Upton Park unites in tribute to Bobby Moore, a true legend of game

Former England captain is honoured 20 years on from his untimely death by old club West Ham

Upton Park

West Ham United marked the 20th anniversary of the death of legendary captain Bobby Moore last night with a series of gestures aiming to celebrate their greatest ever player and raise money for the cancer research fund named after him.

West Ham have pledged to donate £50,000 to the fund this season and Moore's daughter Roberta was the special guest for tonight's game, discussing memories of her father on the pitch before kick-off. West Ham's players warmed up in red T-shirts with "Moore 6" on the back and there was a well-observed minute of applause before the game. There was also a special commemorative programme full of tributes to Moore, with 50p from each sale going to his fund.

In the programme, Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer remembered Moore warmly. The two faced each other in the World Cup final of 1966.

"He was an exceptionally gifted player and a true leader on the field, because he was a personality with charisma and he was able to motivate his team-mates," Beckenbauer said. "His particular strength was his intuition. Thus he had incredible positional play."

"If you play football as long as I did, even internationally, you get to know a lot of footballers. But only a few become true friends and even remain so after your career has ended. Bobby was such a friend. As a footballer he was great and as a person lovable.

"Bobby was one of the best players in the history of football. He was the captain of the team which won the major title for England in 1966 at the World Cup in their own country."

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan worked with Moore in the 1980s and remembered him fondly.

"David Gold and I were fortunate enough to get to know him well when we employed him as sports editor at our Sunday Sport newspaper in 1986," Sullivan wrote. "We couldn't quite understand why a man of his magnitude was struggling for work after his playing days, so we were only too happy to appoint him.

"I always found Bobby to be a gentleman, and one who would make time for anyone, regardless of what they did at the newspaper. He was fantastic to work with and I must admit that, as a life-long West Ham fan, I was still starstruck nearly every time I met him."

Martin Peters, who played alongside Moore for West Ham and England, gave an insight into his playing style.

"He could do anything," Peters said. "He got a few goals every now and again, and he was a great defender. He knew exactly what he wanted to do, he would mark people out of the game. He was just a wonderful, wonderful player.

"I just loved being with him. I never saw him lose his temper or really have a go at anybody. If he wanted to say something, he'd take you to one side and have a little chat in your ear. Then you would know what you had to do. But he wouldn't shout at anyone, he wasn't like that, he was calm and collected. The quality of him, you just knew by the way he played and the way he acted that he was a quality man not only in football but in life as well. He'll never be forgotten."

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