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February 24, 2013 was the 20th anniversary of the day Bobby Moore died aged 51. Those 20 years have rolled by incredibly fast for the many West Ham supporters who can recall where they were on February 24, 1993 when they heard the sad news.
Moore was the first of England’s 1966 World Cup winning XI to pass away and it is was a reminder that the best ever team in English football were after all mere mortals. He was a player who merited the status of hero and legend not only with the Hammers but also English football.
Tributes and Recognition
His passing attracted front page coverage in the national press from The Sun to The Times. Many of the daily newspapers included tributes running to several pages documenting an incredible sporting career and achievements.
2013 Celebrations of
Bobby Moore’s Career
For the 20th anniversary West Ham marked the occasion with special arrangements at the home Premiership game with Tottenham Hotspur on Monday February 25, 2013. Prior to kick off the two teams and crowd participated in a minute’s applause, and the match day programme was a special edition which included tributes and reminders of Bobby’s long and successful career.
Bobby Moore led his country to its greatest footballing victory as captain of England’s winning team in the 1966 World Cup. Moore’s skill as a defender was matched by his generous and intelligent leadership, and by his mere personality, which earned him the nickname of ‘the first gentleman of English football’. As a winner of the European Cup, the FA Cup, and of course the World Cup, not to mention being captain of England for a record 90 matches, Moore’s CV speaks for itself. He was famous for his grace and class, and for the apparently effortless tackles and passes that he seemed to perform in slow-motion. Moore was not a particularly fast nor a showy footballer - his composure and thoughtful approach to the defensive role marked him out as a highly gifted player and the natural leader that England needed.
Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore was born in Barking in April 1941. He was recruited to West Ham’s junior team in 1956, making his debut for the senior team as a replacement for Malcolm Allison against Manchester United in September 1958. Moore never looked back - and stayed with West Ham for the greater part of his career.
In 1960, at the young age of 19, he was called up to the England under-23’s, by 1962 he earned his first full interntional cap in Peru. With the injury to Jimmy Armfield in 1963 he was appointed captain of the squad, quickly earning the trust of his coach and manager. At first Moore was just filling in for more senior players, but the position was made permanent in 1964. That year Moore was treated for testicular cancer, but he did not let that stop him winning the FA Cup with West Ham. He was also named Football Writer’s Association Football player of the Year.
In 1966, the year of his famous victory, Moore was on the verge of arranging a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur when England manager Alf Ramsay intervened prior to the World Cup and urged a reconciliation with West Ham, which was swiftly effected.
England moved with little difficulty through the rounds in the World Cup, but the final itself was one of the most intense matches in the history of the game. England initially went 1-0 down to West Germany, before Geoff Hurst equalized, and Peters put them 2-1 up. Worryingly, however, Wolfgang Weber equalized just before full-time. The Wembley Final went into extra time, and Hurst put England 3-2 up, but the goal was hotly contested, and it was not until the final minute when Hurst scored a third goal that England’s win was cemented. Many of the most famous images of that day centre around Moore as captain of his team.
After the World Cup, Moore continued to play for West Ham and England, as well as promoting the British pub industry and opening his own sports shop. In the second half of the decade, he received national recognition. In 1966 Moore was the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and in 1967 he was awarded an OBE, and a punk band even recorded a song about him entitled ‘Viva Bobby Moore’.
Moore was again named captain of England in the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico. A rare controversial episode followed when he was arrested for the theft of a bracelet from the shop of the hotel that the squad was staying in in Columbia for a warm-up match. Although Moore was questioned on more than one occasion, and detained in Columbia when the rest of his team-mates travelled home, the charges were eventually dropped. The tournament was not a wild success for England, but it went down for one piece of genius from Moore when, during their match with Brazil, he performed a spectacular tackle on the advancing Jairzinho - still considered perhaps the finest (if not, the most iconic) tackle in history.
The later years of Moore’s English career passed with relative quiet. In 1970, he and two of his West Ham team-mates were fined for going out drinking heavily the night before a third-round FA Cup tie. Nonetheless, he continued to play well for the Hammers. Moore made his final appearance for England in 1973, when they failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup Finals. On his retirement, he was the most capped player in the history of the England football team with 108 international caps.
Moore’s retirement was far from peaceful. As well as the personal drama of his divorce, his professional life was uneven. He spent some time working as a football manager at home and abroad, but none of the positions worked out in the long-term, and Moore accepted work as a football pundit and columnist on a radio station and tabloid newspaper respectively.
In 1991 Moore underwent an emergency operation for suspected bowel cancer. Less than two years later, in February 1993, he died of bowel cancer. Since his death a number of fundraising events for cancer and bowel cancer charities have been set up in his name. A bronze statue of Moore stands outside the new Wembley Stadium, in honour of his contribution to international football.
•1958 -1974: West Ham United
•1974 - 1977: Fulham
•1976: San Antonio Thunder
•1978: Seattle Sounders
•1962 - 1973: England
International Caps: 108
Captain: 90 times
International Goals Scored: 2
•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 OBE - 1967
•Inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame - 2002
West Ham players applaud to mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of Bobby Moore during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at the Boleyn Ground on February 25, 2013
A minutes silence was again observed at West Ham’s first home game after Bobby’s passing. This time the opposition was Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday March 6 1993. Prior to the minute’s silence Ron Greenwood, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters laid a floral tribute at the centre circle.
THE TIMES OBITUARY
If Ever a Man were Fit to 'Captain' a Team in Heaven,
Receive Him Now.
The Bobby Moore Story ....
The Bobby Moore Memorial Match between West Ham and the FA Premier League played at Upton Park on Monday March 7, 1994.
Bobby Moore took over the captaincy of England from the injured Jimmy Armfield to become the youngest skipper his country had sever called upon. Moore was the perfect example of a football hero, always led by example and the essence of his success was simplicity, he never attempted to make football a hard game. As a footballer he was a perfectionist, as a captain he was a born leader. “Mooro” was the very first autograph I ever asked for, the occasion was the 1969-70 Football Combination Cup Final against Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground.
In those days my favoured position was behind the North Bank goal, but for this fixture I ventured over to the players tunnel below the West Stand, to my amazement this awesome footballing giant and supreme professional was seated in the ‘players pen’.
It took a long time as I seem to remember, in fact it was almost the whole 90 minutes before I plucked up the courage to ask for his signature, and in all that time it never occurred to me that I hadn’t a pen.
To this day, that very first autograph I so nervously asked for in a collection that exceeds 6,000 West Ham signatures remains the only one signed in pencil, albeit a pencil owned by the great man himself.
Bobby Moore - My First Autograph
West Ham United Autograph Society
Steve Marsh and Staurt Allen
Bobby Moore statue at Wembley Stadium
Image by Neil Dimmick
A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Bobby Moore OBE
In his memory several events had been arranged.
At the first football league matches following his passing, all teams observed a minute’s silence. For West Ham this was the Barclays League Division One game away at Sunderland on Saturday February 27th 1993.
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.
Sir Alf Ramsey
October 2 1993:
Dedication of Bobby Moore Stand
Stephanie Moore, wife of the late Bobby Moore, joined West Ham directors to dedicate the naming of the clubs's new stand at the old South Bank end as the “Bobby Moore Stand”. to the memory of the former England international.
Mrs. Moore placed a time capsule containing mementos - given by the club, fans and herself - of her husband's career in the foundation the development
West Ham United v. FA Premier League
Bobby Moore Stand
The forming of a charity, the Bobby Moore Fund. Dedicated to raising money to help fight bowel cancer.
Bobby Moore's grandchildren led the teams out before West Ham played Tottenham to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the Hammers legend.
Poppy, 21, Freddie, 16, and 13-year-old Ava carried out the ball at Upton Park.
Fans and players from both clubs provided a minute's applause while home supporters held aloft cards making up a mosaic reading "Moore 6".
Mayor Sir Robin Wales on Sunday February 24, 2013 laid a claret and blue wreath on behalf of the people of Newham to honour West Ham United and England legend Bobby Moore OBE on the 20th anniversay of his death.
The Mayor joined Hammers joint chairman David Gold, Bobby's daughter Roberta and granddaughters Poppy and Ava, and Bobby's former West Ham team-mate Martin Peters in paying tribute at the Champions sculpture in Barking Road.
The club laid a floral shirt with Bobby's famous number six, which has now been retired by the club. Club chaplain the Rev Alan Bolding conducted a short service that was followed by a period of silence, then applause and a rendiiton of Hammers anthem Bubbles.
Bobby's daughter Roberta, David Gold, Martin Peters and Mayor of Newham