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Sir Geoff Hurst gives his tips on how to stay safe online.

Sir Geoff Hurst

by yours |
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He may be a World Cup winning legend, but Sir Geoff Hurst admits he’s not exempt from people trying to scam him. The former footballer – who, at 82, is the only surviving member of England’s 1966 team – says he is inundated with emails and messages trying to get his details and take money off him and Geoff says it’s vital that the over 60s generation protect themselves online.

“I get scam emails almost every day. I bin them straight away if it's something I'm not familiar with,” he admits. “Or like maybe one that looks genuine – for example I got a text message yesterday saying that my TV licence has expired, click here to pay it. I’ve had this one before and I looked at my TV Licence and knew it was in date, so figured it must be a scam. I did what I usually do, sent it to my son-in-law who works in the security business and is pretty hot on that kind of thing. I said ‘what do you think to this’ and 99 times in 100 he’ll say to bin it. My advice is, if you're not sure, bin it or talk to somebody, before you touch any buttons. But people my age can get so sucked in by those. And it just comes down to lack of experience. In the offline world, you know, they wouldn't go down to the market and get scammed – they’re too experienced. Yet you’d get sucked in by an email that says that you immediately have to call your bank.”

Sir Geoff recently teamed up with BT Group and AbilityNet charity to surprise senior walking football team, Bristol City FC, with a digital skills session, followed by a friendly kickabout run by an AbilityNet trainer and supported by BT Group volunteers he participated in the session, showcasing how technology can enhance teamwork and streamline organisational tasks and he wants as many people as possible to have the opportunity to improve their digital skills.

Sir Geoff Hurst charity kickabout
©BT and AbilityNet

“You can understand why a lot of people of my generation are fed-up with being talked down to about technology,” he said. “We need to learn digital skills in a way that’s empowering, not belittling. That’s why this session from BT Group and AbilityNet with Bristol City FC’s senior walking football team around online scams was so valuable. I use tech on a daily basis - it makes life so much easier - but I don’t need to know about TikTok dances or the latest trends. Like a lot of people my age, I need it for the basics.

"When I speak to young people and tell them how old I am, they think I was around before cars, in times of horse-drawn carriages. I often refer to 1966 as medieval times! Technology has of course moved at such a pace in the last few years that we need a helping hand so we’re more confident and can benefit from what it can bring, which is so much.”

AbilityNet and BT
©AbilityNet and BT

With the support of BT Group, AbilityNet, a UK-based charity that helps older people and disabled people to use technology, offers free in-person digital skills sessions to people over 65 in locations across the UK including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and London. Participants from these areas can attend a workshop or request a 1:1 session in their homes that are tailored to individual needs, whether you want to learn the basics with a smartphone, stay safe online or get to grips with the internet. Additionally people over 65 from anywhere in the UK can join AbilityNet’s free online webinar on Thursday 6 June to find out how AbilityNet can offer them free digital skills support.

About BT Group

BT Group is the UK’s leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications and related secure digital products, solutions, and services. We also provide managed telecommunications, security, and network & IT infrastructure services to customers across 180 countries.

BT Group consists of three customer-facing units: Consumer serves individuals and families in the UK; Business covers companies and public services in the UK and internationally; Openreach is an independently governed, wholly-owned subsidiary wholesaling fixed access infrastructure services to its customers - over 650 communications providers across the UK.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

About AbilityNet

UK charity AbilityNet has more than 25 years’ experience of empowering disabled people through technology at home, at work and in education. In its mission to create a “digital world accessible to all,” it works with individuals, charities, and community groups to champion inclusive digital design, and its experienced consultants empower the private and public sectors to deliver accessible websites, services, and apps. The Charity’s Patron is Baroness Martha Lane-Fox.

AbilityNet offers free IT support at home and online to older people and disabled people via its nationwide network of 450+ AbilityNet Tech Volunteers. To access the free service, call the helpline on 0300 180 0028 during UK office hours, email to

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