Bobby Moore’s last-minute maneuver to avoid Queen getting dingy after 1966 win


Sir Geoff Hurst recalled team-mate Bobby Moore wiping his hands before saluting Her Majesty after beating Germany 4-2 in 1966 – and saying he had the foresight not to soil her white gloves

The moment Geoff Hurst scored England's third goal against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup
The moment Geoff Hurst scored England’s third goal against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup

World champion Sir Geoff Hurst, scorer of an unrivaled hat-trick in Britain’s most glorious sporting triumph of the Queen’s 70-year reign, recalled his quick wit avoiding an embarrassing own goal on that glorious July day.

After Germany were beaten 4-2 and England’s players scaled the steps of Wembley Stadium to be presented with the Jules Rimet Trophy by Her Majesty, Sir Geoff was second in line to take his medal behind captain Bobby Moore accepted.

The Queen waited to present the coveted trophy in her mustard colored hat and coat and long white gloves.

Sir Geoff, who scored a controversial second goal in the final, watched as Moore realized his hands dirty after 120 minutes of football could soil the monarch’s immaculate gauntlets.

Sir Geoff Hurst and Karen Carney at Wembley Stadium today


The FA via Getty Images)

“Bobby noticed that the Queen was wearing gloves. He had the foresight not to soil the Queen’s gloves,” Sir Geoff said at Wembley Stadium on Monday.

“He wiped his hands on the parapet just before picking up the trophy.”

The emergency cleanup did the trick and Moore, Hurst and the rest of the players partied under the famous twin towers of old Wembley rather than under the Tower of London.

England captain Bobby Moore receives the Jules Rimet trophy from Her Majesty the Queen


Gerry Cranham / Offside)

Sir Geoff, 80, and one of only three survivors from that team alongside Sir Bobby Charlton and George Cohen, remembers the day as something of a blur.

And the Queen’s big fan can’t remember what she said when he picked up his medal.

“She doesn’t say much when 11 or 12 people come,” he said dryly.

The moment Geoff Hurst scored England’s third goal against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup


(Getty Images)

Back at Wembley with ex-player and pundit Karen Carney to host a picnic ahead of the Big Jubilee Lunch at the stadium on Sunday 5 June, Sir Geoff said football can bring people together.

Around 1,000 North London locals will be invited, with the FA encouraging clubs across the country to hold their own events on Thanksgiving Day.

West Ham hero Sir Geoff has met the Queen four times – in 1966, for his MBE, then for being knighted and when he was asked to present a rose from Kew Gardens.

“All I remember about knighthood is that you went through a trial with a man before,” he said. “You kneel and she puts a sword on your shoulder. When the Queen steps back a little you will be told it’s time to leave, stop talking – go to the right.”

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Sir Geoff was angered by Liverpool fans booing the national anthem and Prince William ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea. The protests are anti-establishment and began in the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher targeted the city, while the 1989 Hillsborough disaster was followed by an official cover-up that falsely blamed 97 deaths on Reds fans.

“I don’t understand why people suddenly start booing the national anthem,” Sir Geoff said. “If people told me why, I still wouldn’t understand. I was absolutely amazed.

“It just reflects this crazy world we’ve been living in for the past two years. It really is pure madness.”

He expressed his delight that the Queen, 96, looked healthy despite missing the State Opening of Parliament last week before heading to the Windsor Horse Show.

“That photo of her in the car the other day – she didn’t look half bad. I thought it was a while ago,” Sir Geoff said.

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