Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Moore’

The Greatest Tackle Ever – and it’s not by Bobby Moore!

by Rob Shepherd.

There are some people (often Arsene Wenger) who don’t seem to think the tackle is anything to shout about anymore.

But without solid, honest, properly timed tackles what would dazzling footwork and skill mean if it went unchallenged with the sort of ‘After You Claude’ attitude that the Arsenal manager seems to think should be adopted by opponents.

Indeed, much of the magic of Lionel Messi would become meaningless if there was no threat.

That’s not to suggest turning the clock back to the days of Norman ‘bites yer legs’ Hunter, Ron ‘chopper’ Harris or Italian hitman Claudio Gentile. While Hunter and Harris were symbols of an area where enforcers were given more leeway in this country, it was Gentile who took the role of defensive midfielder to another level on the international stage not least when he man marked and harassed Diego Maradona out of the game at the 1982 World Cup finals, a tournament Italy went on to win.


Claudio Gentile of Italy puts in an ‘old fashioned’ tackle on Diego Maradona in the 1982 World Cup.

It was the way that Maradona was effectively kicked out of the tournament, as Pele had been in 1966, which began FIFA’s process of changing the laws, starting with outlawing the tackle ‘through from behind’, and insisting referees issue cards for violent tackles.

In the main it has been positive, promoting more attacking free-flowing football at home and abroad.

When people try to compare Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to Maradona and Pele it should always be remembered that the latter thrived when the advantage was with the defenders in the Seventies and Eighties, even up to the 1990 World Cup after which FIFA stepped up their crusade to ‘clean up the game’ (well, on the pitch at least).

Footage of Gentile stalking Maradona during that game in 1982 which Italy won 2-1 is quite extraordinary and would surely have resulted in a red card and not too long into the encounter either. It makes Hunter look like Snow White…

Some of the challenges bordered on assault. Yet a defiant Gentile, who was eventually showed just a yellow card (Maradona had earlier been cautioned for complaining at the rough-house treatment), stated afterwards that: “Football is not for ballerinas.”

Without the sort of shackles players have on them now Gentile, sometimes with stealth, sometimes subtly, sometimes slyly, often outrageously, then went on to hound Zico of Brazil in one of the all time classic matches which Italy won 3-2 to put them into the final against West Germany, a game the Italians would win 3-1.

That said, there has been an ironic twist to the clamp-down on the dark arts of defending that Gentile turned into a sort of science, one which we are starting to see too often in the Premier League.

Few and fewer players seem to know how to tackle properly which often results in woefully timed lunging challenges that are often far more dangerous than the ones iron feet men like Hunter, Harris or Gentile used to plough in – well at least until they were upset or angry.

Of course another unwanted side effect is that more and more forwards dive, buying free kicks and getting opponents into trouble.

And when you look at old footage is should be noted that whilst a lot of the tackling was fierce it was more often than not fair, in a time when a lot of players shunned shin pads and some played with socks rolled down around their ankles.

Bobby Moore takles Jairzinho in 1970

Click here to see Bobby Moore’s tackles v Brazil in 1970.

And for many there is tackle back in the day that proves that tackling is a form of skill in its own right when performed properly.

It came in the 1970 World Cup finals when Bobby Moore bided his time before caressing the ball of the advancing Jairzinho then immediately setting up a counter attack.

Yet footage has just come to light which in many ways betters Moore’s tackle – because it led to a goal from inside the scorers own half.

OK, it was in an obscure lower league in Italy but it’s worth looking at it and asking: ‘Is this the greatest tackle of all time..?’



Matt Dickinson
“Bobby Moore: The Man in Full”
Reviewed by Richard Bowdery

Published by Yellow Jersey Press

ISBN-13: 978-0224091725


To bastardize a Winston Churchill quote: Bobby Moore was a gentleman, wrapped in a facade inside an enigma. In other words he was a very private man.

Brian Glanville, the doyen of football writers, knew Moore for nearly 40 years, but wasn’t sure he really knew him.

BobbyMooreBookMichael Parkinson, who made a career of getting beneath the surface of his interviewees, has said: “You loved him because he was so friendly but, when you stopped to think, you realized you knew bugger all about him.”

Even in his darkest hour, stricken with terminal cancer at the young age of 51, he kept his illness secret, only making it public shortly before his death.

Credit, therefore, must go to journalist Matt Dickinson who, with this biography, has succeeded in peeling away the layers that surrounded the legend, to reveal a life that was by turns heroic and tragic.

But in dealing with the life story of Bobby Moore, who has been called the ‘patron saint of English football’, the author could have veered towards sycophancy.

Instead we are presented with an honest, even-handed assessment of Moore from what must have been hours and hours of research carried out among family, friends, other journalists and former teammates and colleagues from the world of football.

As you would expect from such a renowned wordsmith the biography he crafts is both engaging and illuminating.

For instance, were you aware that Moore suffered from testicular cancer in 1964? Or that as Southend manager he turned up to one match, drunk? Or that Elton John approached him about managing Watford?

The book highlights Moore’s highs and lows in detail, from his receiving the World Cup from Her Majesty the Queen to his being ejected from Upton Park for not having a valid ticket.

In between we read about West Ham manager Ron Greenwood’s desire to build a team around ‘Mooro’; Moore’s business ventures which involved some shady characters; the arrest in Bogota prior to the 1970 World Cup Finals for allegedly stealing a bracelet; how Moore was snubbed by club and country after his retirement; his attempts at football management; the divorce from his childhood sweetheart; and how cancer finally took the life of this icon.

BB Rating: 9/10



One Bombshell After Another…
BOBBY’S Roy Dalley Gives His Take on ‘Bobby Moore: The Man in Full’

by Roy Dalley.

One suspects if you dumped a fluffy white cat onto Matt Dickinson’s lap he would pass an audition for the next James Bond movie.

He’s the journalist who emerged from the disgruntled press pack to apply the coup de grace to Glenn Hoddle’s tenure as England manager when his critique of Hoddle’s rather extreme interpretation of Karma was splashed on the front page of The Times.

As if to prove he hasn’t mellowed, Dickinson stuck the boot into Brian Clough on the Times’ sports pages last month while almost everyone else paid nothing but tribute on the 10th anniversary of his passing.

And he as good as admits his forefinger was hovering above a metaphorical big red button as he sat down to research and write Bobby Moore The Man In Full.

Dickinson writes in his Prologue: “He is held up as a man without blemish but could he really be that perfect? Could anyone? To me, the idyll seemed implausible. It wasn’t that I thought the eulogies were untrue; rather I could not believe they represented the whole truth. There is chaos and complexity in every life. Shit happens, even to saints.”

Uh oh.

Certainly it soon becomes apparent that Moore was blessed and cursed in equally monumental measures. Music folklore contains the legend of Robert Johnson, a blues guitarist and singer of modest repute, who only found his chops and success after selling his soul on a crossroads in the Mississippi Delta.

MooreBookIt’s just as preposterous, of course, to suggest Moore found his own crossroads somewhere in the Thames Delta, yet there is no doubt his rise and fall contains all the chief ingredients required of a Hollywood film script.

Moore was born into a world at war in an area a few miles east of London that was heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe. (Talk about trying to get your retaliation in first.) He was a chubby schoolboy who suffered from taunts of ‘Fatso’ from the back of the class, and the scouting report that earned him an apprenticeship at West Ham was hardly glowing: “Whilst he would not set the world alight, this boy certainly impressed me with his tenacity and industry.”

But the planets seemed to align in Moore’s favour. First he was thrust into the orbit of one of the game’s most progressive and imaginative thinkers in senior pro Malcolm Allison. The random good fortune of geography meant he got lifts home from training from Big Mal, which doubled as confidence boosting exercises as Allison opened Moore’s eyes to new possibilities on the field of play.

That luck was multiplied when Ron Greenwood arrived as manager and effectively changed the way the game was played in England to accommodate Moore in the first-team, parachuting him in as a second central defender in an era commonly deploying only one centre-half between two full-backs.

The rest, as they say, is history… but Dickinson is quick to remind us that the brightest light produces the darkest shadow. Battles with cancer, Greenwood, the bottle, England manager Alf Ramsey, and even the Colombian Police, would follow. Then there were arson attacks on no less than three of Moore’s business premises as he tried to rebuild his life after the game he served so well effectively washed its hands of him.

Moore’s contemporaries queue up to offer their loving reminiscences and anecdotes, yet also speak of a private man seemingly cocooned by his thoughts and fears.

Perhaps Moore really was fully aware of his destiny all along?

He seemed lost in his thoughts on the couple of occasions I encountered the great man. The first time was after a midweek match at Brentford sometime in the very late 70’s or early 80’s, and although his star was inexplicably on the wane it felt incongrous to see him standing alone at the rear of the main stand, staring at nothing in particular.

Coincidentally I was with Rob Shepherd, founder of Bobbyfc, who I had to cajole into going over to introduce ourselves, at that time a couple of teenage football-writing wannabes. Shep, I can reveal, is no shrinking violet (on another occasion we bumped into Little Richard while he was flogging his autobiography and Shep demanded: “Oi Little, Little! Gissa book!”) but such was his awe, as a West Ham fan, he took some persuading.

The last time I saw Moore was in the press room at QPR during the 92-93 season. It was an area about 20 feet square with a bar in the corner pumping out free pints of Guinness (QPR’s shirt sponsors at the time) and populated by about 20 journalists.

Moore, as is the wont of all great footballers, had found space, though now it was in order to stand alone, leaning with his back against a wall, almost hiding under a cap with his collar turned up. His skin was yellow.

I sat quietly and stole glances and wondered if I should ask if he’d like a cup of tea or something, yet his body language suggested, very politely, to Leave Me Alone. He was only weeks from making his final pass though we didn’t know it. But it was obvious something was seriously wrong and it was also heart breaking. Moore, as always, kept his woes to himself, but who can blame him for that having already given everything of himself to his country?

Like that famous image of Moore held aloft by his team-mates with the World Cup in his clutch, he remains the England captain head and shoulders above all other England captains.

As Michael Caine pointed out: “It was the cometh the moment, cometh the man. It’s a bit like a messiah. You know, out of the gloom of the fifties… he just came, like a gleam of light.”

(*Dickinson, thankfully, plays a blinder in what is I daresay a fair representation and portrayal. The book jacket informs of a £20 cover price though I got mine in a supermarket for just nine quid. Yet after reacquainting myself with Moore once again I can think of no good reason not to send the balance to the Bobby Moore Fund.)


Read All About It: England Win The World Cup! We have an original match report from 1966

This match report was  published on Sunday July 31 1966, the day after England became world champions. The report was written by Hugh McIlvanney (now of the Sunday Times)  who was then chief sports correspondent of The Observer, a post he held between 1962 and 1993. The piece, some 2,145 words long, would have been filed in the moments after the final whistle and at points you can sense McIlvanney’s journalistic instincts wrestling with the glorious emotion of the moment. In the circumstances, it’s an exceptional piece of reportage.


The greatest moment in the history of English football came at 5.15 this afternoon when Geoff Hurst shot the magnificent goal that made certain of the World Cup. It was Hurst’s third goal, England’s fourth, and, coming as it did in the final seconds of extra time, it shattered the last remnants of German resistance.

Germany had equalized with the last kick in the regular 90 minutes, and they had gone within inches of repeating the blow in extra time when Seeler lunged in on a headed pass by Held. But Moore took the ball coolly out of defence and lifted it upfield to Hurst 10 yards inside the German half. The referee was already looking at his watch and three England supporters had prematurely invaded the pitch as Hurst took the ball on his chest.

At first he seemed inclined to dawdle out time. Then abruptly he sprinted through on the inside-left position with a German defender pressing him. As Tilkowski prepared to move out, Hurst swung his left foot and drove the ball breathtakingly into the top of the net.

The scene that followed was unforgettable. Stiles and Cohen collapsed in a tearful embrace on the ground, young Ball turned wild cartwheels, and Bobby Charlton dropped to his knees, felled by emotion.

Almost immediately it was over and the honour that had escaped England for so long had been won. Soon the players, who had forgotten the crippling weariness of a few minutes before, were hugging and laughing and crying with Alf Ramsey and the reserves, who must go through their lives with bitter-sweet memories of how it looked from the touchline.


Moore holds the cup aloft

No failures
“Ramsey, Ramsey,” the crowd roared and in his moment of vindication it was attribute that no one could grudge him. Eventually, Moore led his men up to the Royal Box to receive the gold Jules Rimet trophy from the Queen, and the slow, ecstatic lap of honour began “Ee-aye-addio, we’ve won the Cup,” sang the crowd, as Moore threw it in his arc above his head and caught it again.

England had, indeed, won the Cup, producing more determined aggression and flair than they had shown at any earlier stage of the competition. In such a triumph there could be no failures, but if one had to name outstanding heroes they would be Hurst, Ball, Moore and the brothers Charlton.

Hurst, who just a month ago appeared to have only the remotest chance of figuring in the World Cup, had emerged as the destructive star of a feverishly exciting game, becoming the first man to score a hat-trick in the final. Ball, who looked like a boy, had done the work of two men. Moore, showing again that he is stimulated by the demands of the great occasion, played with an imaginative self-confidence that made it unnecessary for anyone to ask who was the England captain.

Beside him Jack Charlton was a giant of a player. And through the whole performance there ran the inspiration of Bobby Charlton. In the first half, when the foundations of England’s victory were being laid, it was his relentless but unhurried foraging, his ability to impose his experience and his class on the team’s play that counted most.

Pride in defeat
Every one of the others responded superbly and if some were sometimes short of inspiration, none ever lacked courage or total commitment. Of course the Germans were on the field too, and they let England know about it often enough. They may regret now that they set Beckenbauer to mark Charlton, for the young half-back had little opportunity to exploit his attacking genius until it was too late. Held and Haller, with tremendous early assistance from Seeler, did plenty of damage, but ultimately it was Tilkowski and his defenders who were left to save Germany.

They tried mightily, but in the end England’s spirit broke them. Germany had already won the World Cup, England had not, so they had a right to accept defeat with pride. They did, and the crowd cheered their lap of honour almost as much as England’s.


The teams line up before the game begins.

Wembley was charged with an atmosphere I had never known before. Long before the teams appeared the crowd was chanting and singing. When the band of the Royal Marines, who had played a tune for each of the 16 competing nations, came to play the national anthem it was sung as it may never be sung again. Deutschland Uber Alles boomed out in its wake and the battle was on.

The Germans began rather nervously, standing off from the tackle and letting England’s forwards move smoothly up to the edge of the penalty area. Charlton and Peters were able to work the ball along the left at their leisure and there was anxiety in the German defence before the cross was cleared.

Charlton wandered purposefully all over the field, bringing composure and smoothness wherever he went, again comparisons with di Stefano seemed relevant.

One of Hunt’s few imaginative passes set Stiles clear on the right and his high cross beat Tilkowski before Hottges headed it away. The ball was returned smartly by Bobby Charlton and Tilkowski had so much difficulty punching it away from Hurst that he knocked himself out.

The goalkeeper was prostrate, the whistle had gone and the German defenders had stopped challenging by the time Moores put the ball in the net. The crowd cheered in the hope that next time it would be the real thing.

Jack Charlton, carrying the ball forward on his forehead with a skill that would have done credit to his brother, moved swiftly out of defence and his finely judged diagonal pass let Peters in for a quick powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area. Tilkowski, diving desperately to his left, punched the ball round the post. Hurst met Ball’s corner on the volley but sent it much too high.

At that point Weber chose to give one of the agonized performances that have been the German hallmarks in the competition, but Mr Dienst quickly let him know he was fooling nobody.

Peters emphasized the eagerness of the England attack by surging in from the right to shoot the ball only 2ft wide from 25 yards.

Helmut Haller (far right) celebrates as he scores the opening goal of the 1966 World Cup Final

Helmut Haller (far right) celebrates as he scores the opening goal of the World Cup Final.

Then, stunningly, in the tenth minute England found themselves a goal behind. And it was a goal that anyone who had watched their magnificent defensive play earlier in the tournament could scarcely believe. Held glided a high cross from the left wing and Wilson, jumping for the ball in comfortable isolation incredibly headed it precisely down to the feet of Haller, standing a dozen yards out and directly in front of Banks. Haller had time to steady and pivot to turn his right-foot shot on the ground past Banks’ right side.

The equalizer
It took England only six minutes to reassure the crowd. Overath had been warned for a severe foul on Ball and now he committed another one on Moore, tripping the England captain as he turned away with the ball. Moore himself took the free kick and from 40 yards out near the left touchline he flighted the ball beautifully towards the far post. Hurst, timing his run superbly to slip through the defence, much as he had done against Argentina, struck a perfect header low inside Tilkowski’s right-hand post.

Moore held one arm aloft in the familiar gladiator salute while Hurst was smothered with congratulations. It was another reminder of the huge contribution West Ham have made to this World Cup.

Bobby Charlton reasserted himself with a sharp run across the face of the goal from the right and a left foot shot. It troubled Tilkowski but he gathered it at his second attempt. The Germans retaliated through Haller, who was just beaten by Banks in a race for a through pass but the most sustained aggression was still coming from England. Moore, playing with wonderful control and assurance, was driving up among the forwards, joining intelligently with moves initiated by Bobby Charlton.

Unfortunately, however, Charlton could not be in two places at once. Time and again the attacks he conceived from deep positions cried out to be climaxed with his killing power. After Ball had been rebuked for showing dissent he took part in one of England’s more effective attacks. Cohen crossed the ball long from the right and Hurst rose magnificently to deflect in another header which Tilkowski could only scramble away from his right hand post, Ball turned the ball back into the goalmouth and the German’s desperation was unmistakable as Overath came hurtling in to scythe the ball away for a corner.

Certain to score
Not all the uneasy moments were around Tilkowski, however. First Ball and then Cohen toyed riskily with Held near the byline. Jack Charlton, maintaining the remarkable standard of his World Cup performances, had to intervene with a prodigious sweeping tackle on the ground to get them out of trouble. It cost him a corner and the corner almost cost England a goal. The ball went to Overath and from 20 yards he drove it in fiercely at chest height. Banks beat it out and when Emmerich hammered it back from an acute angle the goalkeeper caught it surely.

When a Wilson header into goal was headed down by Hurst Hunt appeared certain to score. But when the Liverpool man forced in his left foot volley Tilkowski was in the way. Soon afterwards a subtle pass from Charlton bewildered the German defence but Peters could not suite reach the ball for the shot.

The hectic fluctuating pattern of the first half was stressed again before interval when Overath hit a bludgeoning shot from 20 yards and Banks turned the ball brilliantly over the crossbar.

Martin Peters scores England's second goal.

Martin Peters scores England’s second goal.

Bobby Charlton, moving through on Moore’s pass early in the second half, fell after being tackled by Schulz, but the claims for a penalty were understandably half-hearted. Cohen was making regular runs on the right wing but his centres were easily cut out.

Mr Dienst was at his most officious but he was entitled to reprimand Stiles after the wing-half had bounced the ball in disgust at a harsh decision. Hunt was crowded out in the last stride as he met a cross from the left, but after 75 minutes he had a hand in England’s second goal.

He pushed a pass to Ball and when the winger shot Tilkowski pushed the ball onto the outside of his net. Following the corner Hurst’s shot from the left was deflected across goal by Schulz, and Peters, strangely neglected by the German defenders, came in swiftly to take the ball on the half volley and drive it into the net from four or five yards.

A free kick given against Styles was guided accurately above the English defenders by Emmerich, and Weber should have done more than head weakly past. In the last seconds of the 90 minutes the English supporters were silenced by an equalizing goal.

Charlton was doubtfully penalized after jumping to a header and the free kick from Emmerich drove the ball through the English wall. As it cannoned across the face of goal it appeared to his Schnellinger on the arm but the referee saw nothing illegal and Weber at the far post was able to score powerfully.

Wonderful shot
From the kick-off in extra time England swept back into their penalty area. Ball had a wonderful shot from 20 yards edged over the crossbar by Tilkowski. Charlton hit a low drive that Tilkowski pushed against his left-hand upright.

The Gemans looked weary but their swift breaks out of defence were still dangerous. Emmerich moved in on Banks but when he passed Held was slow to control the ball and Stiles cleared. Then Held compensated for this by dribbling clear of the entire English defence and turning the ball back invitingly across goal. But there was nobody following up.


England appeal for a goal to be awarded after Hurst’s shot hits the crossbar.

When England took the lead again in the tenth minute of extra time they did it controversially. Ball made an opening for himself on the right and when the ball went in to Hurst the inside forward resolutely worked for a clear view of the goal. His rising right foot shot on the turn from 10 yards was pushed against the underside of the crossbar by Tilkowski and when it bounced the England players appealed as one man for a goal. The referee spoke to the Russian linesman on the side away from the main stand and turned to award a goal. The delayed-action cheers shook the stadium.

Then we were up and yelling and stamping and slapping one another as Hurst shot that last staggering goal. The sky had been overcast all afternoon, but now the clouds split and the sun glared down on the stadium. Maybe those fellows were right when they said God was an Englishman.

England's Jack Charlton holds the Jules Rimet trophy aloft as he parades it around Wembley with teammates Ray Wilson, George Cohen  and Bobby Moore following their 4-2 win.

England’s Jack Charlton holds the Jules Rimet trophy aloft as he parades it around Wembley with teammates Ray Wilson, George Cohen and Bobby Moore following their 4-2 win.

World Cup? Time for a scandal…remember the Bobby Moore case

by Steve Curry (From February 2010)

The stag night maxim ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’ has long been the sacrosanct dictum of the football dressing room.

But it has become increasingly difficult to impose in the self-destruct climate of the national game.

Just as a cuckoo’s call heralds the onset of spring, so a soccer scandal has become the precursor to a big football tournament. And they come no bigger than a World Cup.


Captain in the dock: Bobby Moore (second left) is met by Colombian policemen as he leaves a Bogota jewellery shop in 1970

Fabio Capello’s insistence on high levels of self-discipline are commendable but, if he puts aside his books on fine art and reads the history of England football teams, he’ll see that control on the pitch is no guarantee of compliance off it.

John Terry is far from the first captain of his country to be embroiled in controversy, and the furore is not restricted to notches on bed posts.

The late Bobby Moore, whose Wembley statue stands as a testimony to a great captain, always remembered the date and time when England’s 1970 World Cup bid was almost sabotaged.

It was 6.25pm on Monday, May 18, 1970, when he and Bobby Charlton strolled into a jewellery store in the foyer of their Bogota hotel to look for a present for Charlton’s wife, Norma.

Without asking to see anything, they left the shop and sat down in armchairs close by, only to be summoned back and accused of theft, the start of a 10-day ordeal that rocked the world game.

It was, of course, Colombian deception aimed at upsetting the World Cup holders but once again the question was asked: why England?
If Moore was the innocent party in the Bogota incident, there have been numerous since that have owed more to testosterone than treachery.

Though Terry’s misdemeanours have happened close to home, it has been abroad that most breaches have come to light.

Until the Eighties, footballers on tour were accompanied by sports journalists whose remit was to report matches not post-match parties. It has been the cult of celebrity that has caused footballers problems.

Their profile and exposure appear to have risen in proportion to their salaries so that they are followed more closely by showbiz and investigative writers than sports reporters.


Teddy Sherringham lets his hair down at Paul Gascoigne’s 29th birthday celebrations in Hong Kong in 1996

It seems the further they fly, the more they become immune to acceptable standards of behaviour.

In Malaysia I watched a Chelsea England youth international — a former friend of Terry — drop his team-mate’s expensive camera in a pint of beer, then urinate in the lift as he left a top-floor nightclub.

At the 1990 World Cup in Italy, there were allegations that three England players had been involved in a bedroom romp with a girl called Isabella. Just what Bobby Robson needed.

Nor was Terry Venables happy that his players took advantage of a night off in Hong Kong prior to the 1996 European Championship finals to celebrate Paul Gascoigne’s 29th birthday by visiting a club with the infamous ‘dentist’s chair’.

Pictures of Teddy Sheringham having neat tequila poured down his throat appeared across the following day’s newspapers. The FA also paid compensation to the airline Cathay Pacific for video screens damaged by drunk players on the flight home.

Glenn Hoddle had to deal with players going public on their need for psychiatric help. Paul Merson and Tony Adams had drug and alcohol addictions, while Gascoigne saw two counsellors after beating up his wife and admitting bouts of rage.

Hoddle met editors and sports editors to try to stem personal stories being leaked, an irony since he kept the best one — Gazza’s wild, drunken behaviour when told he was not in his final squad — for his own book.

There are hotels across the world where men on tour have indulged in rowdiness and promiscuity on the basis that away from home a different set of rules apply. It is also true that English footballers increasingly divorce their professionalism on the pitch from that off it.

If Capello is to lift the World Cup this summer, he has to change not his tactics but his players’ mentality.

This article first appeared in The Mail, February 2010.


Marvel Moore is England Centurion World Cup Hero Earns 100th Cap v Scotland in Feb 1973

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.

Moore (right) wins his 100th cap as he and Billy Bremner lead the England and Scotland teams out at Hampden Park in 1973

Moore wins his 100th cap as he and Billy Bremner lead the teams out at Hampden Park on Feb 14th 1973

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.

Viva Bobby Moore!


Born in Guyana in 1948, Eddy Grant moved to London with his parents at the age of 12.

Always into music, he formed his first band with two school friends calling themselves ‘The Equals’. By 1967 they had a record deal with President Records and a smash number 1 in 1968 with “Baby Come Back”, which was written by Eddy.

A few more hits followed, but then came the catchy tune that was to be turned into a football anthem “Viva Bobby Joe” – lovingly revamped by England supporters to “Viva Bobby Moore” in honour of the World Cup winning skipper.

In this excellent photo from 1969, the England captain Bobby Moore is pictured in a London recording studio with The Equals, reworking that hit record into ‘Viva Bobby Moore’.

West Ham’s Moore was at the height of his powers at the time, having led England to World Cup glory three years previously he was looking forward to a trip to Mexico the following Summer to defend the title.

The Equals were formed by Eddy Grant, who later enjoyed a solo career with some smash hits in the 80’s including “Electric Avenue” and “I Don’t Wanna Dance” which became on of the biggest selling hits of 1982.