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Meet our latest Weekend Wonder: Martin Peters
So good he was '10 years ahead of his time', according to Sir Alf

Martin Peters celebrates scoring England's second goal with team-mates Geoff Hurst and Roger Hunt

Martin Peters celebrates scoring England's second goal with team-mates Geoff Hurst and Roger Hunt

Martin Peters could hijack a Royal carriage and be forgiven. In fact, Peters could do whatever the hell he wants, because the former West Ham and Tottenham hero achieved legendary status by scoring in the World Cup Final against Germany in 1966.

A versatile operator, Peters played across the park, but was best known for his creative flair and goalscoring prowess from midfield.

Such was his ability that former England manager Alf Ramsey famously said he was ‘10 years ahead of his time’.

After successful stints at Upton Park and White Hart Lane he joined Norwich, before ending his career with Sheffield United, where he had a short spell as manager.

Peters went onto spend four years on the Spurs board with Alan Sugar, before taking up a role with the club’s hospitality team, where he has worked for the past 15 years.

He supports a number of charities including Sue Ryder Care, which is holding a five-a-side tournament at the David Beckham Academy in November against a host of Premier League legends.

So who wants to hear stories about that famous World Cup win? Boring. We want to know why Martin Peters is a Weekend Wonder…..

What can the amateurs learn from playing against the Premier League legends? The Premier League legends will have so much advice they can pass onto the amateur players. They will be able to give them pointers on ball control, passing and movement off the ball. Hopefully myself and the other former professionals can help these players improve, have fun and raise some money for a good cause. The Sue Ryder International Cup is a great chance for amateur players to get a taste of what it's like to be a professional.

Did you ever play Sunday League? Up until the age of 14 I played for a team in Dagenham – we won a local cup final – that was my first trophy and I really enjoyed it. Playing Sunday League was a great experience because it was tough. I was a young lad playing against men.

Any training tips for Sunday League players? Young lads want to play football, but they’re more concerned about where they’re going in the evening. I know I’m being an old fart here but when I was a young lad, playing football was all I cared about. Going to a pub or a club when I was 17 never came into my mind, because I was determined to make it as a professional. Football should be your sole objective, not your secondary. If you want to become a good player you have to dedicate every moment to improving.

I play like? No one springs to mind from my era. I played in every position for West Ham so it’s hard to compare me with one particular type of player. In the modern game you could draw comparisons with myself and other goalscoring midfielders like Bryan Robson and David Platt.

Other People say I play like? I don’t remember being compared to anyone from my era or the modern game.

Best football achievement (Weekend Wonders can’t hide the embarrassment of asking such a stupid question)? Obviously you can’t beat being part of the team that won the World Cup and scoring in the final. I was 22 and the second youngest player in the team. I played my first game for England on May 4 1966 and within two and half months I was playing in the World Cup final. It’s unbelievable to think what happened to me. The dream still lives on.

Worst moment in football? My time as manager of Sheffield United. We were relegated from the old Third Division to the Fourth Division on the last day of the season.

Best player in our team? At West Ham it was Bobby Moore. He had so much ability; he was such a great player to play with. He was not just a defender. If you look at the World Cup Final there were so many times where he made runs forward and was instrumental in two of the goals. He didn’t go out and b*llock people he just led by example and nine times out of 10 you knew he was going to win the ball. People used to say he was slow and couldn’t head the ball, but hardly anyone ever beat him. He had a wonderful ability to arrive at the ball before the other player. He read the game fantastically, his control was very good and his passing was excellent. For England it was Bobby Charlton. He was a wonderful player for club and country and if you gave him the ball you knew he would do his best to do something positive with it. Sometimes he gave the ball away, but on most occasions he would go past players like they were never there. The goal he scored against Mexico in the 1966 World Cup was one of the best goals I have ever seen and sums Bobby up as a player.

Team supported? I was born just down the road from West Ham in Plaistow and occasionally I used to go and watch Dagenham. I think I only went to see West Ham play twice prior to me joining the club. I was a person who preferred to play rather than watch.

My football hero? I’ve never had one because I was more focused on playing rather than admiring others. But I do remember watching Stanley Matthews and thinking he was a fantastic player.

My football villain? Johnny Giles and myself had a few run-ins whenever we came up against each other. He was an aggressive guy and we had some great contests.

Why I'm a Weekend Wonder? When I was a boy I used to go over the park and train methodically with the ball. I hardly went to watch football because I just wanted to play all the time.
 
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