Obituary: Bobby Moore

FOR ANY kid growing up in the East End during the 1960s, Bobby Moore was a role model of such blinding excellence that no matter how cross-eyed or clumsy, there was the hope that somehow, whether playing on the left side of defence in a playground kickabout or adopting Vitalis (the hair lotion he endorsed), you just might be touched by the great man's grace, writes Dick Hobbs (further to the obituary by Ken Jones, 25 February).

He was the first glamorous footballer, up there with the pop stars, actors, hairdressers and other working-class heroes, but 'Mooro' always seemed like one of us. He made the cliche of the football ground as cathedral make sense. When I first saw him play for the reserves I was carried over the turnstile by an indulgent uncle, and then throughout the game instructed to watch 'the young blond boy'. And we all watched him. When he captained a winning West Ham team at Wembley in 1964 (the right-winger ran a local butcher's shop) and again in 1965, it really felt that something special was occurring in E13.

By the time 1966 came around we all agreed with Alf Garnett that it was West Ham and not England that had won the World Cup, and the kid down the road dressed his labrador in a West Ham shirt with an embroidered No 6 on the back and wheeled him round the streets in a pram.

If a local school or park player on making a tackle strode forward, chest out, looked up and attempted a 40-yard diagonal pass inside the full-back, there was no doubt who he was trying to imitate. But how could Bobby Moore play at that level with such an upright stance? How did he cope with playing in successive post-1965 West Ham teams that were as erratic as dockwork? And why didn't he chin Rattin, the Uruguayan captain? However, we did know his wife's name, the car he drove, and the whereabouts of the West Ham drinking school.

We watched him play in goal against Stoke in the 1972 League Cup semi-final and save a penalty, and watched his 1970 testimonial game against Celtic. And we watched on television when he led the last great England side at the Mexico World Cup.

For some reason, we have forgotten that mistake against Poland that only northerners choose to remember, and when he joined Fulham in 1974 it meant that the 1960s were over, the docks were shut and nothing really belonged to us any more. So we all moved to Essex.

In the mid-1970s we visited his pub, 'Mooros', but he wasn't there. A friend of mine once walked up to Bobby Moore and asked him for his tie and he gave it to him. He was the best defender in the world, captain of England, the idol of millions and he gave my friend his tie. It was pure silk.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits