England's 1966 World Cup winner Martin Peters dies aged 76, his family says

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By Euronews  with AP
Martin Peters in London in 2016
Martin Peters in London in 2016   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Alastair Grant   -   Alastair Grant

Martin Peters, the West Ham United and England footballer, has died at 76, his family announced in a West Ham United statement on Saturday.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at 4.00am this morning", Peters' family said in its statement.

"A beloved husband, dad and grandad, and a kind, gentle and private man, we are devastated by his loss but so very proud of all that he achieved and comforted by the many happy memories we shared."

"The 1966 World Cup winner passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning, following a long and courageous battle with illness," West Ham United said in a statement.

Martin Peters, born in Plaistow, Essex in 1943, was a member of the England football team which won the FIFA World Cup in 1966. 

He played for West Ham United, which he had joined in 1959 as a 15-year-old apprentice, as well as for Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Sheffield United, which he briefly managed. 

Peters, who played in both the 1966 and 1970 FIFA World Cups, retired in 1981.

In 2016, Peters was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

West Ham United football club praised Peters as a "legendary Hammer" and said: "He is the fifth member of English football’s greatest-ever team now sadly lost - along with Alan Ball, Ray Wilson, Gordon Banks and his fellow West Ham Academy hero and great friend, Bobby Moore."