Winning the World Cup in 1966 while taking home a salary of £45 a week meant that hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst's financial planning issues were a world away from those of today's stars.
The fantastic wealth thrown at the modern game means that footballers are now looking at 10 years of playing followed by 50 years enjoying the proceeds. In Hurst's day, the expectation was that you would rejoin the mainstream workforce as soon as your playing career was over.
Knighted in 1998, Sir Geoff is now joining the board of Jonathan Power Associates – a fast-growing IFA to the sports and entertainment world – as a non-executive director. But when he was playing in the 1960s, advice barely got beyond being pointed towards a mortgage.
“There was very little advice from anybody in those days. When I was at West Ham, Bobby Moore's agent, a guy called Jack Turner, would sit in an office and encourage players to start saving and to buy a house. There was no pension at most clubs in those days although Leeds United started a scheme back in the 1960s.”
But advising modern players is a lucrative business and Hurst is being brought on board to raise the profile of the firm which has three RIs. He will take part in presentations to groups of
prospective clients and act as an introducer.
JPA already advises around 100 professional footballers including Craig Bellamy and Frank Sinclair, alongside rugby stars Mike Catt and Victor Ubogu and boxers Joe Calzaghe and Steve Robinson, plus footballer turned TV presenter Ian Wright and music stars Kim Appleby of Mel and Kim and Gregg Lake of Emerson Lake and Palmer.
Hurst's £45 a week is obviously from a different era comp-ared with David Beckham's £100,000 a week at Real Madrid but Hurst does not begrudge today's top-earning stars their money although he is rather more scathing about the earning power of players lower down the talent ladder.
“I have always thought the greats attract millions of people to the game and they should be paid for that but below that level there are players who are not the best either on or off the field and they are getting paid a lot of money. Some are content with not even playing as long as they still get paid.”
Scoring the hat-trick that won the World Cup secured Hurst a
successful career endorsing brands such as McDonald's and Chase de Vere Mortgage Management.
He recounts the historic moment at Wembley in 1966, waiting to see if the Swiss referee would allow his second goal. Hurst recalls being on his knees, staring at the Soviet linesman in the hope that the goal would count so he would repay Sir Alf Ramsey's trust in him.
“I was staring at him, willing him to allow the goal. You have to remember that I had been picked instead of Jimmy Greaves, who was a more experienced goalscorer at the time.If it had all gone wrong, Sir Alf would have been for it.”
He has surely been asked a million times – was the ball over the line? Hurst says: “It was one centimetre over the line. Roger Hunt was right by it and he turned away to celebrate. He would have kicked it over if it hadn't been.”
What is it like being the person responsible for arguably the country's greatest-ever sporting achievement? Hurst says: “When my third and England's fourth went in,the first emotion was thank God it's all over – all the stress of getting in the squad, getting through all the other games, being picked in the final and winning the game. But the enjoyment lasts a lifetime.”
In Hurst's day, footballers were expected to find another job after their playing career was over but now, with the right advice and a sensible approach to spending, well-paid players can position themselves for the future. All investments and savings plans at JPA are set up with a target maturity age of 35 and all mortgages and buy-to-let loans are paid off at that time.
“JPA gives good impartial advice and understands what a sportsman needs. We all know the horror stories that can happen with people investing their money and the most important thing they need is somebody they can trust. Through my name, I can add credibility to the company, which already has a very strong reputation, and help players make the right financial decisions,” says Hurst.
He has experience in the insurance sector, having set up a company specialising in warranties and payment protection insurance which has since been bought out by Aon Cor-poration although he remains attached to the company on a parttime basis.
He should make a convincing advocate for the independent cause. Hurst says: “You do not want to be buying off somebody who is tied, you want someone who has access to the entire marketplace. You have got to go for an independent adviser.”
Who could argue with such a sporting great?
Born: December 8, 1941
Career: Player – West Ham United, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion.
Scored 248 goals in 499 appearances. Manager – Telford, Chelsea and Kuwait. Sales director and marketing director Motor Plan and
Aon,non-executive director Jonathan Power Associates. Awarded MBE in 1997 and knighted in 1998 for 30 years of service and contribution to football
Likes: Most sports and family life
Car: Lexus with personalised numberplate GH66