Geoff Hurst

1979 to 1981

A legend as a player for England and West Ham United, Geoff Hurst was yet another managerial appointment with very little experience – in his case a couple of seasons with non-League Telford United.

He was recruited as first team coach to prop up Blanchflower's failing stewardship in May 1979.During the last away match of the 1979/80 season, midfielder Michael Fillery missed a header at Swansea that would have changed draw to victory and with it, promotion as Division Two runners-up.

Hurst was allowed to buy and sell with the hope of going the extra yard but there were already rumblings of mutual mistrust between him and some players. Traumatically, the Blues failed to score in 19 of the last 22 games of the 1980/81 campaign, the barren spell even becoming a novelty ‘and finally’ item on national news.

For the last of those, a 0-2 defeat by Notts County, Hurst’s place had been taken by John Neal. Disillusioned by the rejection, the ’66 World Cup hat-trick hero moved out of football into insurance, apart from a brief spell in Kuwait.