Bobby Moore: The favourite son of the East End who won England the World Cup

Bobby Moore, who captained England to their 1966 World Cup win, went from an East London school playground to Wembley and never lost his love for the area.

Footballer Bobby Moore is arguably the most famous person in the game, captaining England to their infamous 1966 World Cup triumph. His legacy is cast in bronze, with statues outside Wembley Stadium and Upton Park in Newham.

But did you know Moore was born in East London? While he is revered by fans all over the world, once praised by Brazil footballing legend Pele, he never forgot his roots.

Moore was born on 12 April 1941 in Upney Hospital, Barking, during the blitz of WWII. He attended Westbury Primary School there, before moving to a secondary school in East London’s Leytonstone. It was at the Tom Hood School where Moore honed his craft and it was not long before West Ham United came knocking, the club where Moore won the FA Cup in 1963/4 and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1964/5.

Urban myth has it that Bobby Moore was the part owner of the Salmon and Ball pub in Bethnal Green, formerly called Tipples. Whether this is true or not, this rumour brought in fans across the East End to raise a toast to their favourite son.

Moore’s legend lives on and only in 2017 the Bobby Moore Academy was opened on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to serve the next generation of East London footballing talent. The academy endearingly bears the iconic image of Moore holding up the World Cup. It is one of football’s defining symbols, a young man enamoured with the East End clutching the greatest prize of all.

Moore died of cancer in 1993 at the age of 51, but his legacy in East London lives on. He remains one of the most revered footballers in our area, from Bethnal Green to Newham. From his West Ham debut aged 17 alongside fellow East Enders Andy Malcolm and Ken Brown, it was clear Moore or ‘Morro’ would achieve world renown. 

‘He never missed,’ said fellow East Ender Brown of Moore.

For another of our historical pieces, read about St. Paul’s Bow Common Church.

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