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Bobby Moore

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Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore, OBE (born Barking, England, April 12, 1941 - died London, February 24, 1993) was an English footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was skipper of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup.


Early days

Moore joined West Ham as a schoolboy in 1956, and after advancing through their youth set up played his first game on November 8 1958, against Manchester United. In putting on the number 6 shirt, he replaced his mentor Malcolm Allison, who was suffering from tuberculosis.

Allison never played another first team game for West Ham or another First Division game at all, as Moore became a regular. A composed central defender, Moore was admired more for his reading of the game and ability to anticipate opposition movements, thereby distancing himself from the image of the hard-tackling, high-jumping defender. Indeed, Moore's ability to head the ball or keep up with the pace was average at best, but the way he read the game, marshalled his team and timed his tackles marked him out as world class. In fact, Pelé used to call Moore the fairest defender he had ever played against.

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An England star, a European winner

In 1960, Moore earned a call up to the England under 23 squad, despite being aged just 19 years old. His form and impact on West Ham as a whole earned him a late call-up to the England squad by Walter Winterbottom and the Football Association selection committee in 1962, when final preparations were being made for the summer's World Cup finals in Chile. Moore was uncapped as he flew to South America with the rest of the squad, but made his debut on May 20 1962 in England's final pre-tournament friendly - a 4-0 win over Peru in Lima. Also debuting that day was Tottenham Hotspur defender Maurice Norman. Both proved so impressive that they stayed in the team for the whole of England's participation in the World Cup, which ended in defeat by eventual winners Brazil in the quarter finals at Vina del Mar.

On May 29 1963, Moore captained his country for the first time in just his 12th appearance after the retirement of Johnny Haynes and an injury to his successor, Jimmy Armfield. England defeated Czechoslovakia 4-2 in the game. Armfield returned to the role of captain afterwards, but new coach Alf Ramsey gave Moore the job permanently during a series of summer friendlies in 1964, organised because England had failed to reach the latter stages of the inaugural European Championships.

It turned out to be quite an eventful year for Moore. As well as gaining the England captaincy, he lifted the FA Cup as West Ham defeated Preston North End 3-2 in the final at Wembley, courtesy of a last-minute goal from Ronnie Boyce. On a personal level, Moore also was successfully treated for testicular cancer and was named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

The FA Cup success would become the first of three successful Wembley finals in as many years for Moore. In 1965, he lifted the European Cup Winners Cup after West Ham defeated 1860 Munich 2-0 in the final with both goals coming from Alan Sealey. By now he was the shoo-in skipper for England with 30 caps, and around whom Ramsey was building a team to prove correct his prediction that England would win the 1966 World Cup, to be held on home soil. 1966 had a mixed start for Moore, however - he scored his first England goal in a 1-1 draw with Poland, but then skippered West Ham to the final of the League Cup - in its last season before its transfer to Wembley as a one-off final - which they lost 5-3 on aggregate to West Bromwich Albion. For Moore, who had scored in the first leg, and his West Ham team-mates Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, considerable consolation lay ahead. Moore scored his second and ultimately final England goal in a friendly against Norway, two weeks before the World Cup would begin.


On the verge of his greatest triumph, details were released to the press in early 1966 that Moore wanted to leave West Ham for Tottenham Hotspur. Moore had let his contract slip to termination, and only after the intervention of Sir Alf Ramsey and realisation he was technically ineligible to play, did he re-sign with West Ham to allow him to captain the England team of 1966. Ramsey had summoned West Ham manager Ron Greenwood to England's hotel and told the two of them to sort out their differences and get a contract signed up.

Moore was the leader of the side which gave English football its crowning glory and established him as a magnificent player, gentleman and sporting icon. With all their games at Wembley, England had got through their group with little trouble, beaten a violent Argentina in the quarter finals and a skilful, dangerous Portugal team in the semis. West Germany awaited in the final.

Personal information
Full name Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore
Date of birth April 12, 1941
Place of birth    Barking, United Kingdom
Date of death    February 24, 1993 (age 51)
Place of death    London, United Kingdom
Playing position Defender
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
West Ham United
San Antonio Thunder
Seattle Sounders
544 (24)
124 (1)
24 (1)
7 (0)   
National team
1962-1973 England 108 (2)
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Remarkably, according to Hurst's autobiography, England full back George Cohen overheard Ramsey talking to his coaching staff about the possibility of dropping Moore for the final and deploying the more battle-hardened Norman Hunter in his place. However, eventually they settled on keeping the captain in the team. It remains a strange scenario, rendered almost unthinkable with hindsight. Moore had not been playing badly, nor had he given the impression that he had been distracted by his contract dispute prior to the competition. The only possible explanations were that the Germans had some rather fast attacking players, which could expose Moore's own lack of pace, and that Hunter - who was similarly aged to Moore but only had four caps - was the club partner of Moore's co-defender with England, Jack Charlton.

In the final, England went 0-1 down through Helmut Haller, but Moore's awareness helped England to a swift equaliser. He was fouled by Wolfgang Overath midway inside the German half and, rather than remonstrate or head back into defence, he picked himself up quickly while looking ahead and delivered an instant free kick on to Hurst's head, in a movement practised at West Ham. Hurst scored.

The West Ham connection to England's biggest day became stronger when Peters scored to take England 2-1 up, but the Germans equalised in the final minute of normal time through Wolfgang Weber - as Moore appealed unsuccessfully for a handball decision - to take the match into extra time.

Ramsey was convinced the Germans were exhausted, and after Hurst scored probably the most controversial and debated goal in world football, the game looked over. With only seconds remaining, and England under the pressure of another German attack, the ball broke to Moore on the edge of his own penalty area. Team-mates shouted at Moore to just get rid of the ball, but he calmly picked out the feet of Hurst 40 yards up field. Hurst took the ball on and, although his intention was to kick it into the stands and waste time, his shot found the inside corner of the net, completing a hat-trick which remains unique. There was no time to restart.

Of many timeless images from that day, one is of Moore gallantly wiping his hands clean of mud and sweat on the velvet platform where the Jules Rimet Trophy rested before shaking the hand of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she presented him with the World Cup.

Moore as icon

Moore became a national icon as a consequence of England's success, with he and the other two West Ham players taking the World Cup around the grounds which West Ham visited during the following domestic season. He was awarded the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year title at the end of 1966, the first footballer to do so, and remaining the only one for a further 24 years. He was also decorated with the OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Moore's image and popularity allowed him to start a number of business ventures, including a sports shop next to West Ham's ground at Upton Park, and he also appeared with his wife Tina, along with Peters and his wife Kathy, in a television advertisement for the pub industry, urging people to "Look in at the local".

He continued to play for West Ham and England, earning his 50th cap in a 5-1 win over Wales at the end of 1966 in a Home International match which also doubled up as a qualifier for the 1968 European Championships. England ultimately reached the semi-finals (the tournament was just a four-team event back then) where they played Yugoslavia in Florence and lost 1-0. England, as champions, did not have to qualify for the next World Cup, and Moore remained the first name on Ramsey's team sheet, winning his 78th cap prior to the squad's flight to South America for a short period of altitude-acclimatisation, before going on to the finals in Mexico.

The English Oi!/punk band The Business recorded a tribute song to Bobby Moore titled "Viva Bobby Moore".


Moore was again named as captain for the 1970 World Cup but there was heavy disruption to preparations when an attempt was made to implicate Moore in the theft of a bracelet from a jeweller in Bogotá, Colombia, where England were involved in a warm-up game. A young assistant had claimed that Moore had removed the bracelet from the hotel shop without paying for it. There was no doubt that Moore was in the shop - he had gone in with Bobby Charlton to look for a gift for Charlton's wife, Norma - the accusation was not proved. Moore was arrested and then released, he then travelled with the England team to play another match against Ecuador in Quito. He played, winning his 80th cap, and England were 2-0 victors, but when the team plane stopped back in Colombia on the return to Mexico, Moore was detained and placed under four days of house arrest. Diplomatic pressure, plus the obvious weakness of the evidence, eventually saw the case dropped entirely, and an exonerated Moore returned to Mexico to rejoin the squad and prepare for the World Cup.

Moore shrugged off the stress to play a leading role in England's progress through their group. In the second game against favourites Brazil, there was a defining moment for Moore when he tackled the great Jairzinho with such precision and cleanliness that many cite it as a tackle which no-one will ever better. It continues to be shown frequently on television. Brazil still won the game, but England also progressed through the group. Moore swapped shirts with Pelé after the game.

Defeat after extra time against West Germany saw England bow out in the last eight, and it would be 12 years before England were to return to a World Cup finals again.

Final years at the top

Moore's services to West Ham were rewarded with a testimonial match against Celtic at the end of 1970. However, although he was seen as an icon and a perfect influence on the game, Moore was not without his faults or controversies. In early January 1971, he and three West Ham team-mates - Jimmy Greaves, Brian Dear and Clyde Best - were all fined by West Ham manager Greenwood after going out drinking in a nightclub until the early hours of the morning prior to an FA Cup third round tie against Blackpool. The nightclub in Blackpool was owned by Moore's friend Brian London. Moore was fined a whole week's wages, and West Ham lost the tie 4-0.

It was not uncommon for Moore to enjoy a night on the town, but he was often seen in the gym or on the pitch at West Ham on a Sunday morning - usually the players' day off - working off the alcohol he had consumed the night before.

Moore surpassed West Ham's appearances record in 1973 when he played for the club for the 509th time. Three days earlier, on Valentine's Day 1973, he won his 100th cap for England in a comprehensive 5-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park. By this stage, only Peters and Alan Ball from the 1966 squad were also still involved with the England team - the rest had either retired or been overlooked by Ramsey, even though a handful of them were younger than Moore.

Later the same year, Moore was exposed defensively by Poland in a qualifier for the 1974 World Cup in Chorzow, deflecting a free kick past Peter Shilton to put the home side ahead, and then losing possession to Wlodzimierz Lubanski, who scored the second. His form had dipped enough for Ramsey to choose not to select him for the return game at Wembley, which England had to win to qualify. Any other result would send Poland through. Moore is understood to have asked Ramsey if this meant he was no longer required, to which Ramsey replied: "Of course not. I need you as my captain at the World Cup next year." It never happened, as England could only draw 1-1. It signalled the end of Ramsey's reign - he was sacked six months later - and Moore later told how he sat alongside Ramsey on the bench and kept urging him to make a substitution, only for Ramsey to freeze suddenly when it came to decision-making.

Moore won his 108th and final cap in the next game, a 1-0 friendly defeat to Italy. He became England's most capped player, beating Bobby Charlton's record by two appearances, and equalled Billy Wright's record of 90 appearances as captain. Shilton has since overtaken the caps record, but Moore remains in second place, and the captaincy record also remains.

After West Ham and England

Moore played his last game for West Ham in an FA Cup tie against Hereford United at the beginning of 1974. He was injured in the match. On March 14 the same year, he was allowed to leave West Ham after more than 15 years, taking with him the club record for appearances (since overtaken by Billy Bonds) and the most international caps (which remains).

He joined London rivals Fulham, who were in the Second Division, for Ł25,000. During Moore's first season there they defeated West Ham in a League Cup tie and then reached the FA Cup final where, in a further quirk of fate, they faced West Ham again. This time Fulham lost the game, 2-0, and Moore had made his final appearance at Wembley as a professional player.

Moore played his final professional game in England for Fulham on 14 May 1977 against Blackburn Rovers. He played for two teams in the North American Soccer League - San Antonio Thunder in 1976 (24 games, 1 goal) and Seattle Sounders in 1978 (7 games). During 1976, there was also a final appearance on the international field for Team USA in games against Italy, Brazil and an England team captained by Gerry Francis. This was the U.S.A. Bicentennial Cup Tournament, which capitalized on NASL and more importantly England and Italy both failing to qualify for the European Championships that year. Seattle was the last team for which he played professional football.

After football

Moore retired from playing professionally in 1978, and had a short relatively unsuccessful spell in football management at Oxford City and Southend United.

His life after football was eventful and difficult, with business deals going wrong and his marriage ending. Many saw Moore's acceptance of a role as a columnist for salacious tabloid newspaper the Sunday Sport as a sign of how low he had been forced to go. Moore's supporters said that the Football Association could have given a role to Moore, as the only Englishman to captain a World Cup winning team. Moore himself kept a dignified silence.

Moore joined London radio station Capital Gold as a football analyst and commentator in 1990, and married for a second time in December 1991. In the April of that year, he underwent an emergency operation for suspected colon cancer. On 14 February 1993 Moore publicly announced he was suffering from bowel cancer. Three days later, he commentated on an England match against San Marino at Wembley. That was to be his final ever public appearance. Seven days later, at 6.36am, he died. His funeral was on March 2, 1993 at Putney Vale Crematorium.

In 1996, comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel used the line "But I still see that tackle by Moore" in the lyrics to their song Three Lions, which was the official song for England at the 1996 European Championships. It referred to the famous incident with Jairzinho in 1970, and was re-created by Baddiel, Skinner and England left back Stuart Pearce for the video. It was written in the context of a list of great England moments of the past as proof that England could win a tournament again.

Moore was made an Inaugural Inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact on the English game as player. The stand replacing the south bank at West Ham's ground, the Boleyn Ground in Upton Park, was named the Bobby Moore Stand shortly after Moore's death. There is also a statue close to the ground based on a famous photograph taken at Wembley after the World Cup celebrations, with Moore being held aloft, holding the trophy, by Hurst, Peters and Everton and England left back Ray Wilson.

Moore was married first to Christina (Tina) Dean in 1962, and they divorced in 1986. He then married Stephanie Parlane-Moore (her real maiden name) in 1991. He had a son and a daughter from his first marriage.

A bronze statue of Bobby Moore was commissioned to be erected outside the main entrance at the new Wembley Stadium to pay tribute to his effect on the game.

In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of England by the The Football Association as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years. [1]


  • "He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against. The world has lost one of its greatest football players and an honourable gentleman." Pelé
  • "Bobby Moore was a real gentleman and a true friend." Franz Beckenbauer
  • "My captain, my leader, my right-hand man. He was the spirit and the heartbeat of the team. A cool, calculating footballer I could trust with my life. He was the supreme professional, the best I ever worked with. Without him England would never have won the World Cup." Alf Ramsey


  • World Cup - 1966
  • European Cup Winners Cup - 1965
  • FA Cup Winner - 1964
  • FA Cup Runner-Up - 1975
  • League Cup Runner-Up - 1966
  • Footballer Of The Year - 1964
  • World Cup Player Of Players - 1966
  • West Ham Player Of The Year - 1961, 1963, 1968, 1970
  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - 1966
  • Awarded the O.B.E - 1967
  • English Football Hall Of Fame - 2002
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
UEFA Jubilee Awards
England football captain
FIFA World Cup
winning captain

BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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