Martin Peters

Martin Peters - Sports Speaker

The most versatile and, it is generally accepted, naturally talented of the famous World Cup-winning trio of '66, albeit the least famous, Martin is another product of Hammers' famous youth academy.

Made his debut at home against Cardiff City in 1962 and went on to play in every position, including one appearance in goal In only his third senior appearance, as cover for injured 'keeper Brian Rhodes at Cardiff!

 

But it was as an attacking, creative midfielder that Martin truly made his mark on the English game. Tall, lean and blessed with great timing, Peters would often ghost, unmarked, into forward positions to get on the end of crosses. Excellent with either foot, he also scored many goals with his head and, as England manager Alf Ramsey famously once said in 1966, was '10 years ahead of his time'.

Martin made the first of his 67 senior England debut against Yugoslavia just weeks before the start of that unforgettable World Cup tournament, where he enhanced his world class credentials with consistent performances and the important second goal in the final against West Germany. The goal, a clean, right-footed strike from penalty spot range, in many ways typified Peters' sense of anticipation in the opponents' box.

He was disappointed to be left out of the 1964 FA Cup final starting line-up in favour of the more combative Eddie Bovington, but was in the side to collect a European Cup Winners' Cup medal at Wembley a year later.

It was a shame for West Ham that Martin was, and still is, often referred to as the 'third' member of the World Cup triumvirate. It was this feeling of being slightly in the shadow of Moore and Hurst that prompted his expensive £200,000 transfer to London rivals Spurs in March 1970 - the first of the trio to leave the club they joined as schoolboys.

However, it turned out to be a good move for Peters, who featured in Tottenham's League Cup successes in 1971 and '73 (the latter as skipper) and, more prestigiously, won a UEFA Cup winners' medal in '72. Between 1970 and '75 he made 287 league and cup appearances for Spurs and a little more for his next club, Norwich City, whom he joined in a £50,000 deal.

The complete midfielder, Peters passed the ball well with either foot, was good in the air and difficult to mark because of his excellent movement. He firmly established himself as one of England's all-time greats. Played in the 1970 World Cup tournament, scoring in the ill-fated quarter-final 3-2 defeat by West Germany.

Martin ended his playing days with Sheffield United, where he was player/manager, in 1981.

He worked for Motorplan, a car insurance company, where he was reunited with Hurst, and combines after-dinner speaking with his role as non-executive director at Tottenham Hotspur.