Friday, February 3

Tina and Bobby: how Bobby Moore's marriage suffered when football rejected him

Just watched ITV’s Tina and Bobby, based on Tina Moore’s book about her marriage, Bobby Moore: By The Person Who Knew Him Best. The football bits aren’t that convincing and I’m not sure Ron Greenwood was quite as bluff a character as portrayed. But there are some great sixties and seventies costumes and Michelle Keegan makes a fine Tina, who is an early wag but an intelligent woman who has her own career ambitions.

Lorne McFadyean plays Mooro (without ever looking much like him) as a taciturn character, unsure how to express his emotions — though it’s moving when he does finally crack and break into tears after contracting testicular cancer. The three-part drama portrays a much more naïve world, where footballers thought they’d made it when they moved to Gants Hill and then a five-bedroom house in Chigwell.

It’s quite a sad tale. The best years of Moore’s career were the early triumphs of the FA Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and World Cup. But denied the move he wanted to Spurs (and later Derby) he drinks heavily and becomes involved in the Blackpool nightclub incident. Moore invests badly in a disastrous country club with a car salesman called Del. He ends up splitting up with Tina after retirement, when he’s scrabbling around for money at Oxford City and in Hong Kong.

The fact he’s been shamefully ignored by West Ham, the FA and the football world in general has resulted in him becoming more aloof, although he generously gives Tina the house when they split up and by all accounts had a happy marriage to second wife Stephanie. Tina said it took ten years after the split to stop loving him, and there’s a moving scene where they bump into each other on a train five years before his death and he says sorry.

During the series — which is a bit soapy but very watchable — another former England captain David Beckham was being lauded on Desert Island Discs. Had Moore played today he’d be worth multi-millions and a global icon and if he’d lived a bit longer he’d have finally been appreciated in the age of the Premier League. But it wasn’t easy being married to a legend and Tina’s story shows the human cost on a couple who married young, were thrust into stardom and then had to cope when the game moved on without them.

1 comment:

Chrissy Brand said...

I found it a very moving and well portrayed piece. Stylish too. Interesting to recognise my Manchester where it was filmed. Ancoats for the east end at the start and Sale for the first leafy suburb. The thought of all those Mancunian extras having to wear claret and blue scarves in the first episode warmed the cockles of my heart!