England’s 1966 World Cup final vice-captain George Cohen has died at the age of 83, his former club Fulham have announced.
The west London outfit described Cohen as “one of our greatest ever players”, while England’s hat-trick hero against West Germany, Geoff Hurst, recalled “a lovely man”.
English Football Association (FA) chair Debbie Hewitt said she was “very sad” to be told of Cohen’s death.
Cohen spent his entire club career at Fulham, making 459 appearances, and was described by Manchester United great George Best as “the best full-back I ever played against”.
Fulham said in a statement on Friday: “Everyone associated with Fulham Football Club is desperately saddened to learn of the passing of one of our greatest ever players – and gentlemen – George Cohen MBE.”
Hurst, who was the only man with a World Cup final hat-trick until Kylian Mbappe’s treble for France against Argentina on Sunday, also paid a fond tribute.
He wrote on Twitter: “Very sad to hear my friend and @England team-mate George Cohen has died. Everyone, without exception, always said that George was such a lovely man.
“He will be sadly missed, my heartfelt thoughts are with George’s wife Daphne and his family.”
Gary Lineker, who starred for England at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, said Cohen earned “footballing immortality” by helping the team to their 1966 triumph.
Sorry to hear that George Cohen has died. Another of the heroes of the ‘66 World Cup winning team leaves us. He’ll always have footballing immortality. RIP George.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 23, 2022
On behalf of the FA, Hewitt said: “We are very sad to hear the news of George Cohen’s death today.
“George won 37 caps for England and was vice-captain of our World Cup-winning team.
“We would like to pass on our deep condolences to George’s family and friends at this sad time.”
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