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RAPIDHAMMER: Player of the Century: Bobby Moore

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Player of the Century: Bobby Moore

Over the last few months, as part of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA)'s Centenary celebrations, the readers of their website "givemefootball" have been voting for their teams of the century across three different eras and, ultimately, the overall Player of the Century. As reported on the Website of West Ham United, yesterday it was revealed that England's one and only World Cup-winning captain, the great Bobby Moore, has been named as the greatest player ever.

The West Ham United legend was certainly one of the finest players ever to have graced a football field, anywhere in the world. Not only was he the perfect pro, he was also the perfect gentleman respected by all. Bobby finished just ahead of George Best and Jimmy Greaves, who were second and third respectively, in the unique voting poll.
Bobby Moore was born in Barking, Essex, on the 12th of April 1941 and began his football career playing for local boys' teams before joining West Ham and making his debut in September, 1958.
An essentially quiet, modest man, Bobby played his football with a calm authority that oozed class. He made defending an art, timing tackles to perfection or, more often than not, simply winning the ball by his intelligent positional sense and uncanny reading of the game which enabled him to make so many clever interceptions.
With the Hammers he won the FA Cup in 1964 followed by the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965. Bobby made his debut for England in 1962 and the climax of his international career was, of course, the 1966 World Cup Finals when he led England to a 4-2 victory against West Germany (cf. Video here: "England 1966") and won the Player of Players award for a series of impeccable performances.
Perhaps his finest match came during the 1970 World Cup in Mexico when, against Brazil, he and Pele provided a master-class in top class defending and attacking play respectively (cf. Video here: "The greatest tackle ever"!).
Both Pele and Franz Beckenbauer rated Bobby as the best defender the world had ever seen. Bobby's England career ended in 1973, his 108 caps being a record for an outfield player and, in 1974, he joined Fulham. Afterwards he played for two teams in the North American Soccer League - San Antonio Thunder in 1976 and Seattle Sounders in 1978. Seattle was the last team for which he played professional football. Having retired from playing professionally Bobby Moore had a short spell in football management.
From 1958 - 1974 Bobby Moore had played 544 league games for West Ham, scoring 24 goals. When he finally retired in 1978 he had played all together over 1,000 games (cf. Video here: "A Tribute to Bobby Moore"). At just 23, he was voted the youngest-ever winner of the Football Writers'Award. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1967. Bobby Moore died on February 24th, 1993.

The PFA Team of the Century:
Peter Schmeichel
Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce, Alan Hansen, Tony Adams
George Best, Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane
Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry

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