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01 May 2017

Coate Water Care founder backs World Cup legends as they tackle dementia

Two English football giants have joined the fight against dementia in a touching new TV ad. Geoff Hurst scored a hat trick as England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup Final, while goalkeeper Gordon Banks made a string of sensational saves to keep the Germans at bay. Now the former teammates are fronting the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘United Against Dementia’ campaign.

The pair have urged people to pledge money to the charity so it can fund vital care and support for people living with the degenerative disease and also channel money into finding a cure. The fight against dementia is a very personal cause for Sir Geoff and Banks OBE as no less than three of their 1966 teammates are suffering from the condition.

In the new TV advert for the ‘United Against Dementia’ campaign, the former footballers return to Wembley Stadium and talk about how they felt “invincible” back in 1966, playing in the World Cup final against West Germany.

But, as they concede, legendary football players are no more invincible than anybody else. “Dementia is set to become the UK’s biggest killer, with one person developing the disease every three minutes. It’s especially cruel that three of our great team now have the condition. If dementia can affect our heroes like Martin Peters, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson, none of us are safe.”

Sir Geoff Hurst admits, “I’ve found it incredibly difficult to see my former teammate 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.” 

“I can remember the 1966 World Cup final like it was yesterday,” says Coate Water Care founder, Chris Smith. “As an East London boy I was immensely proud of the fact that three West Ham players were key to the victory. Everybody knows that the late Bobby Moore was captain and that Geoff Hurst scored a hat trick, but don’t forget that Martin Peters scored the other goal. In the East End, we always said that West Ham won the World Cup!”

“It is so sad to hear that Martin Peters is struggling with dementia,” he continues, “but I am proud to see Sir Geoff fronting this campaign. As the only man to ever score a hat trick in a World Cup final, he is the kind of character you want in such a tough battle.”

To discuss residential care for people living with all types of dementia, or to arrange a visit to one of our care homes, please contact our ‘Welcome Team’ Michelle or Geraldine (01793 821200).