Bobby Moore Fact File
A brief insight in to the profile and facts of the legendary Sir Bobby Moore. From his early days, career highlights and his untimely death.
Bobby Moore joined West Ham as a player in 1956, and after advancing through their youth set up played his first game on September 8, 1958, against Manchester United. In putting on the number 6 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. In fact, Pelé called Moore the fairest defender he had ever played against.
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 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.
As an uncapped player, 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 and was subsequently Moore the leader of the side which gave English football its crowning glory and established him as a magnificent player, gentleman and sporting icon.
Moore became a national icon as a consequence of England’s success, with he 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.
Moore played his final professional game in England for Fulham on May 14, 1977 against Blackburn Rovers. Since his death, The charity Cancer Research UK(CRUK) set up the Bobby Moore Fund to raise money for bowel cancer research in his memory: the Run for Moore races raise funds for this.