Bobby Moore's widow yesterday spoke of her sadness and disappointment at West Ham United's decision to rename a charity game in honour of her late husband in favour of an online bookmaker.
The club play Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna today for the SBOBET Cup, but for the past two years the corresponding fixture had been named the Booby Moore Cup, with £1 from every ticket sold going to Cancer Research UK. SBOBET, an online bookmaker, is the club's shirt sponsor.
Stephanie Moore, MBE, said: "West Ham has been an invaluable supporter of the Bobby Moore Fund for several years, during which time the club has contributed a substantial amount towards raising awareness of the Fund, as well as money towards vital bowel cancer research. However, I am sad and disappointed that the club has made the decision not to hold the Bobby Moore Cup this year. I'm aware of the thoughtful pleas from some passionate West Ham fans for the cup to be reinstated and am extremely grateful for their continued support."
West Ham insisted they remain committed to the charity, set up when their former captain died from bowel cancer, aged 51, in 1993. A cheque for £10,000 will be presented on the pitch from SBOBET to the charity before today's game. West Ham said the club's dire financial situation means they need the gate money to go towards investment in the academy.
A club statement said: "West Ham United would like to clarify that the decision to change the pre-season match to the SBOBET Cup in aid of the academy was not made for reasons of commercial gain by either party. Due to the financial situation at the club, West Ham United are unable to donate a significant percentage of its pre-season gate to the Bobby Moore Fund due to the necessity of focusing investment on the club's youth system and wider grassroots football."