did you think you would get to where you are?
I did not give any thought to it after the hat-trick. I spent the Sunday washing the car. It was at the end of July and the football season was starting again soon. There was very little time to reflect and enjoy the win. Nothing really happened for 30 years. It is only in the last 10 years or so that memories of 1966 have come back, and
people have talked about it so much more.
When you realised that you had made your first million, were you tempted to slow down?
It is better to ask that question to a multi-millionaire than a person in my situation. In 1966, I was earning about £10,000 a year, which was a fair bit by the standards of the man in the street, close to the top wage of the time.
I had more money in the bank when recognition came my way.
What is your basic business philosophy?
Work hard, be reliable, be professional, conduct yourself well, dress smartly and turn up on time. You must be professional in everything, and never let people down if you agree to front a public event.
Do you want to carry on till you drop?
When you are younger, you think about retiring but you keep putting it back. I have very few hobbies, if any, so my work is really my hobby. While I’m fit enough to do it, I will certainly continue for a while. My friend Terry says it’s not work, because all I do is smile, pose for photographs and sign autographs.
Have you had time for personal financial planning?
By and large, I have done it myself over the years, though I have a guy who helps me with pensions. House contents insurance and health policies are down to me. I watch interest rates keenly. However, personal service from the banks is far more a deciding factor.
I’ve always been pretty frugal in my life. Overall, I would say that I am not bad with money, but I reckon you need to choose whom you place your trust in carefully.
What was your most prudent investment?
The houses we have lived in over the years, without a shadow of doubt. We have had about 15 homes since 1966. Without so many moves, we would not be in the lovely house we are in now. I had good advice about investing in property when I was young in West Ham, like securing an endowment mortgage before getting a house. We never frittered our money away, but invested any spare cash into a bigger property.
Have you made any pension provision?
Yes I have. You need to invest some capital either in a pension or property. I do believe in pensions and providing for your later life. You need money for the two Hs: health and
holidays. I guess I was about 35 when I started my pension. I am in a position where I don’t have to draw on it now.
What is your commitment to charity?
I feel that one is obliged to give something back. Currently, my big commitment is president of Sparks, the children’s medical research charity. I’m attending quite a number of dates for this really fantastic cause.
Did you allow yourself the odd indulgence?
Yes – like most men, I definitely like a nice car. For the last few years, I’ve been driving a Lexus.
My wife and I like to dine out together, but we are never blasé and still enjoy every new place that we go to. While we were in New York for a week in May, I walked into a nondescript diner, with just a few people. A guy then got up and wanted his photograph taken with me. That is unusual but it does happen. He was around 40. It’s interesting that someone of that age today would recognise me.
Have you taken steps to pass on your wealth?
I don’t believe in leaving everything to kids. I believe in giving them financial support while they are raising families and they need it, as opposed to leaving it to them when you are in your 90s and they are 70. In September 2000, I sold my World Cup and England memorabilia to give my daughters more practical support [it sold at Christie’s for a total of £274,409]. If we were to die today and left our daughters nothing, we would have already done our bit.
What is the most you have ever paid for a bottle of fine wine or champagne?
It was about 100 quid on a bottle of red wine in a West End restaurant on a mad special day.
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