Robert Frederick Chelsea (Bobby) Moore (1941-1993) was an English footballer and captain of West Ham and the English 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning team. He is widely regarded as the finest captain England has ever had, one of the greatest defenders the World has ever seen, and to date the only Englishman ever to captain a world cup winning team.
Bobby Moore joined West Ham as a schoolboy, and after advancing through their youth set up played his first first-team game on November 8, 1958, against Manchester United. In putting on the number 6 shirt, he replaced his mentor Malcolm Allison.
Moore soon established himself as a regular. 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 read the game, 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 for the first time on May 20, 1963, versus Czechoslovakia - his 12th cap. In 1964, after the shock of being diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer, he skippered West Ham United to success in the FA Cup final at Wembley where they beat Preston North End 3–2. This was 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.
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. Moore 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. 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.
In the final England went 0-1 down to West Germany, but a quickly taken free kick from Moore resulted in his West Ham team-mate Geoff Hurst scoring the first goal in his historic hat-trick. Martin Peters scored to take England 2-1 up, but the German's equalised in the final minutes of normal time to push the final into extra time. Ramsey was convinced the German's 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 pressue of another German attack, the ball broke to Moore on the edge of the England penalty area. Jackie Charlton and Nobby Stiles shouted at Moore to just get rid of the ball, but he calmly picked out the feet of Hurst 40 yards upfield. As Kenneth Wolstenholme famously said "Some people are on the pitch. They think it's all over, it is now!" Final score England 4 West Germany 2.
Of many timeless images from that day, one is of Moore gallantly wiping his hands clean of mud on the velvet platform where the Jules Rimet Trophy rested before shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth II as she presented him with the World Cup.
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 in 1970. There was heavy disruption to preparations, however, when an attempt was made to implicate Moore in the theft of a bracelet from a jeweller in Bogotá, Colombia, where England had travelled for some warm-up games in order to get acclimatised with high altitude conditions. The charges were subsequently dropped, Moore was wholly exonerated and he was eventually 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 it as 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 won his 100th Cap for England on February 14, 1972 against Scotland. 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 between 1970 and 1973, has since played more times for his country. Moore's last appearance in an England shirt was in a November 1973 friendly against Italy. He missed the October 1973 match against Poland in which England drew 1–1. They needed a win to qualify for the 1974 World Cup finals.
On 14 March 1974 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, for £25,000 pounds. During the 1974-75 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 fairy-tale farewell ending for Moore as Fulham lost 2–0.
Moore played his final professional game in England for Fulham on 14 May 1977 against Blackburn Rovers F.C.. 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 Euro Champoinships that year. Seattle was the last team for which he played professional football.
Moore retired from playing professionally in 1978, and had a short relatively unsuccessful spell in football management at Oxford City and Southend United.
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 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 Capital Gold Radio as Football Analyst and commentator in 1990. However, his battle with cancer had returned, and he was operated on for suspected colon cancer on 22 April 1991. On 15 February 1993 Moore announced he was suffering from bowel cancer. He succumbed to the illness just seven days after commentating on an England match at his spiritual home, Wembley, when England beat San Marino 6-0. His funeral was on March 2, 1993 at Putney Vale Crematorium.
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.
He was married twice, first to Christina Dean on 30 June 1962 - they divorced after 23 years on 6 January 1986. He married a second time to Stephanie Parlane-Moore (her real maiden name) on 4 December 1991.
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 The Football Association as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.