Tributes

After the death of Bobby Moore was announced thousands of West Ham and England fans made a pilgrimage to West Ham's Upton Park. Gates at Upton Park after Bobby Moore's deathMany of those fans left tributes including scarves, shirts, photos and flowers in a huge show of public affection for West Ham's prodigal son. When asked why the fans had come to the ground most seemed to have no answer other than they didn't know what else to do.

There were many tributes left by fans of other clubs which just went to show how Bobby Mooore transcended club rivalries. There was no clearer demonstration of this than the perfectly observed minutes silence that was held at every game in the country.Tributes at Upton Park

It is doubtful whether any player now or in the future will stir up such levels of emotion amongst such a wide section of football fans.

Below we have a selection of tributes sent to us by fans and also one from Sir Bobby Charlton. If you wish to add your tribute please send it to us via email by clicking on the contact link in the navigation bar at the top or bottom of the page.

Also if you have any photographs of the tributes at the gates and you would like them putting on the site please email them to us.

Sir Bobby Charlton

"Bobby Moore had class and great talent as a defender. He could sense where trouble was coming from and nullify it immediately and his distribution then was superb.

FA flag at half mast

FA flag at half mast after Moore's death

Yet I think his greatest asset was his influence on his team
mates and the confidence he gave them while at the same time demoralising
his opponents. A real captain whose success and demeanourput him in the
all time great category and he was a pleasure to be with for so long."

Thanks to Sir Bobby Charlton for taking the time to reply to my letter.

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In the spring of 1989 I was working for a financial company as a mesenger and my company had moved from the city to just south of the river over London Bridge.As most of there bank accounts and clients were still based in the city it was my job to deliver letters and pay cheques in every day by strolling over the bridge and doing my jobs in the city.One day upon returning to the office my boss apoligised and said I will have to make another trip out to somewhere up by Old st roundabout to deliver a very urgent letter.Now for anyone familiar with this area will know that it's a bit of a walk so I set off grumbling away to myself to deliver this letter.

On the return leg of the journey somewhere in City Road I recognised a familiar face walking toward me.My mind was racing overtime more out of disbelief than anything else as the penny dropped as to who it was.I remember my legs refusing to move as I pointed to the figure approaching me and barely managing to croke "you're Bobby Moore.You're my hero".Bobby extended his hand for me to shake with a friendly "nice to see ya."My next words were "can I have your autograph please".Now panic really set in as I had no pen and no paper.I noticed Bobby pull a gold pen from inside his suit jacket and as I spread open my jacket in panic he noticed my cheque book poking out from the inside pocket of my suit.He signed the back of my cheque book To Andrew best wishes Bobby Moore.I said thank you very much, he said again nice to see ya and we both went on our way.

The whole meeting probably lasted no more than a minute,but for that minute he gave me his complete and total attention.As a mad keen West Ham fan I couldn't wait to get back to the office and regal the tail to the other very jealous Hammers fans at work.I was to young to have seen Bobby play but I knew full well his achievements.I wonder how many of todays kids do.Despite the meeting being so brief I remember it as if it were yesterday.A great player and a great human being of whom I feel honoured to have met.We all have our heroes and I am very lucky to have met mine in person.It will always remain a beautiful moment in my life and one I will remember for ever.

Andy Grant

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Bobby was a legend and a hero to everyone. To me, he was something more.

As a boy, I was crippled with perthes disease, a disease affecting the hips. I was in plaster from the hips down with a broomstick forcing my legs open forming an A-shape. I was mad about football - all I could do was watch. I was fortunate however, in that my local team, Coventry City, had an invalid stand at pitch level and my dad took me to every home game. The stand led straight on to the asphalt track around the pitch.

It was around 1972 and I was 5 years old. Coventry hosted West Ham in a 1st Division match. At ten to 3, the teams came out onto the pitch to warm up. A ball came into the stand and my dad picked it up and handed it to me to give back to the player walking towards me. I handed him the ball, but instead of him running back to his team mates, he sat in-between my dad and me. He turned to me and said "Hallo Sanny" in his East End accent "How are we then?" I was amazed that a footballer was actually talking to me. But this was no ordinary footballer, this was Bobby Moore. He had actually taken time out of warming up before a top flight game and came and sat asking after me. He was there for what seemed like a lifetime but it was only really a few seconds.

Bobby was the greatest England captain ever - but he was also a true gentleman who realised his responsibility in life. He knew where his roots were and he respected other people. From that day on, I supported West Ham. The big test was that fateful day in 1975 when Bobby graced Wembley for one final time. This time he was in white and black. On that day, I didn't care who won. It would really be West Ham winning the cup whether it was West Ham or Fulham.

God Bless Bobby. Sleep well.

Jamie Walker
Bedworth, Warwickshire

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Everybody remembers the very first game they ever went to. No matter who you watched, in which stadium, it remains a magical moment. The memory never dims. Mine was special. In more ways than one. It was September 1958 and for my 9th birthday treat a football loving uncle asked me if I'd like to come to Upton Park with him to watch the Hammers. I can still recall the excitement I felt even though 41 years have slipped past since. The match was special not just for me but also for a young man who was only 8 years older. His name? Bobby Moore. He was to make his first team debut that evening.

It was West Ham`s first season back in the top flight after promotion. The opposition were Manchester United and only 7 months had lapsed since Munich. I was treated to a seat in the West stand and my most vivid memories of the occasion were 2 colours. The first was the green of the pitch, a new one, the second was the colour of the West Ham number 6`s hair. Moore`s hair when he was that age was golden, believe me, and he was easy to follow from where I sat. At that age, you know what is going on and you understand what a football match is all about but the sights and sounds sweep you up leaving you breathless with excitement. I watched, transfixed at what was going on before me. As you well know, from that moment, you are hooked for life.

As I have said, Moore stood out on the pitch and I spent most of the 90 minutes watching him. All around me I could hear men muttering their approval of this youngster and I vividly remember my Uncle telling me at half time that this Moore chap was going to be a good player one day! How right he was. I won't lie and tell you I recall all the goals, I don't. I know the game finished 3-2 to West Ham who were given a standing ovation at the end, which I found fascinating.

The story has a sequel. We now move forward in time to the early 80`s when I was working for a firm in Hainault who had a Christmas do coming up and a signed football was to be raffled at it to raise money for a local charity. Everyone there knew I was a football nut and I was given a ball and told to make my way to number 4, Stradbroke Drive, Chigwell, Essex. There, they said, I'd find somebody waiting to autograph it. I had no idea who it was going to be, they weren't letting on. I asked but was told I'd find out when I got there. I drew up outside the house and walked up the long path to the front door, thinking what a beautiful place it was. I still couldn't imagine who was going to be there to meet me. I rang the bell and stood, ball under arm, waiting for my surprise. Did I say surprise? You could have knocked me over with a feather when the great man himself opened the door.

I went to say something and just made a strange noise in the back of my throat! Bobby was as suave and cool off the pitch as he was on it. He asked me in and I followed as if in a dream. He told me to sit in a chair just outside a huge lounge while he went off to get a felt tip pen. When he returned I came out with the immortal words "You`re Bobby Moore aren't you?" What an absurd thing to say! He laughed and said "Yes, as far as I know".

To cut a long story short, after he had signed the ball I told him that I had made my debut at Upton Park on the same night as him 27 years earlier. He was either intrigued by this or made a good job of seeming interested as he sat opposite me in his hall and started to chat about the club and players that were there in the late 50`s and early 60`s. He was a joy to chat to and in no time at all I was bending the poor sod's ears back. 15 or 20 minutes passed in what seemed one minute. I knew I couldn't sit there all day and the great man himself was obviously not the sort to cut you short and send you packing so I said I had to get going. He saw me to the door and on the porch he said he'd enjoyed meeting me and had loved talking about the players from that era again. We said goodbye, he shook my hand and I floated back to the car.

He had actually made me feel important! What a class act he was. On and off the pitch. When Bobby died at the tragically early age of 51 in 1993 I made my way to the ground along with thousands of others to pay tribute to him. As I stood amongst the saddened Hammers fans who were laying flowers and old rattles and scarves alongside messages of sympathy, I couldn't help but cast my mind back to the day 35 years earlier when I had turned up for my first game and more poignantly, to the day about 10 years earlier when I had been privileged to spend a magic 20 minutes in the home and company of West Ham`s favourite son. It is something I shall treasure for the rest of my days.

Tony Quinlan

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When I hear talk of the huge pressure that top-flight players are supposed to be under in the modern game.... the likes of David Beckham spring to mind.

We are treated to a long list of never ending excuses by his supporters in the media, as to why he is blameless in not only letting down Man U but also his country with a whole series of petulant and bad mannered displays over the years. In contrast Bobby Moore's discipline on and off the field was supreme and unblemished by such behaviour.

We all remember Mooro being fitted up before the start of the 1970 World Cup, laughably accused of stealing a gold bracelet from a Bogota shop. I was at the Wolves v West Ham match shortly after his return from England duty, and believe me he walked right into a cauldron of hate and bitter abuse from the home fans. Even now, so many years on, I still marvel at his calm composure on that day. He strode the pitch like the colossus he was, unpeturbed and unruffled by the horrendous and continuos baying for him to put a foot wrong......He never did all afternoon, and at the final whistle those same Wolves fans clapped him of the pitch in acknowledgement of his greatness.

Sadly, a player of Bobby's calibre comes but once to enrich our lives. As I always tell my Liverpool mad grandson, Ah, but I saw the greatest player of all."

Wicko.

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In my time of watching football both live and on the TV I marvel at some of the comments made by the younger lot, for example Roy Keane. He is a hard player etc and compares to say Nobby Stiles or Pat Crerand, even Norman Hunter but he would not last with those players, they were hard. But one player sticks out who played for the team I love so dearly. It's hard to put into words to explain the player.

Bobby Moore to me was the greatest ever. His manner and the cool calculated way which he conducted himself on the field is something Hollywood movies are made of. He was a defender and most credit of the time went to people like Pele or George best and a few others, he was well above them on any field.

You would see other players try to pass him by swerving etc only to be stopped short in their tracks as he put a foot out and calmly relieved the other player of the ball then calmly take it up field, look up and send a pin point pass some 30 to 40 yards onto say the waiting Geoff Hurst or company.

They say to play along side him you had to be able to read his mind as he could foresee many a move 4 balls beforehand and this was true.

While being captain of west ham I have had the pleasure of seeing him lift 2 trophies at club level and the country's only ever world cup win in 1966, I have also seen him on the losing side of an F.A cup final when he retired from west ham and played out his career at Fulham.West Ham fans never booed him after he left, we just thought it was a pity he had left but life goes on.

I've seen him score the odd goal like one in the late 60's against London rivals QPR. If I remember correctly he calmly drove the ball into the top of the net from about 30 yards raised his hand turned and calmly walked back to the half way line, no fuss whatsoever a far cry from todays so called superstars.

Even though he only scored rarely his talents were always on show all over the pitch and I am proud to have seen him live many times. As a kid when we went hunting autographs there was no fuss, the time was taken a queue was formed and one each was the general rule now and then with a "Hello you back again?" Knowing the faces he had seen so many times before.

The man was a legend and for him to not be awarded a knighthood for lifting the country's only World Cup is a disgrace when you consider a moaning jock was awarded one for buying 3 trophies. They seem to give them away now, but a few words to sum Bobby up SIMPLY THE BEST, even the legendary Pele agreed. What more can be said except it was once said when he died "Tell god to get Heavens eleven ready the captain is on his way."

Anonymous

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Bobby Moore was not simply a great player, he was infact West Ham United Football Club. He was everything that was good and bad about this great club, just his presence when he used to emerge from the tunnel in the West Stand as the Royal British Legion band played "Bubbles", always he had the ball under his arm said it all to me.

When the West Stand is demolished that will be my memory, of the great man leading out a great team. Let's not get carried away with ourselves, Bobby was not perfect, he liked a drink and he lived life to the full. The fact that he was human was maybe the thing that made him so special. Bobby was one of us, the East End boy made good (okay so Barking may have been in Essex then, I know).

At the time if you were going for a job interview and had an East London address you used to give the address of an aunt or uncle who lived outside the East End. Why? Because the rest of the world looked down at us, although these days with the development of Docklands and the popularity of the BBC soap opera, the East End has become fashionable. When one of us came good, usually through acting, singing, boxing or football, it was one in the eye for the rest of London who looked at us as some sort of disease.

So Bobby earned us respect as people again after the famous Tottenham double side of the early sixties, the East End had the name of Tottenham rammed down its throats but with Bobby as our captain and a team consisting of mainly all local lads off we went to Wembley three times in a row. The FA Cup, the European Cup Winners Cup and then just to rub Tottenham's noses in it, the ultimate prize the Jules Rimet Trophy! As we headed towards the seventies the East End was starting to become looked upon as less of a bad smell, if you love West Ham and you love the East End then even if you have never seen the great man play, Bobby did that for all of us!

Tony Fowles

Tony is editor of the West Ham fanzine Ironworks Gazette

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When I was younger I did not like the old geezers telling stories of the old players and times past, but here I am reminiscing about a player who set an example to all.

One thing that springs to mind was that very cold and bleak night when we played Stoke City in the league cup. Our goalkeeper got injured, and who put the gloves on our Bobby. Now he really was the man who led his team like some old general who sat on his horse and surveyed the battle around him. Here was that general putting on the gloves and jumper as cool as a cucumber. In to the goalmouth he went, surely nobody would dare to shoot against our Bobby would they? Then horror of horrors the battle is even Steven's, but the Irons are getting the upper hand when this awful moment arrives.

West Ham concede a penalty. General Moore stands there facing the kicker, and wallop the kick is taken, Mooro gets to it, but it bounces off his chest and straight to the feet of the kicker who rams it home. We go home losers to the most awful of awful fates. But the worse part of this was the fact that our General who led from the front so nearly brought off the most incredible thing. If he had saved it a legend would have been born and the story of his save would have lived on far into the future. My heart bled that night for Mooro, his face was really upset at this terrible thing to happen to him. But again what a man to coolly step up in a position nobody in their right mind would want, and he nearly pulls off the greatest thing ever. Bobby son I was damn proud of you that night.

In an era when you had Chopper Harris, our Bonzo, Tommy Smith and Bremner who were all hard men playing a far harder game than today's you also had Mooro. There was never a look of anger, he never made a crude tackle and to mark his man he just let his skills do the talking. Even these hard men had 100% respect for Mooro.

He was a God of a figure. His blonde hair reminded me of a player from the 1920's that my grandfather had talked to me about. He also had Mooro type hair and, because of that, we got our anthem BUBBLES from those who were singing it from the Chicken Run. I picture him standing in the middle like some general marshalling his men and the respect was there to see, they just did what he asked. He only had to ask and it was done. What a man's man. Will we ever see another player like him again? God, I only hope so. There is no player in England with the respect Mooro had. He never dived in the box, he never had a wild kick at an opponent, he never spat and he never appealed to a ref; he just walked calm and collected. I am sure he had an aura around him.

Baz

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Me and Bobby Moore

They were Roger Hunt and Charlie George
Georgie Best and Denis Law
Bobby Charlton Johnny Haynes
But I was always
Bobby Moore

They copied Norman Hunter Billy Bremner
Just Fontaine and Pele scored
Rivelino Puskas Yashin Zoff
But me I copied
Bobby Moore

They came as Kopa, Muller, Johnny Rep
Like Cantona they'd charm the ball
Sanchez, Milla, Aldo, Pearce
But me I came as
Bobby Moore

They sang for Gazza, Robbo, Lineker
Terrace chants sung by the score
And whilst they sang for those 3 Lions
I would sing for
Bobby Moore

They bought the boots of "Skippy" Johnstone
Kenny's 7 and Shankly's 4
The 9 of *RAF not for me
The blessed 6 of
Bobby Moore

They loved Cruyff, Rossi, Maradona
World 0 Dalglish 4
Beckham Rooney Henry now
But me I still love
Bobby Moore.

Sharon Marshall

© "Bobby's Girl" june 2004

* RAF (otherwise known as Rush and Fowler)

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I don't recall ever having the pleasure of watching Bobby play in a competitive match for West Ham. Still only five when he moved on to Fulham, my memories are limited in the main to old videos and photographs.

Yet despite this some of my most treasured footballing memories involve the great man.

I'm sure that I'm far from alone in having sat for hours watching re-runs of that wonderful day in June '66 when Bobby led England to it's unique achievement. His performance on that balmy summers day encapsulated everything that was great about the man.

Two moments from that day stick in my mind; that pinpoint 60-yard pass to Geoff Hurst that led to the final, deciding goal, and the moment immediately before accepting the trophy from HRH Queen Elizabeth, when he wiped his hand clean of dirt before shaking her hand. Both on and off the field of play Bobby exuded greatness, yet with an air of humility that is the measure of a true legend.

Even in defeat Bobby was gracious - surely a lesson to many of today's over-pampered, ill-mannered footballers. One of the most striking pictures I have ever seen is that of Bobby embracing Pele after England's 1-0 defeat against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup finals. Harry Redknapp, whilst in charge at West Ham had that very picture emblazoned upon the wall directly behind his office desk.

On February 24th 1993, the news that Bobby had died - at only 51 years of age - rocked the whole country. Wreaths and messages in their thousands adorned the gates of Upton Park as people from all over the country came to pay their respects to the greatest footballer this country has ever seen. Such scenes of public unity and grief in this country over the loss of one individual are rarely seen, such was the high regard in which Bobby was held.

But Bobby's legacy lives on, and not just within the confines of West Ham's Boleyn Ground where one stand is named after him, and where his collection of memorabilia will be displayed to remind generations of football fans of his legendary status.

Bobby Moore, the boy from Barking remains the perfect example of a gentleman both on and off the football field. He is not only a West Ham legend, but one of the true greats of world football.

Graeme Howlett
KUMB

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Bobby Moore's Boots

This happened in about 1974. Being a bit of a model railway enthusiast, I went to Westminster Hall to go to the
European Model Railway Exhibition. For some reason, my two younger brothers decided to go to Chadwell Heath for the training session. I have no idea why, since neither of them were as committed a West Ham fan as I was at the time. Anyway, when I got home that afternoon, my next youngest brother had a tale to tell.

Apparently, they had been sitting around the sidelines of one of the training pitches, when Bobby Moore came up to my brother and asked him go to the pavilion and get him a new pair of boots. My brother dutifully
ran off to the pavilion and came back with the boots. So Bobby Moore sits down on the grass next to my brother and has a chat while changing his boots. As he finishes tying his laces, he says to my brother "Here, you can
have these." Now... you tell me. What would you say to the captain of West Ham and recently ex-captain of England when he offers you his boots? Me? I would have grabbed some sort of writing implement and said "SIGN" My brother? Well.... he said "I don't want these, they're broken!!!"

Total and utter idiot!!!!! For which he has never been forgiven. To think, I could have had Bobby Moore's boots as pride of place in the West Ham shrine I have in the corner of my room. Ah, never mind. Such is life!!!

David Kelsey

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My Bobby Moore memory is one that will stay with me to my dying day.
It was Saturday 19 February 1972, the occasion of my 8th birthday.
My Dad told me that he had a surprise birthday treat arranged for me.
So with no clues on what was planned we headed for Reading General train station.
It wasn't until we were on the tube that my Dad finally told me that we were going to watch West Ham v Crystal Palace. But this, as I was to find out, was just a part of the surprise.
We walked along Green Street and stopped off in Bobby Moore's Sports Shop where I bought a West Ham pennant and a badge. After this we headed for the ground. Imagine my surprise when we were met at the main gate by the player's entrance by Ron Greenwood!! Ron shook my father's and my hand and led us to the dressing rooms where my biggest surprise of all was. There waiting for us was the man himself, my hero Bobby Moore!!!!
I was so overawed to be in the presence of the great man that I don't think I said a word. My Dad asked if it was okay to take a photo with him and while we did that Bobby had my autograph book passed around the dressing room for the whole team to sign. It all seemed like a dream and was over before I could think of anything significant to the great man. He shook my hand and I said thank-you before we were led out again by Ron Greenwood. Just as we were leaving the dressing room who should walk in but Geoff Hurst! So, I managed to add the autograph of the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final to the rest of my treasured signatures.
Ron Greenwood then handed my Dad two 90p (How Much!!) West Stand tickets and said 'enjoy the game'.
To be quite honest I remember very little about the game, we drew 1-1 with Clyde Best scoring for us, but I will never forget the day I met Bobby Moore.

Dave Witts

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Nine years today since Bobby's death. Like all things that matter in life, I can remember where I was, who told me the news etc. etc.

I was at work when I first heard the news. My very emotional brother phoned me, he had heard the news on the radio. At the time I just remember feeling a sense of disbelief. I remember getting home and watching the news, I just sat there in stunned silence as the tributes and flowers outside the ground started to grow. Bobby died on the Wednesday, on the Friday I went to the ground - I had to go, I had to be there. I bought 6 red roses (had them sprayed in C & B colours) and my favourite West Ham scarf. . As I turned into Green Street what I saw was so overwhelming, the memories still move me to tears now. There were hundreds of people and you could not see the gates or railings for flowers, scarves, messages etc, it was a sea of claret and blue and said everything about the great man and how he was our hero.

The pilgrimage to Sunderland on the 27th, the home game with Wolves the following week, the memories come flooding back. We all have our own thoughts and memories of the late, great Bobby Moore. I know I have mine.

But the tributes from the world of football reflected not just that he was one of the greatest footballers ever, but there was a presence and an aura about Bobby that very few people possess. And yet, before Bobby's death, I never felt the club gave Bobby the recognition he deserved.

Rest in peace Bobby Moore, you really were a hero in my eyes.

Sharon Nunn

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How much we miss Bobby today.

Nobody in the game today has what he had ,,,dignity.

The closest I ever came to him was at Rainham Town FC , when they inageurated their new floodlights , with a pre - season friendly in 1964.

At half time Bob and, I think ,Geoff paraded 'the cup' and I wearing the scarf my Mum had knittted jumped up and touched the cup . Today I would have been arrested but Bob just tapped me lightly on the head and pushed me back to the rails around the ground.

I still have my scarf.

Rob Foster
Bristol