Bobby Moore

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Bobby Moore

Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore, OBE (April 12, 1941 - February 24, 1993) was an English footballer whose place in footballing history is secure as the captain of West Ham and the English Template:Wc-winning team.

Moore joined West Ham as a schoolboy and was a regular in the first team by 1960. 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 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.

He was in the England squad for the 1962 World Cup in Chile, when England reached the quarter finals, and was captain of his country within another two years. In 1964, he skippered West Ham United to success in the FA Cup final at Wembley where they beat Preston North End 3-2, the first of three successive trips to the national stadium in major finals in as many years for Moore, and from which he would emerge undefeated.

In 1965, Wembley hosted West Ham's 2-0 victory over 1860 Munich in the European Cup Winners Cup, then in 1966, 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. His West Ham team-mate Geoff Hurst scored an historic hat-trick in the 4-2 World Cup final win over West Germany, with Moore supplying pinpoint passes for two of his goals. Of many timeless images from that day, one is of Moore gallantly wiping his hands clean of sweat on his shirt before shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth II as she presented him with the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Moore faithfully pursued his West Ham and England career and was once again named as captain when England travelled to Mexico to defend the World Cup. There was heavy disruption to preparations, however, when in an almighty fit up, Moore was accused of stealing a bracelet from a jeweller in Colombia, where England had travelled for some warm-up games in order to get acclimatised with high altitude conditions. The charges were dropped and Moore was wholly exonerated, and he eventually was permitted to rejoin his team-mates in Mexico.

In the group 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 is a tackle which no-one will ever better. Brazil still won the game, but England also progressed through the group.

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.

Moore ended up with 108 England caps, breaking the record held by his fellow 1966 hero Bobby Charlton by just two appearances. Only Peter Shilton, with whom Moore also played at international level, has since played more times for his country. Moore's last appearance in an England shirt was in 1973.

A year later, Moore was allowed to leave his beloved West Ham after more than 15 years and joined London rivals Fulham, who were in the second division. Somehow, in his first season, they reached the FA Cup final where they were to play none other than Moore's old club West Ham. It was, however, no fairytale farewell ending for Moore as Fulham lost 2-0.

Moore retired from playing in 1977 and had a short, relatively unsuccessful, spell in football management. His life after football was eventful and difficult, with business deals going wrong and his marriage ending. Many have since 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.

In 1993 Moore, who was now remarried, announced he was suffering from bowel cancer. Despite extensive treatment he succumbed to the illness just two days after commentating on an England match at his spiritual home, Wembley.

The stand replacing the south bank at West Ham's ground, the Boleyn Ground in Upton Park has since been named the Bobby Moore Stand.

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Preceded by:
Stanley Matthews
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
1964
Succeeded by:
Bobby Collins
Preceded by:
-
UEFA Jubilee Awards
England
Succeeded by:
-

Template:End boxde:Bobby Moore

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