West Ham legend Sir Geoff Hurst launches dementia campaign
- Credit: Morwenna Darby
West Ham legend Sir Geoff Hurst has spoken out about the struggle of seeing his World Cup-winning team-mates fight dementia.
Sir Geoff, who scored a hat-trick for England in the 1966 final, and goalkeeper Gordon Banks are helping to launch the Alzheimer’s Society’s United Against Dementia campaign to raise awareness of the condition.
The video, filmed at Wembley, sees them reminisce about playing alongside Martin Peters, Nobby Styles and Ray Wilson, all of whom now have dementia.
Sir Geoff said: “I’ve found it incredibly difficult to see my former team-mate Martin Peters, who I’ve known since the age of 17 and grew up with at West Ham, going through it.
“It has completely changed my understanding of dementia and how it affects people.
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“I’m delighted to be backing this campaign and raising awareness and vital funds for a cause incredibly close to my heart.
“It’s so important for the nation to unite and support Alzheimer’s Society – not just for our heroes and friends, but for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by this cruel condition.”
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Gordon added: “My brother David died from Alzheimer’s a few years ago and it’s such a horrible disease.
“It was extremely difficult to see the difference Alzheimer’s made to him and it really hurt me when he died - because I couldn’t do anything about it.
“When I think of the players that we’ve played with in the World Cup final – my dear friends, Ray, Martin and Nobby, who were fit and strong - it just shows how dementia can just affect anyone.”
There is currently no cure for dementia, and figures suggest one person develops it every three minutes.
The Alzheimer’s Society campaign aims to raise both awareness of the condition and money to help find a cure for it.
For more information or to support the charity, visit alzheimers.org.uk/donatetoday