Goeff Hurst, Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa and Alan Smith give a talk at Hay Festival

Geoff Hurst was handed a signed Ronnie Radford print at the Hay Festival yesterday.

Ossie Ardiles at the Hay Festival

Ricky Villa at Hay Festival.

Geoff Hurst (left) and Alan Smith both think that England will do well at this year's World Cup.

Alan Smith pictured with Edgar the Bull. Picture courtesy of Angie Cheasley.

First published in News
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Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ENGLAND World Cup legend Geoff Hurst was handed a signed photograph of Hereford United's own footballing hero at the Hay Festival yesterday.

Hurst, who is the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, was presented with the print by Bulls photographer Steve Niblett during a question and answer session.

Hurst also scored a hat-trick for West Ham that knocked Hereford out of of the FA Cup in a fourth-round replay in1972.

Radford is forever revered by Bulls supporters for scoring "that goal" against Newcastle in the previous round that stunned the football world.

"I spoke to Ronnie and he said that he met Geoff in a cafe in Cheltenham three years ago," said Steve.

"He asked me to give it to him, which I did.

"It also meant that it gave the club some publicity."

Hurst was part of a footballing panel alongside Argentinian World Cup stars Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa and ex-Arsenal and England star Alan Smith.

All of them received a warm welcome from the audience, who listened to their every word.

The main topic of conversation was who they thought would win the World Cup this year.

And it may surprise some people to hear that Hurst and Smith both believe that their countrymen will do well.

"We have to be positive and go there believing that we're going to win," said Hurst.

"I think England will do well."

Smith added: "I am more positive this year than I have for a long time – I think it's a really good squad with a lot of pace, youth and technical ability."

Unsurprisingly, Ardiles and Villa both tipped Argentina to win it, although they acknowledged that hosts Brazil and Germany will be strong.

Ardiles' humour certainly raised a tickle amongst the crowd, such as saying that "it wasn't bad" playing alongside Diego Maradona.

The Argies also agreed with Maradona was better than Lionel Messi, apparently because Maradona is also quite useful with his hands.

Villa also spoke openly about playing in England during the Falklands War and how uncomfortable he felt.

"I had reporters at the for of my hours for between eight to nine hours," said Villa, who played for Tottenham at the time.

"But the English people people treated me brilliantly."

Other topics of conversation included match fixing in football, whether the influx of foreign players affected the modern game and if players from humble backgrounds were more likely to succeed.

But as it was a World Cup year, their thoughts on the showpiece and their own experiences was what most people wanted to hear.

"You always get people telling you where they were or what they were doing in 1966," said Hurst.

"Someone once asked me what I was doing when the fourth goal went in."

Following the talk, Smith posed for photographs, including one with Hereford United's mascot, Edgar the Bull.

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