Phil Bayles' blog

Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, and Martin Peters take a break from training at West Ham's press day at Chadwell Heath, 16th August 1966.
Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, and Martin Peters take a break from training at West Ham's press day at Chadwell Heath, 16th August 1966. Photo: Topham Picturepoint/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images

As he sang "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" close to the stadium where he thrilled crowds for over a decade, West End and England football legend Martin Peters begrudged modern day professional footballers nothing.

In his 1970's heyday, top players like Peters earned up to £15,000 a year. Today many earn that in a week.

Peters cost Tottenham £200,000 when they bought him from West Ham. It was record sale then. Today £20m is not an unusual asking price.

Asked what his team mate Bobby Moore would have thought of that, Martin Peters replied:

"Well you can ask me that. He would have felt the same as me. I don't care about the players of today, how much they make. We all had our time, playing for our different clubs and our country as well. It does not worry me what they get.

"There is no doubt that the players of West Ham in those days would have fitted into any game today. They won the FA Cup and then the European Cup the very next year and we won the World Cup the year after."

With a smile he adds: "West Ham won the World Cup, didn't they?"

At the time of the 1966 World Cup, Martin Peters was regarded as the ultimate midfield maestro, superb with both feet. He was so far advanced technically, he was famously dubbed "ten years ahead of his time."

He finished his top flight career at Norwich City, where as a lad I was regularly thrilled by the brilliance of his performances. He was a might slower towards the end, it is true, hence the affectionate chant of the home crowd:

"We've got Martin Peters. He's a fortnight ahead of his time!"