1966 World Cup winning legend Sir Geoff Hurst visited Swindon on 7 June to launch an exclusive, limited edition 66 registration plated vehicle for German manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus
Sir Geoff arrived at the company’s UK base at Blagrove Industrial Estate Swindon to unveil the commemorative truck and answer questions from enthusiastic staff.
September 2016 will see the registration prefix on all motor vehicles change from 16 to 66, the year which marks the 50th anniversary of England’s historic World Cup win over Germany.
Simon Elliot, avid football fan and managing director at MAN Truck and Bus in the UK, said the company is offering UK customers the chance to buy just one of 66 limited edition trucks. “It seemed this year the stars and moons have aligned for us, with the registration plates changing to 66, the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup win and working with Sir Geoff Hurst on this initiative. As a football fan it’s almost a dream come true.
“It’s a real honour to be working with Sir Geoff Hurst, our entire business both here in the UK and in Germany has total respect for him as a player and a footballing ambassador. We just couldn’t miss the chance to recognise this landmark.
“The team here have been really excited to meet Sir Geoff, especially ahead of Euro 2016. Football fever has gripped the office, and we have agreed to show the games during working hours on TVs throughout the building. We have members of our team here in Swindon from Germany, and they are obviously fighting their corner and getting involved in the banter, but it’s all in good fun.”
Inspecting the new vehicle, Sir Geoff said: “This is a fantastic initiative and shows that even though our win was 50 years ago, it is still being celebrated today. It’s an honour to meet the team at MAN who are red hot keen to offer their customers something unique.
“Having answered some of their questions earlier today, I feel this is a great idea especially with the Anglo-German connection and footballing rivalry. We’ve even had conversations with Eddie Stobart, one of MAN’s biggest customers, about naming one of their commemorative trucks after my wife, Lady Judith Hurst.”
Commenting on the 50th anniversary of that famous, and yet to be equalled achievement, as well as the impending Euro tournament, Sir Geoff said: “Two weeks ago in May we had a private reunion of the 66 squad, which we have done annually for some time now. It’s great to catch up and share our memories of those successful days.
“With regards to Euro 2016, I have to say I’m very positive. The game has changed massively since I was playing, almost everything but the width and colour of the goalposts is different. We have a young squad who can go and challenge the established teams; it’s a great opportunity for players like Marcus Rashford to show what the can do for their country. It’s a huge honour and I’m excited to see how they do.”
Customers who buy a commemorative 66 trucks will take delivery at a special ceremony organised by MAN in September. Simon Elliot explained: “We’re organising a special drive-away lunch in Wembley Stadium for all customers who purchase a truck. Sir Geoff will host the event and personally hand over the keys.”
Find out more about MAN in the UK: www.truck.man.eu/uk/en
Pictured top, Sir Geoff, Simon Elliott and MAN Truck & Bus staff with one of the commemorative badged vehicles at the UK headquarters at Blagrove, Swindon. Below, Sir Geoff and Simon Elliott buffing up the MAN badge
Images: Richard Wintle of Calyx