‘Immaculate footballer. Imperial defender. Immortal hero of 1966. Master of Wembley. Captain extraordinary. Gentleman of all time.’
With these words, inscribed beneath the statue of England’s World Cup-winning captain, the nation remembers Bobby Moore. But what do we really know about this iconic figure?
Pelé called him the greatest – and fairest – defender he ever played against. His feats for West Ham United and England are legendary and his technical mastery of the game years ahead of its time.
Yet off the pitch, Moore knew scandal, bankruptcy, divorce and drink. He endured a string of business failures and maintained links with the East End underworld. Ignored by the football world post-retirement, this great of the game drifted into obscurity and, famously, was never honoured with a knighthood.
Acclaimed football writer Matt Dickinson traces the journey of this Essex boy who became the patron saint of English football, peeling away the layers of legend and looking at Moore’s life from all sides – in triumph, in failure, in full.