West Ham, England Legend Martin Peters Dies at Age 76

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29:  Fans gather by 'The Champions' statue of 1966 World Cup heroes, Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson prior to the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at Boleyn Ground on November 29, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Martin Peters, the former West Ham United midfielder and member of England's 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning side, died on Saturday. He was 76.

Peters' family provided a statement:

"It is with profound sadness that we announce that Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at 4.00 a.m. this morning. A beloved husband, dad and grandad, and a kind, gentle and private man, we are devastated by his loss but so very proud of all that he achieved and comforted by the many happy memories we shared. We will be making no further comment and kindly ask that the privacy of our family is respected at this extremely difficult time."

In a career that spanned 20-plus years, Peters also played for Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United, Norwich City and non-league side Gorleston.

Former England international Gary Lineker and broadcaster Ian Abrahams expressed their condolences:

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker

Sorry to hear that Martin Peters has passed away. One of our World Cup winning heroes. A great player and a true gentleman.

Ian Abrahams (Moose) @BroadcastMoose

Despartely sad to hear of the passing of ⁦@WestHam⁩ and ⁦@England⁩ Legend Martin Peters. Thoughts to his lovely family who along with Martin I had the privilege to meet many times at Upton Park https://t.co/rcQb9BerGm

Per BBC Sport, Peters joined West Ham at the age of 15 and spent 11 years at the east London club, winning the 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup.

He made his international debut in 1966, just in time for the World Cup, and was one of three West Ham players to make the final squad, alongside Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst.

Peters didn't make the starting XI for the opening game but was a starter the rest of the way, and he scored in the final against West Germany to make the score 2-1. The Three Lions would ultimately prevail 4-2 after extra time:

Peters joined Spurs in 1970, becoming Britain's first £200,000 player, per BBC Sport. With Tottenham, he won two League Cups and the 1972 UEFA Cup.

Per Warren Manger of the Mirror, Peters was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2013.

He was award an MBE for services to football in 1978.