England Legends: Bobby Moore
Published : 11 Oct 2011 17:22:54
Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore, OBE (12 April 1941 to 24 February 1993)
One of Englands most respected and adored footballers of all time. Having first joined West Ham United in 1958 Bobby Moore went on to make 544 appearances with 24 goals for the Hammers.
Regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, Brazilian star Pele had this to say on Moore "He would watch the ball, he would ignore my eyes and my movement and then, when he was ready and his balance was right, he would take the ball, always hard, always fair. He was a gentleman and an incredible footballer".
Bobby Moore was Englands record cap holder for an outfield player until this was surpassed by David Beckham in March 2009. However, unlike Beckham, Moore played every minute of every one of his caps.
His 108 caps along with two goals made him a national icon. His greatest moment came in 1966 as he captained the national side to victory at the World Cup lifting the trophy for England at Wembley.
Moore lifted the European Cup Winners Cup with West Ham in 1965 and featured again for England at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. He and team mate Bobby Charlton were accused of stealing a bracelet in Colombia, but despite the negative press that came his way he was revered for his actions on the pitch. He committed what has since been described as the 'perfect tackle' on Brazilian star Jairzinho in the game that saw England go down 1-0 to the Brazilians.
Moore left West Ham in 1974 to join Fulham. Ironically he came up against West Ham in the 1975 FA Cup final with the Hammers recording a 2-0 victory. Moore left England to play his final few years in America before retiring from the game in 1978.
After an unsuccessful career in management Bobby Moore focused on radio commentary and analysis. In April 1991 he was diagnosed with cancer for the second time before passing away from the disease on 24 February 1993 aged 51.
On 28 June 1993 his memorial service was held in Westminster Abbey, 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.
"Bobby Moore was the best defender in the history of the game" Said German legend Franz Beckenbauer.
Sir Alex Ferguson described him as "The best defender I have ever seen."