This weekend marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore, former captain of West Ham and England, who tragically died of bowel cancer at the ridiculously early age of 51. Franz Beckanbauer and Pele described him as the best defender ever. But our interest is more on the leader and person. The iconic, blonde poster boy, famously captured holding the World Cup way back in 1966, who went onto play 108 times for England. His reputation is only partly due to those things – its also about his leadership, character and generous nature.
Think you might follow a man like Bobby? Here are just a few of the quotes about ‘Mooro’
As a leader
“He was a quiet captain. He wasn’t noisy, he showed his captaincy by the way he played more than shouting and screaming at people – he never did that” – Martin Peters fellow West Ham and England World Cup Winner
“He would encourage a player that might have been having a bad time. He’d give them a lift. You knew that was good encouragement from a player of his stature” Gordon Bank – World Cup winning colleague.
“He was a leader. If you thought that he was busy on the field when we were actually playing a match, it was nothing compared to the number of times he just used to take you to one side…to talk about a situation that gave us something to think about.” – Sir Bobby Charlton fellow World Cup Winner
About the man
“He put everyone at their ease. He treated princes and paupers in the same endearing way. He always made you feel you were the most important person in any situation.” Journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Pearce who worked with Bobby after he retired from football.
“He would be the nicest and best fella you could ever meet in your whole life. He was class. On the field he was class and off the field he was class” Harry Redknapp, Premiership manager“
“He was my HERO, the blond adonis was the greatest and an absolute gentleman. I can still feel him with his arm around me when I was about 8 at Chadwell Heath, him and my Dad were close. His death still feels raw to me.” – Graham Arnold – life-long season ticket holder at West Ham and man in the street who, like many of us, have sweet memories of a memorable man.
Bobby left a great imprint on those around him, with a generous nature that left others feeling special, with the focus on them not his own achievements. He used the talents he had to better himself and others, whilst still achieving. Whilst we may not affect as many people, on such a scale, as Bobby did, maybe we can all show some similar qualities – especially under pressure.