MOORE, Bobby (1941-1993)
Plaque erected in 2016 by English Heritage at 43 Waverley Gardens, Barking, London IG11 0BH, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
BOBBY MOORE 1941-1993 Captain of the World Cup-winning England Football Team lived here
Bobby Moore captained the England football team to victory in the 1966 World Cup, and is widely regarded as one of the finest defenders in the history of the game. He is commemorated with a blue plaque at his childhood home at 43 Waverley Gardens in Barking. While living here he started his professional football career with West Ham and made his first appearance for England.
BIRTH OF A SPORTING HERO
The address 43 Waverley Gardens is given on both Moore’s birth and marriage certificates, 21 years apart. The young Moore was introduced to football in the kickarounds with his father and uncle on nearby Greatfields Park, and he played in his first organised football games at Westbury Primary School. Despite school nicknames of ‘Tubby’ and ‘Fatso’, he enjoyed success with several local teams, where he found his niche as the ‘spare’ central defender, or ‘sweeper’ as the position came to be called.
WEST HAM UNITED
At the age of 16 he joined West Ham United. The scouting report stated that ‘whilst he would not set the world alight, this boy certainly impressed me with his tenacity and industry’. He made the first of his 544 appearances for the club on 8 September 1958, playing his part in a 3–2 win over Manchester United. By his own admission, Moore was not the quickest player or the strongest in the air. What marked him out was his coolness under pressure, his mastery of the ‘steal’ tackle and his distribution skills, which enabled him to set up attacks with precision.
In 1964 he skippered West Ham to victory in the FA Cup final at Wembley, and repeated the feat in the European Cup Winners’ Cup the next season.
Moore made his first appearance in an England shirt at the end of June 1962, just before he married and left home. His debut was against Peru on 20 May 1962 and ended in a comprehensive 4–0 victory. Moore was a surprise call-up to the England squad for the 1962 World Cup in Chile, but played in all four tournament games. The following year, the new England manager Alf Ramsey appointed him captain of the national side. Moore was just 22 years and 47 days old when he led the team out against Czechoslovakia on 29 May 1963, and he remains the youngest player ever to have captained England.
1966 WORLD CUP
Moore’s finest hour came in July 1966, when he captained England in the World Cup. Held on English turf for the first time, the tournament culminated in the home side’s 4–2 win over West Germany in a thrilling final at Wembley. Moore set up two of his West Ham team-mate Geoff Hurst’s three goals and, famously, wiped his muddy hands carefully before receiving the Jules Rimet trophy from the white-gloved hands of the Queen.
Moore’s father, Big Bob, watched England’s 1966 World Cup victory on television at the family home in Waverley Gardens. His mother Doss was too nervous to watch, and tended to her plants in the back garden as the game headed towards its dramatic climax. Normally, she was more voluble in her support of ‘My Robert’, as she called him, and could be heard yelling ‘unload him!’ from her place in the stand at West Ham. Big Bob died in the late 1970s; Doss continued to live at 43 Waverley Gardens until her death in 1992.
Bobby Moore died of cancer on 24 February 1993, aged just 51.