of the best defenders in the game ever, Bobby Moore,
started his career in West Ham United and made his
league debut for them as a 17 year-old. He won his
first England cap just weeks before the 1962 World Cup
and impressed enough to gain a place in the squad that
travelled to Chile. Bobby played in every match as
England reached the quarterfinals and made the number
6 jersey his for the next decade and more.
His ability to tackle
and read the game compensated for his lack of pace.
His positioning and passing ability made him an asset
also in the offensive part of the game. He was a
gentleman on and off the field and a true leader which
made him win the England captaincy at an early age. He
kept it for 90 of his 108 matches equalling Billy
Wright’s record. Bobby’s contribution to
England’s 1966 World Cup victory was immense.
England didn’t concede a goal until the semifinal
when Eusebio scored on a penalty. As a proud captain,
he could receive the World Cup trophy from the Queen
after a dramatic final against West Germany. The mid
sixties was a time when Moore also had success with
West Ham. Not only was he voted England's Player of
the Year in 1964, he also helped them win the FA Cup
and the European Cup winners' Cup the following year.
The league championship was the one trophy he never
England travelled to
Mexico to defend their World Cup title in 1970. Bobby
was as classy as ever and confirmed his greatness
especially in the match against Brazil when England
lost 1-0. Just a couple of weeks earlier he had been
accused for stealing a gold bracelet and put in jail
for four days. He wasn’t declared innocent until
weeks after the finals. Bobby did not let it affect
his play, but West Germany got revenge for the Wembley
defeat in the quarterfinal and won after extra-time.
Bobby Moore played his
last game for England in 1973, a 1-0 defeat to Italy
at Wembley, and retired in 1976 having played his last
three seasons with Fulham. He later played in America
for Seattle Sounders, but he never succeeded as a
manager despite trying at Southend and Oxford. He was
struck by cancer in 1991 and died two years later at
the age of 51. One of his few true rivals as 'the best
defender ever', Franz Beckenbauer said of him: ”
Bobby was my football idol. I looked up to him. I’m
so proud to have played against him ”.
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