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A final Boleyn goodbye to the incredible Mooro

Bobby Moore, former England captainRemembering Mooro today is so easy… because there’s barely a day of my life passes when I don’t.

I was honoured that the man who was my greatest hero as I watched from the West Enclosure back in the 60s later became a colleague and friend when I ghost wrote his weekly columns and match reports on the David Sullivan-owned Sunday Sport.

Bobby-MooreBobby was – and still is – the man. It was obvious way back then he would be forever remembered as the greatest player of his generation – in my world he was probably the greatest man I ever knew!

He was – if you’ll excuse the mixture of genders – the Princess Diana of his day – universally adored and a man born to become the King of the English game.

I have paid him many compliments in many pieces various newspapers have asked me to write down the years and in the end the highest compliment I can pay him AGAIN is to say HE WAS A GREATER MAN THAN HE WAS A FOOTBALLER.

1bd8ff2c9a1e454fff6f6f7040c3c6a4He was as cool and composed off the pitch as he was on it – I never heard a swear word out of the man and I never heard him say a bad word about anybody.

I remember asking him when former England skipper Bryan Robson was being accused of sexual shenannigans Mooro merely commented: “I think we’ve all made mistake haven’t we?’

He would have hated social media and everything that goes with it and would never have been a Twitter or Facebook man. Bob never went with the flow… he made his mark by going against it.

He avoided controversy like the plague but when it came upon him in the ‘stolen bracelet affair’ he dealt with it like no other human being involved in a major tournament would have managed and produced World Cup performances a level above anyone else.

Bobby-Moore (1)I have often told the story of how – just a few months from his death – I met him for the last time in the Hawthorns’ Press room.

There was this quite incredible former footballer, amazing human being, our greatest sporting national treasure sipping weak tea from a polystyrene cup whilst reporting for Capital Radio – that’s how we treat our greatest national hero… REALLY!

He looked so ill and I asked him how he as as we shook hands again: “Oh, I’m fine Hughie… just a bit of winter flu.”

A few months later he was gone.

That though was his way – no fuss… no palaver.. .get on with it… don’t complain and don’t slag anyone down.

Bob I salute you again as I do mentally most days of my life – you were the guy who put the ‘leg’ into legend – the hero who became a friend and colleague.

You were an inspiration to the thousands you met and the millions you didn’t.

See you later mate!

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

7 comments on “A final Boleyn goodbye to the incredible Mooro

  1. Nice 1. There was a documentary about him, and at the end I was in tears, which is very rare for me. He wasn’t just perhaps the greatest footballer our country ever produced, the man represnted the highest values of mankind, which, as lesser beings, we struggle to emulate. Even though Bonds is my favourite Hammer, there is probably not a finer human being walked this planet!

  2. Bet the proof reader was kept in late most evenings at the Sunday Sport when you where there Hughie…

  3. Can’t believe it’s been so long

  4. What a wonderful article – the best that I have read on here, Hugh.

    Thank you.

  5. Beautiful tribute Hugh, many thanks, and many thanks to the great man too x

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