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

He won a total of 108 caps for the England team, which at the time of his international retirement in 1973 was a national record. This record was later broken by 125-cap goalkeeper Peter Shilton, and on 28 March 2009 when David Beckham gained his 109th cap, against Slovakia.

Football career

Early days

Moore joined West Ham as a player in 1956, and after advancing through their youth set up played his first game on September 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 nor indeed any other First Division game, as Moore became a regular. A composed central defender, Moore was admired 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 called Moore the fairest defender he had ever played against.

Bobby Moore also played cricket. He played for Essex youth team alongside fellow West Ham player Geoff Hurst. [699556]

An England star, a European winner

In 1960, Moore earned a call up to the England under 23 squad. 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 Chilemarker. Moore was uncapped as he flew to South America with the rest of the squad, but made his début on 20 May 1962 in England's final pre-tournament friendly - a 4-0 win over Peru in Limamarker. Also débuting 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 Viña del Marmarker.

On 29 May, 1963, 22-year-old 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. He was the youngest man ever to captain England at the highest level.

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.

1964 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 Wembleymarker, 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.

The World Cup

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, they then beat Argentina in a controversial quarter final and a Eusébio-led Portugal team in the semis, a match also surrounded by controversy.West Germany awaited in the final.

Remarkably, according to Geoff 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 of a similar age 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 and quick-thinking 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 finalminute 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 (40 m) upfield. 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 his shorts and shirt before shaking the hand of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she presented him with the World Cup 1966.

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 Parkmarker, 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 Florencemarker 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 Mexicomarker.

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


The year 1970 was a bittersweet, mixed and eventful one for Moore. He 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 Bogotámarker, Colombiamarker, 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 Quitomarker. 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 pressure and 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 improve upon. It continues to be shown frequently on television. Brazil still won the game 1-0, but England progressed through the group. Moore swapped shirts with Pelé after the game. The shirt is now on display in a virtual reality museum called the Priory Collection.

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

On August 10, 1970 Bobby Moore received an anomynous threat to kidnap his wife and hold her to a £10,000 ransom. This caused him to pull out of pre-season friendlies against Bristol City and Bournemouthmarker. However, his 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. On January 7, 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, boxer Brian London. West Ham lost the tie 4-0. They were all fined a whole week's wages. Blackpool were the bottom of Division one at the time, and were relegated at the end of the season. Ironically, Moore was featured on TV as the subject on This is your life the night before. 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 Parkmarker. 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 dropped 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 Chorzówmarker, 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. When Kevin Hector finally did come on for Martin Chivers after 85 minutes Moore could be seen on TV yanking down Hector's tracksuit bottoms while Ramsey sat immobile. Moore, later, said to David Miller "you could feel the minutes escaping. I said to Alf we need someone to go through the middle. He just nodded. We couldn't get Kevin out there quick enough. We almost threw him onto the pitch."

Moore won his 108th and final cap in the next game, a 1-0 friendly defeat to Italy on November 14, 1973. 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. Peter Shilton and David Beckham have since overtaken the caps record, but the joint captaincy record remains.

After West Ham and England

Moore played his last game for West Ham in an FA Cup tie against Hereford United in January 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 for an outfield player (since overtaken by David Beckham).

He joined London rivals Fulham, who were in the Second Division, for £25,000. 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 May 14, 1977 against Blackburn Roversmarker. 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, although he did play 9 games in 1978 for the Danish semi-professional club Herning Fremad to promote Danish football's new transition to professional football.

After football

Moore retired from playing professionally in 1978, and had a short relatively unsuccessful spell in football management at Eastern AA in Hong Kongmarker, Oxford Citymarker and Southend United.

He became manager of Southend United in 1984. In his first full season, 1984-85, Southend narrowly avoided having to apply for re-election to the Football League amidst severe financial difficulties. However, the side was gradually rebuilt and in the 1985-86 season Southend started well and were in the promotion race until the new year before eventually finishing 9th. His successor, David Webb built upon those foundations to win promotion the following year.

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 the 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 Englishmanmarker to captain a FIFA 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. Moore married 42-year-old Stephanie Parlane-Moore (her real maiden name) on December 4, 1991. He had a son and a daughter from his first marriage, to Christina (Tina) Dean. They were married from 1962 until divorcing in 1986.


Tributes to Bobby Moore outside the Boleyn Ground on 6 March 1993
West Ham and Wolves players line-up for a minute's silence for Bobby Moore before their game at the Boleyn Ground on 6 March 1993
In April 1991, Moore underwent an emergency operation for suspected colon cancer, though at the time it was just reported that he had undergone an "emergency stomach operation".

On February 14, 1993, he publicly announced he was suffering from bowel cancer. Three days later, he commentated on an England match against San Marino at Wembley, alongside his friend Jonathan Pearce. That was to be his final public appearance; seven days later on 24 February, at 6.36am, he died at the age of 51.

Bobby Moore's funeral was held on March 2, 1993 at Putney Vale Crematoriummarker. The first West Ham home game after his death was on 6 March, 1993, against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Boleyn Ground was awash with floral tributes, scarfs and other football memorabilia from both West Ham fans and those of other clubs. Fellow 1966 World Cup winners, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters placed a floral replica of a West Ham shirt, showing Moore's number, '6', on the back, on the centre spot before the game. West Ham 'rested' the number six shirt with the regular number six, Ian Bishop, wearing number twelve. The game was won by West Ham 3-1 with goals by Steve Bull for Wolves and Trevor Morley, Julian Dicks and Matty Holmes for West Ham.

On June 28, 1993 his memorial service was held in Westminster Abbeymarker, attended by all the other members of the 1966 World Cup Team. He was only the second sportsman to be so honoured, the first being the West Indian cricketer Sir Frank Worrell.


The charity Cancer Research UK(CRUK) set up the Bobby Moore Fund to raise money for bowel cancer research in his memory: the Run for Moore races raise funds for this.The funds were spent on high-quality bowel cancer research to be carried out by leading scientists across the UK. The money raised funded 17 Bobby Moore Research Fellowships, a new bowel cancer laboratory at St Mark's Hospital in London (subsequently closed by CRUK on 1 October 2006) and 3 additional research projects .

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 the England team's official song at the 1996 European Championships, which was adopted by fans rather than the tournament's official song We're In This Together by Simply Red. 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 Groundmarker in Upton Parkmarker, 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 club team-mates and final goalscorers Hurst and Peters, along with Everton and England left back Ray Wilson.

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.

A bronze statue of Bobby Moore was erected outside the main entrance at the new Wembley Stadiummarker in May 2007, to pay tribute to his effect on the game.

In August 2008 West Ham United officially retired the number 6 shirt as a mark of respect 15 years after his death.

In September 2008, members of two West Ham United online forums (WHO and KUMB) pulled together to urge the club to sponsor The Bobby Moore Fund on their shirts. The request was made following the collapse of West Ham United's main shirt sponsor, XL, the UK's third largest holiday company. Although the club gained a new main sponsor in the form of SBOBET, the youth teams and children's replica kit feature the logo of the Booby Moore Fund.


  • "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*
  • "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
  • "Bobby Moore was the best defender in the history of the game" Franz Beckenbauer

  • "There should be a law against him. He knows what's happening 20 minutes before everyone else." Jock Stein
  • "Ask me to talk about Bobby Moore the footballer and I will talk for days. Ask me about the man and I will dry up in a minute." Ron Greenwood (from Jeff Powell quoted in When Saturday Comes issue 260, October 2008)



In Film

He appeared in the 1981 film Escape to Victoryas Terry Brady.


External links

1958-59 West Ham United First Division 5 0
1959-60 13 0
1960-61 38 1
1961-62 41 3
1962-63 41 3
1963-64 37 2
1964-65 28 1
1965-66 37 0
1966-67 40 2
1967-68 40 4
1968-69 41 2
1969-70 40 0
1970-71 39 2
1971-72 40 1
1972-73 42 3
1973-74 22 0
1973-74 Fulham Second Division 10 1
1974-75 41 0
1975-76 33 0
1976-77 40 0

1976 San Antonio Thunder NASL 24 1
1978 Seattle Sounders NASL 7 0

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