- Title: Sport - On this day: Born April 12, 1941: Bobby Moore, English footballer
- Date: 11th April 2020
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE - SEPTEMBER 15, 2014) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BOBBY MOORE STATUE OUTSIDE WEMBLEY STADIUM
- Keywords: Bobby Moore
- Reuters ID: LVA004C91PKCF
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Duration: 00:00:10
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Story Text: Bobby Moore being held aloft by team mates Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson at the old Wembley Stadium on July 1966, a gleaming Jules Rimet trophy held high in his right hand, is an image imprinted indelibly on the psyche of English sports fans.
To this day Hurst is rightly lauded for his hat-trick in the World Cup final victory over Germany, but it was captain Moore, the epitome of the concept that 'nice guys can come first', who stole the nation's hearts.
It is Moore's statue that commands a prominent position outside the new Wembley -- a permanent reminder of the day England ruled the world, and just how long the wait has been for the national team to scale such heights again.
Regally composed with his arms crossed, left foot resting on the ball, quiet determination etched on his face, the statue also offers a reminder of the immaculate standards of professionalism Moore set on and off the pitch.
Born not far from London's docklands in Barking during the Blitz in 1941, Moore joined local club West Ham United in 1956 and made his first-team debut in 1958 against Manchester United.
He immortalised the No.6 shirt for the Hammers, making 647 appearances before joining Fulham in 1974. West Ham won the FA Cup in 1964 and Cup Winners' Cup in 1965 as Moore established himself as one of the world's best defenders.
Moore, handed his England debut by Walter Winterbottom in 1962, was not blessed with speed, muscularity or even heading prowess but he ripped up the blueprint of how to defend.
In an era when defenders were chiefly 'stoppers' Moore was a thinking man's defender, refining the discipline into an art.
He tackled with the precision of a surgeon, read the game like a book and was a cultured passer.
His unshakeable reverence for the beautiful game earned him the admiration of team mates and opponents alike.
"Bobby was my football idol. I looked up to him. I was so proud to have played against him," German great Franz Beckenbauer once said of Moore.
Moore will always be linked to that summer afternoon at Wembley, but perhaps the match that cemented his legacy came four years later in Mexico when England were beaten 1-0 in a group game by a sensational Brazil side inspired by Pele.
Time and again Moore's well-timed interventions held back the yellow wave. The affectionate embrace at full-time between Pele and the England skipper spoke volumes.
"The shirt he wore against me in that 1970 match is my prize possession, the world has lost one of its greatest football players and a great gentleman," Pele said after Moore's all-too-short life was ended by cancer in 1993, at the age of 51.
Moore was the first of England's 1966 heroes to die. A few months later a memorial service was held at Westminster Abbey.
"My captain, my leader, my right-hand man. He was the spirit and the heartbeat of the team," World Cup winning manager Alf Ramsey, who gave Moore the captain's arm-band in 1964, said.
Moore had his ups and downs after his playing days ended in the U.S. in 1983.
He dabbled without much success as a manager of Southend, appeared in the hit movie Escape to Victory, was divorced from wife Tina in 1986, and had some ill-fated business ventures.
But his dignity endured, as did his love of the game.
He became a popular radio pundit on Capital Gold, working on an England game just days before his death.
(Production: Stefan Haskins, Mike Brock)
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