Sunday, February 24

Viva Bobby Moore

It was 20 years ago today… This fan was lucky enough to see Bobby Moore towards the end of his Hammers career, from my first game in 1970 until he left the club in 1974. I also saw BM playing against West Ham for Fulham in the 1975 FA Cup Final - including a lovely moment towards the end when Frank Lampard attempts to nutmeg Moore. He fails and Bobby stands grinning with the ball before imperiously flicking it away to a colleague. No doubt they shared a Double Diamond or two after the match.

Standing behind the goal in the North Bank with my dad we'd have a close-up view of Mooro standing on the post at corners, complete with impressive 1970s sideburns. He certainly had an immense presence on the pitch, his interventions were superb and he always seemed to be thinking ahead of the other players. Several moments stick in the mind; a great goal away at Chelsea, a heated argument with the referee after a handballed goal by Hereford and the way he'd throw the ball out of the tunnel before emerging himself — something my late dad remembered on his last visit to Upton Park at the age of 80.

When you look at some of the dodgy defending in the Premier League today, there's no question Moore could have played in today's game, particularly with modern training techniques. He was a centre back who made two goals for Geoff Hurst in a World Cup Final and looking at footage of that tackle on Brazil's Jairzinho on 1970, you realise just what an immaculate player he was. There's a tinge of sadness too that Ron Greenwood's over-idealistic approach didn't provide the signings to deliver Moore, Hurst and Peters the trophies they deserved after 1966 and that the big clubs ignored his managerial potential. But he received the tribute he deserved with all the scarves outside the club gates in 1990 before the 3-1 victory against Wolves. Bobby Moore - thank you for the days.


Keefyd said...

A little bit of a possible controversial blog post by myself Pete - but I am just being honest:

Pete May said...

Fair point Keef that he doesn't mean that much to the generation that grew up with Di Canio - though these days we can all see highlights on YouTube and appreciate a great player from any era, though obviously the ones we've watched mean more. Good blog and hope the Lego distracts you when West Ham becomes too much! I still play with my daughter's set on the sly...