Bobby Moore

From New World Encyclopedia

Bobby Moore
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
Position Defender
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
West Ham
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)

Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore (April 12, 1941 - February 24, 1993) was a noted English football (soccer) player. He was captain of London club West Ham United for more than ten years and was the captain of the England national team that won the 1966 World Cup. He is widely regarded as the finest England national team captain, and one of the world's great defenders.

Moore was known as an intelligent player with the ability to easily solve problems on the field with calmness and deftness. He was a good tackler with great timing and had excellent vision when it came to passing the ball. He wasn't a fast player but his possession-skills made up for any lack of speed. Brazilian star Pelé said he was the finest defender in the world. He died at the age of 51 from cancer on February 24, 1993. He was the first player from the victorious 1966 England World Cup team to die.


Early days

Moore was born in Barking, England, on April 12, 1941. He joined London club West Ham United as a schoolboy in 1956, and after advancing through their youth team program played his first game on November 8 1958, against Manchester United. He inherited the number 6 shirt, from his mentor Malcolm Allison, who was suffering from tuberculosis. A composed central defender, Moore was admired more for his reading of the game and ability to anticipate opposition movements. Moore's ability to head the ball or keep up with the pace was average at best, but the way he read the game, coordinated his team and timed his tackles marked him out as world class. He was known as an intelligent player with such clean tackling that Brazilian star Pelé, a contemporary of Moore's, called him the fairest defender he had ever played against.

An England star, a European winner

In 1960, Moore earned a call-up to England's under 23 team, despite being just 19 years old. His form and impact on West Ham as a whole earned him a late call-up to the senior England team by England team coach 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 still looking to earn his first appearance for the national team, when he flew to South America with the rest of the team. He finally made his England debut on May 20 1962 in England's final warm up exhibition game—a 4-0 win over Peru in Lima. Moore proved so impressive that he 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 quarterfinals at Vina del Mar.

On May 29, 1963, Moore captained his country for the first time in just his twelfth 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 exhibition games in 1964, organized 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 Stadium. 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 German club 1860 Munich 2-0 in the final with both goals coming from outside right player Alan Sealey. By now he was the obvious choice as captain for England with 30 caps, and was expected to be player around whom Ramsey was building his team to compete at the 1966 World Cup, which England would host. The year of 1966 had a mixed start for Moore, however. He scored his first England goal in a 1-1 draw with Poland, but then faced disappointment as he captained West Ham to the final of the League Cup, where the Hammers lost 5-3 on aggregate goals in a two-game series with Birmingham team West Bromwich Albion. Better days shortly lay ahead for Moore, who had scored in the first leg, as well as for his West Ham teammates Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Moore scored his second and ultimately final England goal in a friendly against Norway, two weeks before the World Cup would begin.


Statue commemorates English football's finest hour. Bobby Moore lifts the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 at Wembley Stadium as England is crowned World Champion of soccer.

On the verge of his greatest triumph, details were released to the media in early 1966 that Moore wanted to leave London club West Ham for crosstown team Tottenham Hotspur. Moore had let his contract expire, and only after the intervention of the England team coach Alf Ramsey and realization he was technically ineligible to play, did he renew his contract 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 team which gave English soccer its crowning glory and established him as a magnificent player, gentleman and sporting icon. With all its games at Wembley, England had got through its group with little trouble, beating Argentina in a bad-tempered game in the quarter finals and a skillful, dangerous Portuguese team in the semifinals. Germany awaited England in the final.

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 central defender Norman Hunter from Leeds United in his place. However, eventually they settled on keeping the captain on the starting team. 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 for not starting Moore were that the Germans had some fast attacking players, which could expose Moore's own lack of pace and that Hunter was used to playing next to England's central defender Jack Charlton at Leeds United.

In the final, England went 0-1 down as a result of goals scored by German star striker Helmut Haller, but Moore's awareness helped England to a swift equalizer. He was fouled by German midfielder Wolfgang Overath midway inside the German half. Rather than remonstrating or heading back into defense, he picked himself up quickly while looking ahead and delivered an instant free kick on to Hurst's head, in a movement practiced often at West Ham. As a result, Hurst scored his first of three goals on the day.

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

Coach Ramsey was convinced the Germans were exhausted, and after England's Hurst scored probably the most controversial and debated goal in world football, [1] the game looked over. The debate over Hurst's goal still goes on today. Hurst's shot hit the crossbar, bounced down, and was then headed out. The English players appealed for a goal, while the German players protested that the ball had not crossed the line. The referee consulted with the linesman, who signaled the ball had crossed the line, and thus the goal was awarded.

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. His teammates shouted at Moore to get rid of the ball quickly, but he calmly picked out the feet of Hurst 40 yards 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 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.

A champion, an icon

Moore became a national icon as a consequence of England's success. He was awarded the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year title at the end of 1966, the first soccer player to do so, and remaining the only one for the next 24 years. He was also decorated with the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's New Year Honors List.

Moore's image and popularity allowed him to start a number of business ventures, including a sports shop next to West Ham's stadium at Upton Park, and he also appeared with his wife Tina, along with his former West Ham teammate Martin 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 game 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 team's flight to South America for a short period of altitude-acclimatization, before going on to the finals in Mexico.


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 jeweler in Bogotá, Colombia, where England was involved in a warm-up game. A shop assistant, called Clara Padilla, in the Hotel Tequendama, 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—but the accusation was fictional. Moore volunteered to be searched. At the time, he was wearing a running suit with no pockets.

Nevertheless, Moore was arrested for the alleged theft—which made headlines the world over—and then released, and traveled 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 team and prepare for the World Cup. However, there is a wrinkle to this story. Moore's biographer Jeff Powell writes that Moore later confided that: "Perhaps one of the younger lads with the squad did something foolish, a prank with unfortunate consequences." [2]

Moore shrugged off the stress to play a leading role in England's progress through their group. In the second game against favorites Brazil, there was a defining moment for Moore when he tackled the great Jairzinho with such precision 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. "The shirt he wore against me in that 1970 match is my prized possession," Pelé said.[3] Defeat after extra time against West Germany saw England bow out in the last eight, and it would be 12 years before England would return the World Cup finals again.

Final years at the top

Moore's services to West Ham were rewarded with a testimonial match against Glasgow-based Scottish club 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 teammates—Jimmy Greaves, Brian Dear and Clyde Best—were all fined by West Ham manager Ron Greenwood after drinking at 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 field 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 5-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park in Glasgow. By this stage, only Martin 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, scoring an "own goal" for the opposing team by deflecting a free kick past goalie Peter Shilton to put the home team ahead, and then losing possession to Wlodzimierz Lubanski, who scored the second goal. His form had dipped enough for Ramsey to decide not to select him for the return game at Wembley, which England had to win to qualify. 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 tie Poland 1-1. The game signaled the end of Ramsey's reign—he was fired as coach six months later. 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 making the decision.

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

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 his new club Fulham on 14 May, 1977 against Blackburn Rovers.

He also played for two teams in the North American Soccer League—the San Antonio Thunder in 1976 (24 games, 1 goal) and the 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 US Bicentennial Cup Tournament, which capitalized on England and Italy both failing to qualify for the 1976 European Championships that year. Seattle was the last team for which Moore played.

After football

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

In 1980 Moore had a starring role in the John Huston film Victory,[4] with Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and Pelé. Acting was not new to Moore who had made numerous appearances on British television sitcoms, notably Till Death Us Do Part."

However, Moore's 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 fans complained that the Football Association, England's governing soccer body, should 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 Radio 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 February 14, 1993 he publicly announced he was suffering from cancer. Three days later, he commentated on an England match against San Marino at Wembley. That was to be his final public appearance. Seven days later, at 6.36 a.m., he died. His funeral was on March 2, 1993 at Putney Vale Crematorium.[5].

Moore's former national team coach, Alf Ramsey, summed up Moore's life: "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."

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 Football Association as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.


  1. Geoff Hurst profile "Controversial goal" Retrieved April 16, 2007
  2. Alan Travis, "Moore and that bracelet: who really took it?" Retrieved April 9, 2007.
  3. "Hall of Fame and Bobby Moore" Retrieved April 8, 2007.
  4. "Victory" Retrieved April 8, 2007.
  5. Travis Corbett. August 7, 2005. "The last days of Bobby Moore." Retrieved April 8, 2007.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Brodie, Malcolm. "Moore 'whodunit' farce left sour taste." Belfast Telegraph. August 23, 2006.
  • Corbett, James. "The last Days of Bobby Moore." The Observer. August 7, 2005.
  • Daniels, Phil. Moore Than a Legend. Boleyn Books, 1997. ISBN 0952964198
  • Folly, Malcolm. "The secret that died with Moore." Mail on Sunday. February 22, 1998, 88.
  • Hurst, Geoff. 1966 and All That: My Autobiography. Headline Book, 2002. ISBN 0747241872
  • Moore, Tina. Bobby Moore:By the Person Who Knew Him Best. Harper Collins Willow, 2005. ISBN 0007173962
  • Powell, Jeff. The Life and Times of a Sporting Hero. Robson Books, 2002. ISBN 1861055110
  • Powell, Jeff. "The Real Story about that Stolen Bracelet." Daily Mail, 48. March 29, 1993.


  • 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

External links

All links retrieved November 17, 2023.

Preceded by:
Stanley Matthews
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Bobby Collins
Preceded by:
UEFA Jubilee Awards
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Johnny Haynes
England football captain
Succeeded by:
Emlyn Hughes
Preceded by:
Mauro Ramos
FIFA World Cup
winning captain

Succeeded by:
Carlos Alberto Torres
Preceded by:
Tom Simpson
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by:
Henry Cooper


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