Bobby Moore: First Gentleman of English Football
My first image in this series is of Hammers Legend Bobby Moore, which was displayed in the Bobby Moore: First Gentleman of English Football exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 27th February 2018 to 6th January 2019. The photographer is unknown and it was taken on the pitch inside the Boleyn Ground in 1962.
Its not the classic action photo, nor one of the more glamorous images of Bobby in the later years of his career, but a fresh faced younger player aged 21 years with the World Cup to look forward to in the summer after impressing Winterbottom in the England U23 squad. A year later from this photo Moore eventually captained England.
Sandwiched between ’61 and ’63 where he was voted Hammer of the Year, Moore played in the warm up match against Peru and remained in the squad for the duration of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, where England were beaten in the Quarter Finals by winners Brazil.
The country suffered the Big Freeze from late December ’61 until early March ’62 and The Beatles had their first hit with Love Me Do as the world came close to nuclear war with the Cuban missile crisis.
Moore’s impact on West Ham United and the England game is there for all to see and this photo is near the beginning of a football playing career that ended 1978 with his retirement from the pitch.
Once a national icon from the success of 1966 World Cup victory and winning BBC Sports Personality of The Year, its amazing to see this photo of Moore as a young player with all that ahead of him.
I love this portrait of Moore, he looks straight at the camera, confident, young and fresh faced with the Boleyn ground behind him with a wry smile on his face. A wonderful relaxed portrait.