World Cup Countdown - Sir Geoff Hurst

If anyone is qualified to talk about the FIFA World Cup finals, it is 1966 hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst.

Sir Geoff, of course, fired England to their one and only World Cup triumph on home soil 48 years ago, lilfting the trophy alongside West Ham United team-mates Bobby Moore and Martin Peters.

Now 72, Sir Geoff recently returned to Chadwell Heath to take a trip down memory lane, revealing that the goals that secured the Jules Rimet Trophy were the result of hours of hard work on there under visionary Hammers manager Ron Greenwood.

"The significant things we did for West Ham and England in big games and cup finals were due a great deal, if not all, to Ron Greenwood's brilliant coaching," said Sir Geoff. "Much of the stuff we did and goals we scored in the quarter-final against Argentina and in the final against West Germany were a direct result of what we worked on, talked about and thought about at Chadwell Heath.

"It had a huge impact and having three players from one club also made a huge difference. People said myself and Martin had a telepathic understanding, but really it was because we had been playing and training together since the age of 16, so over the years you developed an understanding that we took to another level when we played for England.

"Some of the goals we scored between the three of us were a direct result of what we did at West Ham, so it was very enjoyable and fulfilling."

While Hurst was an established England international by the time the finals kicked-off in June 1966, club-mate Peters had only forced his way into Alf Ramsey's squad the previous month. By 30 July, he had scored England's second goal in their 4-2 final victory over West Germany at Wembley and was a World Cup winner!

Sir Geoff is hoping one of Roy Hodgson's 2014 squad can make a similarly huge impact in Brazil, with the five-strong Liverpool contingent among those who could do just that, as long as they are not played out of position.

"Martin didn't play his first game for England until May 1966, when he made his debut in a 2-0 win over Yugoslavia, then he went on and scored what was almost the winner in the World Cup final," said the West Ham legend, who scored 249 goals in 503 games in Claret and Blue.

"I do think having five Liverpool players could make a difference, having had the experience of the three of us doing it ourselves. I think it's an important area if you have three or four players from one club who can play together, because it adds that cohesion that it is difficult to infuse in a national squad which only meets up every few months.

"Alf Ramsey had a way of playing, which was 4-4-2, and he simply selected players from the clubs to fit into his pattern. All he asked us to do was to play as we did at our clubs.

"We've seen Steven Gerrard, our best player of the last ten years, who at one stage was playing out wide left for England, which was astonishing. He has only played in his best position a handful of times, which is poor. You didn't play Bobby Moore at right-back or Jimmy Greaves at left-back - you play the key players in their best positions and fit the other players around them, which is what Alf did.

"It's nice to see Steven now doing so well and that's important for England."