FRANKFURT: Hans Tilkowski, West Germany’s goalkeeper in the 1966 World Cup Final defeat by England — one of his 39 international appearances. He was 84.
The final featured one of the most controversial goals in football history, when England’s Geoff Hurst’s shot bounced down off the crossbar and back into play.
The goal was awarded to give a 3-2 lead in the first half of extra time, and Hurst would go on to complete his hat trick with the last kick of the game for a 4-2 win.
Tilkowski, West Germany’s footballer of the year in 1965, insisted that the “Wembley Tor” was wrongly awarded in the days long before goal line technology and VAR. He always said: “I looked over my left shoulder as I fell and saw it was not over the line.”
Hurst said: “Very sad to receive a call earlier to let me know that Germany’s goalkeeper from 66 World Cup, Hans Tilkowski, has died. Terrific player for his club, Borussia Dortmund, and country and a very fine man, I very much enjoyed the time we spent together over the years.”
Tilkowski won 39 caps for West Germany between 1957 and 1967. He was also a German Cup winner with Borussia Dortmund in 1965, and helped the team become the first German club to win a European title on beating Liverpool 2-1 after extra time at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
Dortmund said in a press release that it was mourning “one of the greatest players in the club’s history.”
Born in Dortmund, Tilkowski had begun his career with nearby Westfalia Herne. Later he played for Eintracht Frankfurt then coached Nürnberg, Werder Bremen and Saarbrücken.
He died on Sunday after a long illness.
** Hans Tilkowski: born July 12, 1935, died January 5, 2020.