do not mention the war

It was a goal, wasn’t it?

In Anglo-German Relations, England, Football, Germany, History on May 7, 2012 at 12:31

Regular readers of this blog will certainly know or at least have an idea who is the originator of that quote. Sir Geoff Hurst, only scorer of a hat-trick in a World Cup Final does not stop to reiterate that the ball for his controversial second goal has crossed the line despite being disproved by scientists. It came as a surprise therefore that he recently announced that the ball had not crossed the line and that he was thankful to the Russian linesman that day, Tofik Bakhramov. The clip of his ‘confession‘ can be seen here.

A Burden For Forty Years

At a public presentation of the Blue Square Premier, sponsor for the Football Conference, Hurst was once more asked if THAT GOAL really has crossed the line. He admitted that it has been a burden on his shoulders for ‘forty odd years’ and admitted that the ball has NOT crossed the line. It is clearly visible in the video that this ‘confession’ obviously has stunned the presenter Mark Jones and Blue Square representative Brian Lee and Jones was forced to interrupt the press conference after Hurst’s statement.

One has to take Geoff Hurst’s ‘confession’ with a pinch of salt. It raises a few questions. If this goal has been a burden for him, why has it taken him so long to come out with the truth? And why at a press conference that had nothing to do with the Football World Cup but a small Football Conference press conference? How does he view his earlier statements that the ball HAS crossed the line and thus the goal was correct? Was he drunk or under the influence? Was he trying to take the sting out of the Anglo-German Football Rivalry? Why have no other papers picked up the story, only The Sun?

Doubtful ‘Confession’

It is questionable though if he has considered the consequences of his statement not just for England but also for Germany and for the Anglo-German Football Rivalry. The statement would have made sense had it been at a presentation for goal line technology. England had a similar moment to experience at the 2010 World Cup when they had a correct goal denied, which was somehow the third goal scored by Hurst at Wembley in 1966 in reverse. It is therefore doubtful he has been serious in his ‘confession.’

Destruction of a Myth

Ever since the Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst blew the final whistle after 120 minutes of an exciting football in 1966 there have been debates about the goal, mostly of course in Germany. Ever since there have been attempts and experiments to contradict the decision of the referee or more correctly, Bakhramov, as it was he who stated that the ball was behind the line when asked by Dienst. Certainly it was a moment when both match officials were under enormous pressure and therefore, the decision went this way. Thus, a myth was born and it has been discussed widely among football fans the world over. Therefore Hurst’s attempt to destroy this myth is a shallow one as it happened on a small stage and cannot be taken too seriously. It was no April fool’s day joke either. What it was exactly he has intended to say or to declare with this statement remains unclear, yet his words stand and thus the attempted deconstruction of a myth.

  1. Hey Christoph,

    I missed this story when it came out. There is video footage from later in the day where Hurst retracts the statement saying it was part of a stunt for the company Blue Square, insisting that the ball did indeed cross the line and “it was a bloody goal”.

    Neither his admission nor his retraction of it mean anything to me however – it was never a goal, and his ‘third’ should have been disallowed too – “some people are on the pitch”.



  2. […] I posted that Geoff Hurst admitted that his second goal in the World Cup Final 1966 has NOT crossed the line, it was with a […]


  3. […] It was a goal, wasn’t it? ( […]


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