Bobby Moore

For other people named Bobby Moore, see Bobby Moore (disambiguation).
Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore in 1969
Personal information
Full name Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore[1]
Date of birth (1941-04-12)12 April 1941[1]
Place of birth Barking, Essex, England
Date of death 24 February 1993(1993-02-24) (aged 51)
Place of death Putney, London, England
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1956–1958 West Ham United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1974 West Ham United 544 (24)
1974–1977 Fulham 124 (1)
1976San Antonio Thunder 24 (1)
1978 Seattle Sounders 7 (0)
1978 Herning Fremad 9 (0)
1983 Carolina Lightnin' 8 (0)
Total 716 (26)
National team
1962–1973[2] England 108 (2)
Teams managed
1980 Oxford City
1981–1982 Eastern AA
1984–1986 Southend United

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore OBE (12 April 1941 – 24 February 1993) was an English professional footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time, and was cited by Pelé as the greatest defender that he had ever played against.[3] Moore is a member of the World Team of the 20th Century.

He won a total of 108 caps for the England team, which at the time of his international retirement in 1973 was a national record. This record was later broken by 125-cap goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Moore's total of 108 caps continued as a record for outfield players until 28 March 2009, when David Beckham gained his 109th cap.[4] 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 a player. The same year he was named in the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons.

Football career

Early days

Moore was born in Barking, Essex. He attended Westbury Primary School and Tom Hood School, Leytonstone, playing football for both schools.[5]

In 1956, Moore joined West Ham United as a player and, after advancing through their youth set-up, he played his first game on 8 September 1958 against Manchester United.[6] In putting on the number six shirt, he replaced his mentor Malcolm Allison, who was suffering from tuberculosis.

Allison never played another first team game for West Ham nor indeed any other First Division game as Moore became a regular. A composed central defender, Moore was admired 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.

Bobby Moore also played county cricket for the Essex youth team alongside fellow West Ham player Geoff Hurst.[7]

An England star, a European winner

In 1960, Moore earned a call up to the England Under-23 squad. His form and impact on West Ham as a whole earned him a late call-up to the full England squad by 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 uncapped as he flew to South America with the rest of the squad, but made his début on 20 May 1962 in England's final pre-tournament friendly – a 4–0 win over Peru in Lima. Also débuting that day was Tottenham Hotspur defender Maurice Norman. Both proved so impressive that they 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 quarter finals at Viña del Mar.

On 29 May 1963, 22-year-old Moore captained his country for the first time in just his 12th appearance after the retirement of Johnny Haynes and an injury to his successor, Jimmy Armfield. He was the youngest man ever to captain England at the highest level. England defeated Czechoslovakia 4–2 in the game and Armfield returned to the role of captain afterwards, but new coach Alf Ramsey gave Moore the job permanently during a series of summer friendlies in 1964, organised because England had failed to reach the latter stages of the European Championships.

1964 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, courtesy of a last-minute goal from Ronnie Boyce. 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 1860 Munich 2–0 in the final with both goals coming from Alan Sealey. By now he was the first choice captain for England with 30 caps, and around whom Ramsey was building a team to prove correct his prediction that they would win the 1966 World Cup.

1966 had a mixed start for Moore. In January he scored his first England goal in a 1–1 draw with Poland at Goodison Park,[8] but two months later captained West Ham to the final of the League Cup – in its last season before its transfer to Wembley as a one-off final – which they lost 5–3 on aggregate to West Bromwich Albion. For Moore, who had scored in the first leg, and his West Ham team-mates Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, considerable consolation lay ahead. Moore scored his second and ultimately final England goal in a friendly against Norway, two weeks before the World Cup would begin.

The World Cup

Main article: 1966 FIFA World Cup
The World Cup Sculpture featuring Moore with the World Cup trophy, on the shoulders of Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson, together with Martin Peters

On the verge of his greatest triumph, details were released to the press in early 1966 that Moore wanted to leave West Ham. Moore had 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. Ramsey had summoned West Ham manager Ron Greenwood to England's hotel and told the two of them to resolve their differences and get a contract signed up.

Moore was the leader of the World Cup winning side and established himself as a world-class player and sporting icon. With all their games at Wembley, England had got through their group with little trouble, they then beat Argentina in their quarter final and a Eusébio-led Portugal team in the semi-finals. West Germany awaited in the final.

According to Geoff 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 Norman Hunter in his place. However, eventually they settled on keeping the captain in the 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 were that the Germans had some rather fast attacking players, which could expose Moore's own lack of pace, and that Hunter – who was of a similar age to Moore but only had four caps – was the club partner of Moore's co-defender with England, Jack Charlton.

The Queen presents the 1966 World Cup to England Captain, Bobby Moore

In the final, England went 0–1 down through Helmut Haller, but Moore's awareness and quick-thinking helped England to a swift equaliser. He was fouled by Wolfgang Overath midway inside the German half and, rather than remonstrate or head back into defence, he picked himself up quickly while looking ahead and delivered an instant free kick on to Hurst's head, in a movement practised at West Ham. Hurst scored.

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

Ramsey was convinced the Germans were exhausted, and after Hurst scored a controversial and heavily debated goal, the game looked over. With seconds remaining, and England under the pressure of another German attack, the ball broke to Moore on the edge of his own penalty area. Team-mates shouted at Moore to just get rid of the ball, but he calmly picked out the feet of Hurst 40 yards (40 m) upfield, who scored to bring the score to 4–2.

Of many memorable images from that day, one is of Moore wiping his hands clean of mud and sweat on the velvet tablecloth before shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth II as she presented him with the Jules Rimet trophy (World Cup).

Moore as an icon

Moore became a national icon as a consequence of England's success, with him and the other two West Ham players taking the World Cup around the grounds which West Ham visited during the following domestic season. He was awarded the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year title at the end of 1966, the first footballer to do so, and remaining the only one for a further 24 years. He was also decorated with the OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Bust of Bobby Moore in the entrance foyer of the stand bearing his name at West Ham's Boleyn Ground

Moore's image and popularity allowed him to start a number of business ventures, including a sports shop next to West Ham's ground, Upton Park, and he also appeared with his wife Tina, along with 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 match 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) 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 squad's flight to South America for a short period of altitude-acclimatisation, before going on to the finals in Mexico.


Further information: Bogotá Bracelet

The year 1970 was a bittersweet, mixed and eventful one for Moore. He 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 jeweller in Bogotá, Colombia, where England were involved in a warm-up game. A young assistant had claimed that Moore had removed the bracelet from the hotel shop without paying for it. While there was no doubt that Moore had been in the shop (having entered with Bobby Charlton to look for a gift for Charlton's wife, Norma), no proof was offered to support the accusations. Moore was arrested and then released, he then travelled 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 squad and prepare for the World Cup. Moore received a guard of honour from his squad when he arrived at the team hotel.

Moore went on to play a leading role in England's progress through their group. On 2 June he captained England to a 1–0 victory against Romania. In the second game against favourites Brazil, there was a defining moment for Moore when he tackled Jairzinho with such precision and cleanliness that it has been described as the perfect tackle.[9] It continues to be shown on television around the world.[9][10] Brazil still won the game 1–0, but England progressed through the group. Moore swapped shirts with Pelé after the game.[9] The shirt was displayed at the National Football Museum in Manchester, courtesy of the Priory Collection.[11] A 1–0 win over Czechoslovakia allowed England to finish second in the group and advance to the knockout stage.

At the Quarter Final stage, a rematch of the 1966 World Cup against West Germany, England took a 2–0 lead but lost 3–2 in extra time.

At the end of the year, Moore was voted runner-up (behind Gerd Muller of West Germany) for the 1970 European Footballer of the Year award.[12]

Final years at the top

On 10 August 1970, Bobby Moore received an anonymous threat to kidnap his wife and hold her to a £10,000 ransom. This caused him to pull out of pre-season friendlies against Bristol City and Bournemouth. However, his services to West Ham were rewarded with a testimonial match against Celtic at the end of 1970.

Although Moore was seen as an icon and a perfect influence on the game, he was not without his faults or controversies. On 7 January 1971, he and three West Ham team-mates, Jimmy Greaves, Brian Dear and Clyde Best, were all fined by West Ham manager Greenwood after going out drinking in 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, boxer Brian London. West Ham lost the tie 4–0. They were all fined a week's wages. Blackpool were the bottom of Division one at the time, and narrowly missed relegation at the end of the season. Coincidentally, Moore was featured on TV as the subject on This Is Your Life the night before. Brian Glanville stated that it was not uncommon for Moore to drink heavily, but he was often seen training with West Ham the next day, working off the alcohol he had consumed the night before.[13]

On 5 January 1971, when still only 29, he became the first active footballer to appear on the TV guest show This Is Your Life.[14]

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 comprehensive 5–0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park. By this stage, only Peters and Alan Ball from the 1966 squad were also still involved with the England team; the rest had either retired or been dropped by Ramsey, even though a number 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 Chorzów, deflecting a free kick past goalkeeper Peter Shilton to put the home side ahead, and then losing possession to Wlodzimierz Lubanski, who scored the second.

Moore's form had dipped enough for Ramsey to choose not to select him for the return game at Wembley which England had to win to qualify. Any other result would send Poland through. Being replaced by Norman Hunter in defense and Peters as the skipper for that match, 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 draw 1–1. During the Wembley match, Hunter attempted to make a tackle but instead trod on the ball and lost it, a similar error to Moore's lost possession in Chorzów, which allowed Poland to quickly counterattack and score thanks to Shilton's mistake. Allan Clarke equalised with a penalty, but England could not score again as goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski blocked numerous English chances. Moore later told how he sat alongside Ramsey on the bench and kept urging him to make a substitution, but Ramsey was hesitant to do so. When Kevin Hector finally did come on for Martin Chivers after 85 minutes Moore could be seen on TV yanking down Hector's tracksuit bottoms while Ramsey sat immobile. Moore, later, said to David Miller "you could feel the minutes escaping. I said to Alf we need someone to go through the middle. He just nodded. We couldn't get Kevin out there quick enough. We almost threw him onto the pitch." Hunter was in an inconsolable state as he was led off the pitch by Harold Shepherdson and Moore, the latter whose place in the side he had taken. England's failure to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup signalled the end of Ramsey's reign as national team manager as he was sacked six months later.

Moore won his 108th and final cap in the next game, a 1–0 friendly defeat to Italy on 14 November 1973. He became England's most capped player, beating Bobby Charlton's record by two appearances, and equalled Billy Wright's record of 90 appearances as captain. Peter Shilton, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard have since overtaken the caps record, but the joint captaincy record remains.

After West Ham and England

Moore played his last game for West Ham in an FA Cup tie against Hereford United in January 1974. He was injured in the match. On 14 March 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 for an outfield player.

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 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 Fulham on 14 May 1977 against Blackburn Rovers. 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 capitalised on NASL and more importantly England and Italy both failing to qualify for the European Championships that year. In April 1978 he signed his very last contract as a professional player, when he joined Danish side Herning Fremad to promote Danish football's new transition to professional football, playing 9 games for the club before he retired.[15]

In 1983, Moore appeared in 8 games for the now-defunct Carolina Lightnin', after injuries left the club without cover.[16]

Post-football career

Moore retired from playing professionally in 1978, and had a short relatively unsuccessful spell in football management at Eastern AA in Hong Kong, Oxford City and Southend United.

Moore publicly supported Margaret Thatcher in the 1979 General Election.[17]

He became manager of Southend United in 1984. In his first full season, 1984–85, Southend narrowly avoided having to apply for re-election to the Football League amid severe financial difficulties. However, the side was gradually rebuilt and in the 1985–86 season Southend started well and were in the promotion race until the new year before eventually finishing 9th. His successor, David Webb built upon those foundations to win promotion the following year. Moore agreed to serve on the board of the club and held this role until his death.[18]

His life after football was eventful and difficult, with poor business dealings and his marriage ending. Moore's supporters said that the Football Association could have given a role to Moore, as the only Englishman to captain a FIFA World Cup winning team or given him an ambassadorial role.[19]

Moore joined London radio station Capital Gold as a football analyst and commentator in 1990.[20]

Illness and death

Tributes to Bobby Moore outside the Boleyn Ground on 6 March 1993

Moore's first brush with cancer was in 1964, two years before the historic World Cup win. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which he survived by having one testicle surgically removed; the cancer had not spread.[21] In April 1991, Moore underwent an emergency operation for suspected colon cancer, though at the time it was just reported that he had undergone an "emergency stomach operation".

On 14 February 1993, he publicly announced he was suffering from bowel and liver cancer; by this stage the cancer had spread. Three days later, he commentated on an England match against San Marino at Wembley, alongside his friend Jonathan Pearce. That was to be his final public appearance; seven days later on 24 February, at 6.36 am, he died at the age of 51.

He was the first member of the England World Cup winning side to die, the second being Alan Ball 14 years later. Moore was also outlived by the trainer of the side, Harold Shepherdson, who died in September 1995, and the manager of the side, Alf Ramsey, who died in April 1999.

Bobby Moore's funeral was held on 2 March 1993 at Putney Vale crematorium and his ashes were buried in a plot at City of London Cemetery and Crematorium with his father, Robert Edward Moore (who died in 1978) and his mother, Doris Joyce Moore, who had died only the previous year.[22]

The first West Ham home game after his death was on 6 March 1993, against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Boleyn Ground was awash with floral tributes, scarves and other football memorabilia from both West Ham fans and those of other clubs. Fellow 1966 World Cup winners, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters placed a floral replica of a West Ham shirt, showing Moore's number, 6, on the back, on the centre spot before the game. West Ham rested the No. 6 for the game, with the regular No. 6, Ian Bishop, wearing No. 12. The game was won by West Ham 3–1 with goals by Steve Bull for Wolves and Trevor Morley, Julian Dicks and Matty Holmes for West Ham.[23]

West Ham and Wolves players line-up for a minute's silence for Bobby Moore before their game at the Boleyn Ground on 6 March 1993

His former England team-mate, Jack Charlton, on a BBC documentary of Moore's life in and outside of football,[24] said of Moore's death:

"Well, I only ever cried over two people, Billy Bremner and Bob... [long pause] He was a lovely man."

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.

For many years he delighted supporters of West Ham and was a formidable opponent in the eyes of those against whom he played. But it is for his appearances for England — ninety of them as captain — that he will be chiefly remembered, and supremely for his captaincy of the World Cup team of 1966.[25]
Dean Of Westminster


A tribute to Moore twenty years after his death
West Ham United player Robbie Keane wearing shirt supporting the Bobby Moore Fund
The statue of Bobby Moore outside the entrance to Wembley Stadium

The Bobby Moore Fund is a charity in the United Kingdom, formed in 1993 by Stephanie Moore, and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) in memory of her late husband to raise money for research into bowel cancer and also public awareness of the disease.[26][27] A campaign, Make Bobby Proud was initiated in 2013 to fundraise. As of February 2013 the Bobby Moore Fund had raised £18.8m towards bowel cancer research.[28]

In 1996, comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel used the line, "But I still see that tackle by Moore" in the lyrics to their song Three Lions, which was the England team's official song at the 1996 European Championships, which was adopted by fans rather than the tournament's official song We're In This Together by Simply Red. It referred to the famous incident with Jairzinho in 1970, and was re-created by Baddiel, Skinner and England left back Stuart Pearce for the video. It was written in the context of a list of great England moments of the past as proof that England could win a tournament again.

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 a player. The same year he was named in the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons.[29]

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.

Sports Heritage Blue Plaque commemorating Bobby Moore at West Ham's Boleyn Ground

On 28 April 2003, Prince Andrew as president of The Football Association unveiled the World Cup Sculpture (also called The Champions) in a prominent place near the Boleyn Ground, at the junction of Barking Road and Green Street. It depicts Moore holding the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft, on the shoulders of Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson, together with Martin Peters. The one and a half-size bronze was sculpted by Philip Jackson after a famous photograph taken just after the 1966 final at the old Wembley.

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.[30]

On Friday 11 May 2007, a statue of Bobby Moore was unveiled by Sir Bobby Charlton outside the entrance of the newly reconstructed Wembley Stadium as the "finishing touch" to the project, with the stadium officially opening on Saturday 19 May with the staging of the 2007 FA Cup Final. The twice life-size bronze statue, also sculpted by Jackson, depicts Moore looking down Wembley Way.[31][32][33]

In August 2008 West Ham United officially retired the number 6 shirt as a mark of respect, 15 years after his death.[34] On 26 July 2016, Moore became the first footballer to be honoured with the awarding of an English Heritage Blue Plaque outside of his home. The plaque was unveiled on Moore's childhood home in Waverley Gardens, Barking in a ceremony attended by his daughter, Roberta.[35]


International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.[39]
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1. 5 January 1966 Goodison Park, Liverpool  Poland 1–1 Friendly
2. 29 June 1966 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Norway 6–1 Friendly



Club performance League National Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup ECWC Total
1958–59West Ham UnitedFirst Division50------50
West Ham United total 5442436049313064227
1973–74FulhamSecond Division101
USA League Open Cup Other Total
1976San Antonio ThunderNASL241
1978Seattle SoundersNASL70
Total England 66825
USA 311
Career total 69926


England national team



West Ham United


In film and television

He appeared in the 1981 film Escape to Victory as Terry Brady and in cameo roles in several episodes of Till Death Do Us Part.[44]

Personal life

Moore met his first wife, Tina, in 1957 and they married on 30 June 1962.[45] They lived in a house in Chigwell, Essex, called Morlands.[46] They had a son Dean and a daughter Roberta.

They separated in 1984,[47] and divorced in 1986.[48] He began a relationship with Stephanie Parlane-Moore (eight years his junior) after the collapse of his marriage to Tina, and they were married on 4 December 1991 until his death just over a year later.[49]

Eighteen years after Moore's death, his son Dean was found dead in his flat on 28 July 2011. It is believed that his son, who was 43, had a medical condition and may have died from natural causes.[50]


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External links

World Cup-winners records
Preceded by
Hilderaldo Bellini
Youngest Captain

30 July 1966 present
Preceded by
Gianpiero Combi
Shortest Living Captain

24 February 1993 present
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