Footballing Icons: Bobby MOORE

Regarded by Pele as the greatest defender he’d ever played against. Bobby Moore was a captain and a leader of men, a composed and elegant defender who was equally adept at bringing the ball out of defence as he was at stopping attackers in their tracks.

Moore’s career started at West Ham United and at just 17 he made his debut for the Hammers against Manchester United in 1958 wearing the number 6 claret and blue shirt for the first time. The following year he would lead the West Ham United youth team alongside follow 1966 World Cup winner Geoff Hurst to the FA Youth Cup final which they lost to Blackburn Rovers.

It wasn’t long before he was recognised at International level and Walter Winterbottom gave the talented defender his first cap against Peru in 1962 ahead of the World Cup in Chile. Moore travelled with the squad but didn’t play any part in the tournament. A year later, Moore was named captain of England at just 23 years of age making him England’s youngest captain. Four years after his debut Bobby led the Three Lions to World Cup victory and remains the only Englishman to lift the Jules Rimet as captain.

At club level, Moore established himself as a Upton Park legend by making 544 games for the Irons, scoring 24 goals. He lifted the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners Cup the year later at Wembley. His time in East London came to and end in 1974 when he moved across London to join Fulham. After three years at Craven Cottage, Moore travelled to North America, Denmark and Australia in the twilight of his playing days.

The statue outside Wembley stadium describes him well “Immaculate footballer. Imperial defender. Immortal hero of 1966. First Englishman to raise the World Cup aloft. Favourite son of London’s East End. Finest legend of West Ham United. National Treasure. Master of Wembley. Lord of the game. Captain extraordinary. Gentleman of all time.” 

He was also well regarded amongst his follow professionals with Pele and Der Kaiser praising the Englishman “Bobby Moore was the best defender in the history of the game” Franz Beckenbauer.

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