Sir Geoff Hurst: Zoom stresses me more than the 1966 World Cup final ever did

Sir Geoff Hurst - AP
Sir Geoff Hurst - AP

Sir Geoff Hurst has revealed that Zoom and WhatsApp cause him more stress and anxiety than the pressures of the 1966 World Cup final ever did.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the 80-year-old footballing legend said older generations are often “nervous” about embracing technology.

The former England striker admitted he often relies on the assistance of his son-in-law and granddaughter to help navigate the world of apps, video calls and smartphones.

Speaking from his home in Cheltenham, Sir Geoff, who owns a Macbook Air and iPhone, said: “No question at all, I get more uptight about the connectivity now on phones and laptops than I have ever done in my life and that includes World Cup finals and meeting the Queen.

“My personality and character is someone who just gets on with things.  In the [1966] World Cup final I was a little keyed up as you would expect before the game... but there is no way I would compare it.

“Without question. I probably get more uptight about keeping up to date or getting involved in new things on the internet and so on than anything else in my life probably.

“It is just not knowing what to do next, getting nervous about pressing the wrong button and the phone will explode or the computer will stop working.

“I do do Zoom calls but if something goes wrong on the call and there is no connectivity you get uptight and think, ‘I don't want to do it’.”

Sir Geoff - Tom Jenkins/Getty Images
Sir Geoff - Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

Asked how to convince older people to overcome their anxieties about new technology, he said the onus was on close family members to be “persistent” in convincing older relatives of the benefits of smartphones and video calls.

In his own life, it has been his 30-year-old granddaughter Amy, nicknamed “Pocket Knife” for her ability to solve any problem, and son-in-law Mark who have helped introduce him to online banking and electronic train tickets.

He added: “I am telling my wife how good I am and I tell members of my family ‘look at what I can do now’. I boast about showing off things like that.”

In partnership with BT, Sir Geoff has become the public face of a new campaign, Care Home Companions, to encourage older generations to use technology.

A survey of 2,000 customers aged 50 and above carried  March and April 2022, found that only 17 per cent shared photos regularly with their friends and family.

Nearly half of over-70s, 41 per cent, said they did not feel fully confident using their mobile phones.

Tania Caporaso, BT’s Director of Customer Care, said: “Personal connections are at the heart of everything we do, whether that’s helping families and friends stay in touch by phone, emails, texts or the small interactions our advisors make with customers every day as we help solve their issues.”