Martin Peters Short Biography
Martin Peters, from East London, scored England’s second goal in the historic 4-2 victory over West Germany, and the England manager Alf Ramsey described him as a player who was ‘ten years ahead of his time’.
After the match the squad were invited to a silver-service banquet at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.
Martin Peters Died
As he climbed the steps towards the Royal Box after England won the World Cup, Martin Peters paused to wipe his muddy hands on his shorts – to ensure that when he shook the Queen’s hand, her white gloves would remain pristine.
Despite the euphoria all around him that day at Wembley in July 1966, family and former teammates last night said it was entirely in character that Peters, who died yesterday, aged 76, should stop to think of others.
Recently recalling her father’s description of his moment in the Royal Box, Peters’s daughter LeeAnn said: ‘He told me that after the game he had to shake hands with the Queen, so he wiped them on his shorts.
‘He’d just won the World Cup and he was worried about mud. That’s my dad all over.’
Once the formalities were over, Peters decided that, rather than head off to hit the capital’s trendy nightspots, he would prefer a quiet cup of tea with his wife Kathleen, whom he had first met at a Dagenham bowling alley when they were teenagers.
Last night, tributes were led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who tweeted: ‘No England fan will ever forget the heroics of Martin Peters and his fantastic teammates.
‘My sympathies go out to all of those who knew and loved him.’
Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored the other three goals on that famous afternoon, said it was ‘a very sad day for football and for me personally,’ adding: ‘Martin Peters was one of the all-time greats.’
Former England striker Gary Lineker said: ‘One of our World Cup-winning heroes. A great player and a true gentleman.’
And former England manager Roy Hodgson said Peters was ‘one of our legends, one of the people whose names will be in the annals of English football for his World Cup triumph’.
In a statement yesterday, Peters’s family announced: ‘It is with profound sadness that we announce that Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at 4am this morning.
A beloved husband, dad and granddad, and a kind, gentle and private man, we are devastated by his loss but so very proud of all that he achieved and comforted by the many happy memories we shared.’
Peters, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died after ‘a long and courageous battle,’ his former club West Ham United said.
Peters signed for West Ham at the age of 15 and went on to make 302 appearances for the club, scoring 81 goals, between 1959 and 1970. He became Britain’s first £200,000 player when he was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur in 1970. During a glittering career, he won the European Cup Winners’ Cup with West Ham in 1965 and the Uefa Cup and two League Cups with Spurs. He also played for Norwich City and Sheffield United before retiring in 1981, having played almost 700 matches.
After retiring, he worked in the insurance industry until he was made redundant in July 2001. In 2006, he published his autobiography, The Ghost Of 66, and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in the same year.
His diagnosis with Alzheimer’s was announced three years ago, but he regularly attended West Ham games as a club ambassador right up until his death.