Bobby Moore: By the Person Who Knew Him Best

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9780007173976: Bobby Moore: By the Person Who Knew Him Best

A tribute to the late Bobby Moore, captain of England’s World Cup winning side of 1966, one of the greatest footballers of his generation, and a man who personified Britain in the swinging sixties. This is his powerful and moving human-interest life story, as told by his wife Tina, including his battle against cancer.

‘But Bobby had been in that dark place before Lance Armstrong was even born. In many ways it was even more devastating…in those days cancer was something you just didn’t mention, a taboo word, a fearful prospect. All I could think was, he’s only 23 and he’s been handed his death warrant.’

Bobby Moore’s death in 1993, at the age of 51, had a profound impact on the people of this country. As the only English football captain ever to raise the World Cup, he was not just a football icon but a national one.

Yet Bobby was an intensely reserved, almost mysterious personality. Only one person was his true friend and confidante – his first wife, Tina, whom he met at 17 and married in 1962.

With her, he went through all the triumphs and crises of his professional career – the life-threatening illness that struck him at 23, his clashes with West Ham (and later England) manager Ron Greenwood, his emergence as a footballer of international renown, the almost unheard of media intrusion and the kidnap threats on their children, that amazing 1966 World Cup Final day, the drama of Bogota when he was accused of theft, and his depression as he struggled to adapt to the end of his playing career.

Tina Moore’s story of her life with Bobby, the break-up of their marriage and what happened afterwards, is inspirational, candid and told with revelations and authentic insight into what made Bobby tick. Alongside previously unseen material that sheds new light on his character and anecdotes about players, wives and managers told from a female perspective, it is a moving tribute to a national icon by the person who knew him better than anyone.

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Review:

He remains one of the most iconic figure is in football; and Tina Moore’s Bobby Moore: By The Person Who Knew him Best is a book that will find a very ready audience. The jacket of the book uses just one sentence from the woman who was married to him for 24 years, in which she asks the reader to forget the Prime Minister, Prince Charles John Lennon and Paul McCartney: on the night of his greatest success, Bobby Moore was the most famous man in England. When he died in 1993 at the young age of 51, the shock felt throughout the country was palpable: his good looks and charisma, his winning personality and (most of all) his astonishing skill on the field ensured that Moore, the only English football captain ever to raise the World Cup, was a much-loved figure. And, unlike so many of his contemporaries, he had few of the character flaws that render many footballers so unlovable. Not that Moore was a saint: Tina Moore’s book is as frank about the bad times as it is celebratory of the good. He was an extremely introspective and rather enigmatic man, and few people (outside of the woman he married in 1960) really got to know the man. And his success was not achieved without cost: serious illness in his 20s, bitter conflicts with the England manager Ron Greenwood, the kidnap threats against his children -- all are handled here with sympathy and understanding by Tina. In a natural, unforced authorial voice, she is particularly good on the media circus that made their lives a living hell (intrusive media attention is by no means a recent phenomenon, as we learn). The on-the-field triumphs are all here, of course, but it goes without saying that the personal life of the couple is most important to the woman who was married to Moore for so many years; strong sections of the book deal with the grim time of Bogata, when Moore suffered accusations of theft, and his psychological difficulties when adjusting to the fact that he could no longer play as in his heyday. The break-up of the marriage is a particularly poignant section, and the final effect of the book is of a heartening tribute to a remarkable sportsman. -- Barry Forshaw

Review:

‘He was my friend, as well as the greatest defender I ever played against’ Pele

‘Bobby Moore was a real gentleman’ Franz Beckenbauer

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