On February 14th 1973 Bobby Moore reached an incredible milestone when he pulled on the England shirt for the 100th time, becoming only the third player to achieve the feat after former captain Billy Wright and Bobby Charlton.
It was an important game for Moore for personal reasons, but fittingly it was also an important one for England as they faced the Auld Enemy Scotland at Hampden Park, a fixture that is never really ‘friendly’ despite the label.
Joining Moore in the England side were two other survivors from the 1966 team; Martin Peters and Alan Ball, but they were overshadowed by some of the newer members of the squad as England inflicted a St Valentine’s Day massacre on the Scots who were swept aside 5-0 – with Moore marshaling the Three Lions defence expertly.
A brace from Allan Clarke, plus strikes from Mick Channon and Martin Chivers plus a Peter Lorimer own goal provided the goals for England in a crushing home defeat for a Scotland team that included the likes of Billy Bremner, Kenny Dalglish and George Graham.
Despite the clean sheet Moore was nearing the end of his reign as England’s main man. Things came to a head three months later in a World Cup qualifier away to Poland when Moore was at fault for both goals in a 2-0 loss.
Moore was dropped by Sir Alf Ramsey for the return game at Wembley which England had to win to qualify for the finals. Famously they could only draw 1-1 and it signalled the end for both Ramsey and Moore. Sir Alf was sacked six months later while Moore made his final appearance for his country in the next match – a friendly against Italy at Wembley. Again England lost, this time 1-0 to a goal scored by the man who would later give David Beckham his 100th cap: Fabio Capello.
When he retired from the international game he held the all-time England cap record with 108 appearances (he has since been overtaken by Peter Shilton on 125), and he equalled Billy Wright’s record of captaining England 90 times.
Two months later he played his last game for West Ham and then left for Fulham where he began to wind down his career before, just as Beckham would 30 years later, he moved to the USA to play where he turned out for San Antonio Thunder and Seattle Sounders.
Like Beckham, Moore was no slouch when it came to commercial opportunities – although this advert featuring Bobby and Tina Moore ‘Looking in at the Local’ lacks the posing-in-your-underwear-to-moody-French-dialogue feel that Beckham has since made his own.
by Karl Hofer.