Bobby Moore: Remembering a West Ham and England Legend

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterFebruary 20, 2013

Bobby Moore will be remembered by West Ham United this weekend as the club prepares for the 20th anniversary of his death.

Moore remains an icon of English football after lifting the World Cup for his country in 1966 and holding a record of 108 caps for an outfield player before David Beckham surpassed his total in 2009.

Moore was born in Barking, Essex, on Apr. 12 1941 and was also schooled in the area. It seemed only natural that he joined his local club, West Ham, in 1956 and made his debut against Manchester United two years later.

The central defender never looked back after that first game, as his composure and anticipation made him a stand-out prospect as a young player.

Moore's form at Upton Park earned him a first call-up to the England squad in May 1962 in preparation for the World Cup in that same year. He made his debut in a friendly win over Peru in Lima.

Just a year later, Moore captained his country for the first time following the retirement of Johnny Haynes and injury to Jimmy Armfield in a victory over Czechoslovakia.

Moore returned the armband to Armfield, but his poise in the role had been noted by Alf Ramsey, who made the West Ham player his permanent England captain in 1964.

"He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against. The world has lost one of its greatest football players and an honourable gentleman" -Pele

Moore lifted the FA Cup for West Ham in the same year after they defeated Preston North End 3-2 in the final at Wembley.

A year later, Moore was picking up the European Cup Winners' Cup at Wembley after the Hammers defeated 1860 Munich in the final.

All he needed now was a third trophy in three years at the national stadium...

The year 1966 needs no introduction for England supporters and the 4-2 World Cup Final victory over West Germany requires little further description, other than to remember the iconic image of Moore being presented with the Jules Rimet trophy by The Queen.

But Moore almost didn't make the World Cup finals that year after his contract with West Ham came to an end with the defender seemingly on his way to Leeds United. Under FIFA rules, a non-contracted player could not feature in the World Cup and Ramsey told Moore to sign a deal with the Hammers immediately.

Three days before the final, Moore contracted tonsilitis and his fitness for the game against the West Germans would have been in doubt without the help of England's physician, Dr Alan Bass.

"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" Alf Ramsey

Despite unsubstantiated allegations of theft and his subsequent arrest ahead of the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico four years later, Moore was again a rock for the England defence, but a quarterfinal exit to West Germany was scant reward for his efforts.

In 1973, he won his 100th England cap in a 5-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park and broke the West Ham appearance record in his 509th game for the club over the space of three days in February.

But the year was also shrouded in disappointment for Moore when his error allowed Poland striker Wlodzimierz Lubanski to finish off a 2-0 win for his team in a World Cup qualifier.

Ramsey dropped Moore for the final group game against the Poles at Wembley, which England needed to win. England could only draw 1-1 and would miss the 1974 finals in West Germany.

A month after the draw with Poland, Moore made his final appearance for England in a friendly defeat to Italy in November 1973.

Moore made his last West Ham appearance in an FA Cup tie against Hereford United in January 1974 and moved to Fulham, which was then in the old Second Division.

He was granted an unexpected last Wembley appearance when the Craven Cottage side reached the FA Cup Final in 1975 and he played alongside George Best and Rodney Marsh as Fulham was beaten 2-0, ironically, by West Ham.

Moore played for the North American Soccer League sides San Antonio Thunder and Seattle Sounders from 1976 to 1978 and he also made an appearance for Team USA against England in the Bicentennial Cup tournament in 1976.

He finished his playing career with Herning Fremad in Denmark before making a move into management in Hong Kong and then non-league Oxford City. Moore became manager of Southend United in 1984, but left the role two years later.

Work as a media analyst followed, but in February 1993, just days after announcing he had cancer, Moore made his last public appearance as a radio commentator on England's game against San Marino.

On Feb. 24, Moore passed away. He was just 51.