Sir Geoff's relationship with the Alzheimer's Society has grown over the years as thee relationship between footballing practices and Alzheeimer's has become cleearerer and the need for funding and research has become mor urgeent.
When asked to contribute to an article in the French newspaper, Le Monde, covering this very topic, Sir Geoff provided the following statement:
"It’s more than half-a-century after I walked up the steps to the Royal Box at Wembley Stadium, where our Queen handed over the World Cup to Bobby Moore, just before I did a lap of honour with my England team-mates.
"I mention the memories of that momentous day in July 1966 - which are still fresh in my mind – because too many members of that special team have been affected by dementia and they’ve inspired me to raise awareness of the condition and support Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign.
"I’ve an affinity with all the England lads but especially with Martin Peters because we grew up together when we were coming through the ranks at West Ham. We had a very close relationship – on and off the football field – since we were teenagers. He is as close as I could possibly get to having a relative with this terrible condition, so it hit me particularly hard when he passed away having been living with Alzheimer’s disease for the final years of his life.
"It does concern me when I hear about studies suggesting that professional footballers are more likely to develop a neurodegenerative disease, but more research is needed so we can better understand the links between sport and dementia. Until we get these answers, immediate action needs to be taken to better support fans, players and their families affected by dementia and ensure they’re supported and know where to turn.
"It is my duty to do what I can to fight dementia and I’m now a passionate supporter of Alzheimer’s Society and its ground-breaking Sport United Against Dementia campaign to raise vital funds and bring the sporting world together for the first time in a truly coordinated effort to transform the way the industry supports players and fans alike."
Sir Geoff Hurst MBE secured a unique place in the history of football in 1966 when he became the first and, over 55 years later, still the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final.
Knighted in 1998 and inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Sir Geoff holds a special place in the hearts of football fans across the world and, perhaps surprisingly, this includes Germany!