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'Probably the best ever' - Tributes flood in for Norwich City legend Martin Peters

PUBLISHED: 08:59 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:43 23 December 2019

Norwich City legend Martin Peters, who has died at the age of 76. Inset, during his City playing days. Pictures; Nick Butcher/Archant Library

Norwich City legend Martin Peters, who has died at the age of 76. Inset, during his City playing days. Pictures; Nick Butcher/Archant Library

Archant

Warm tributes have been paid to the only World Cup winner to represent Norwich City following his death over the weekend.

Martin Peters, at a Sporting Lunch in aid of Gorleston Football Club. PictureL Keiron TovellMartin Peters, at a Sporting Lunch in aid of Gorleston Football Club. PictureL Keiron Tovell

Martin Peters, who is one of just two people ever to score for England in a World Cup Final made more than 230 appearances for Norwich City between 1975 and 1980, scoring 50 times.

(L TO R)  Former city manager Ken Brown, Martin Peters, John Bond and Bryan Gunn with a trophy Milk Cup.  Picture: James Bass(L TO R) Former city manager Ken Brown, Martin Peters, John Bond and Bryan Gunn with a trophy Milk Cup. Picture: James Bass

Former team-mates, supporters and other members of the footballing community have been paying tribute to the England international, who died at around 4am on Saturday following a three year fight with Alzheimer's. He was 76.

Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk, ex-City boss Dave Stringer, who played alongside Mr Peters for the Canaries said: "You can't argue with the fact he was a World Cup winner and he was one of these silky types of players who loved the game and was really great to play with.

1966 England World Cup star Martin Peters at Waveney Youth FC, Lowestoft.  Picture: Nick Butcher1966 England World Cup star Martin Peters at Waveney Youth FC, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

"Whenever he played, you knew you had a player who could receive the ball whenever you had it and in trouble he was always there to help you out."

Martin Peters on Great Yarmouth beach during his days with Gorleston. Picture: Archant LibraryMartin Peters on Great Yarmouth beach during his days with Gorleston. Picture: Archant Library

Mr Stringer added that when Mr Peters joined the club it gave everybody a lift at Carrow Road and "showed the real intent of the football club".

Former Norwich City player Martin Peters celebrates winning the World Cup with England in 1966 with Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore  PA Photo/PA Wire.Former Norwich City player Martin Peters celebrates winning the World Cup with England in 1966 with Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore PA Photo/PA Wire.

He added: "Playing as well as he did and scoring the goals he did made it a pleasure to play with him. But not only was he a good player, he was a good person who was well liked and loved in the dressing room."

Norwich City legend Martin Peters. Picture: Adrian JuddNorwich City legend Martin Peters. Picture: Adrian Judd

Also speaking to the BBC, fellow ex-Canary Peter Silvester said Mr Peters was the best to ever pull on a Norwich City shirt, likening him to Lionel Messi.

Martin Peters, during his Norwich City playing days. Picture: Archant libraryMartin Peters, during his Norwich City playing days. Picture: Archant library

He said: "He came to Norwich at an age of 30/31, everybody thought a footballer was finished at that age. He turned around a mediocre side and made players believe and he made them play better.

Martin Peters celebrates scoring England's second goal in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany as teammate Geoff Hurst (left) runs to congratulate him. Photo: PAMartin Peters celebrates scoring England's second goal in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany as teammate Geoff Hurst (left) runs to congratulate him. Photo: PA

"If you would have took that player out of that Norwich City side for four or five years they would have been relegated. He was such a magnificent player. He could read the game. He could turn around and arrive late. He had a nickname the ghost, he could arrive in the penalty area just at a critical moment for a header. He was so gifted that nobody had seen anything like it in years.

Martin Peters visits Carrow Road in 2008. Picture: Andy DarnellMartin Peters visits Carrow Road in 2008. Picture: Andy Darnell

"You will never see a footballer like Martin Peters."

Norwich City legend Martin Peters, pictured with a family who named their child after him. Picture: Archant libraryNorwich City legend Martin Peters, pictured with a family who named their child after him. Picture: Archant library

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Meanwhile, a statement on the club's website says: "Everyone at Norwich City is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former player, Martin Peters MBE.

Martin Peters in action for Norwich City. Picture: Archant libraryMartin Peters in action for Norwich City. Picture: Archant library

"Martin made his debut for City in March 1975 after joining the club from Tottenham Hotspur. He was voted Norwich City Player of the Season two years running in 1976 and 1977 and went on to make a total of 232 appearances for the club, scoring 50 goals.

"Martin was part of English football's greatest moment, playing and scoring in the 1966 World Cup final victory over West Germany.

Martin Peters (right) pictured in dressing room at Stoke City on 24th April 1976. PIC: David Hine.Martin Peters (right) pictured in dressing room at Stoke City on 24th April 1976. PIC: David Hine.

"Our thoughts are with Martin's family and friends at this difficult time."

Martin Peters (right) pictured in dressing room at Stoke City on 24th April 1976. PIC: David Hine.Martin Peters (right) pictured in dressing room at Stoke City on 24th April 1976. PIC: David Hine.

As well as representing the Canaries, Mr Peters went on to finish his career at non-league Gorleston.

Martin Peters (right) pictured in dressing room at Stoke City on 24th April 1976. PIC: David Hine.Martin Peters (right) pictured in dressing room at Stoke City on 24th April 1976. PIC: David Hine.

Tributes have also been paid by Norwich City supporters on social media.

Jim Adams wrote: "Growing up as a #NCFC fan wasn't easy. Even in South Norfolk. Particularly when our friends down the road were doing so well, I remember boasting, "Martin Peters plays for us." Yes he did."

Mike Marsham wrote: "Farewell to the skipper, my first favourite Norwich City player."

Monty Shaft wrote: "RIP Martin Peters. Such a classy player. The 12-year-old me couldn't believe that someone so great/famous would sign for a club like #ncfc, but he did and stayed here for five years."

Off the field, Mr Peters was honoured with an MBE in 1978. He would also go on to coach children at a holiday park in Great Yarmouth.

He is survived by wife Kathleen, daughter Leeann and son Grant.

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