Martin Peters: England, West Ham and Tottenham legend – and 1966 World Cup final goalscorer – dies aged 76

Martin Peters, one of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning heroes, has passed away at the age of 76.

The West Ham and Tottenham legend, who scored England’s second goal of their 4-2 final victory over West Germany at Wembley, sadly died on Saturday following a long battle against Alzheimer’s disease.

West Ham, Tottenham and England legend Martin Peters has passed away

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West Ham, Tottenham and England legend Martin Peters has passed away

Peters, whose passing was announced by West Ham, was part of the Hammers’ historic trio in Sir Alf Ramsey’s Three Lions side, along with captain Bobby Moore and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst.

Renowned as being a compete midfielder, Peters was good in the air, able to cross with either foot and possessed great movement.

His uncanny ability to drift into goalscoring positions completely unnoticed by opposition players later saw him nicknamed ‘The Ghost’.

Peters came through the West Ham academy, having signed as an apprentice in 1959, and went on to help the east London club win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.

A statement from Peters’ family on Saturday afternoon read: “It is with profound sadness that we announce that Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at 4.00am this morning.

“A beloved husband, dad and grandad, 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.

“We will be making no further comment and kindly ask that the privacy of our family is respected at this extremely difficult time.”

West Ham fans will tell you that their club played a major role in winning the World Cup with Moore leading the team and Martin Peters (left) and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst (right) both scoring in the final

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West Ham fans will tell you that their club played a major role in winning the World Cup with Moore leading the team and Martin Peters (left) and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst (right) both scoring in the final

After more than 300 games and some 100 goals for the Irons, Peters left Upton Park for Tottenham in 1970, becoming Britain’s first £200,000 footballer in a deal which saw striker Jimmy Greaves head in the opposite direction.

At White Hart Lane, Peters was part of the club’s celebrated team under manager Bill Nicholson, and lifted the League Cup at Wembley in 1971 and again, as captain, in 1973.

He also played his part in Spurs’ UEFA Cup victory over Wolves.

The midfielder earned 67 caps, scoring 20 international goals, also had spells at Norwich and Sheffield United before retiring in 1981.

Peters (centre) wasn’t just an England and West Ham legend – he won three major trophies as a Tottenham player

Peters (centre) wasn’t just an England and West Ham legend – he won three major trophies as a Tottenham player

Peters, who sold his World Cup memorabilia to West Ham in 2001, was a regular figure at both White Hart Lane and Upton Park, where he carried out a role as match-day host, as well as being active on the after-dinner speaking circuit.

In 2016, it was revealed Peters had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, one of several of the 1966 World Cup team to be battling dementia.

He is survived by wife Kathleen, daughter Leeann and son Grant.