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John Simkin

Bobby Moore and Wikipedia

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In the Wikipedia entry for Bobby Moore it states that:

According to Geoff Hurst's autobiography, England full back George Cohen overheard Ramsey talking to his coaching staff about the possibility of dropping Moore for the final and deploying the more battle-hardened Norman Hunter in his place. However, eventually they settled on keeping the captain in the team. Moore had not been playing badly, nor had he given the impression that he had been distracted by his contract dispute prior to the competition. The only possible explanations were that the Germans had some rather fast attacking players, which could expose Moore's own lack of pace, and that Hunter – who was of a similar age to Moore but only had four caps – was the club partner of Moore's co-defender with England, Jack Charlton.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Moore

If you look at page 104 of Geoff Hurst's book, Geoff Hurst: 1966 and All That (2001), he does in fact tell the story of Cohen overhearing Ramsey talking to his coach Les Cocker and his physiotherapist Harold Shepherdson, talking about replacing Moore with Norman Hunter. Hurst wrongly concludes that this was because of Moore's form. He should have done some more research about that conversation. Shepherdson explains what happened in an interview he gave after the match:

On the 27th July 1966 he went down with tonsilitis, the day after the semi-final win over Portugal. we were worried it might develop into something worse, but the emergency proved the wisdom of having our own physician on the spot, Dr Alan Bass... It is imperative to get an instant diagnosis, especially in this case, when we had only two full days to get Bobby fit. Dr Bass got cracking right away but if we had left matters for a day, the tonsilitis would have got such a hold on Bobby it would have taken five days to clear up. That is how close Bobby was to missing the final.

There was no way Ramsey was going to drop Moore. As he pointed out: "He (Bobby Moore) was my captain and my right-hand man. Bobby was the heartbeat of the England team, the king of the castle, my representative on the field. He made things work on the pitch. I had the deepest trust in him as a man, as a captain, as a confidant.... I could easily overlook his indiscretions, his thirst for the good life, because he was the supreme professional, the best I ever worked with.... We would not have won the World Cup if Bobby Moore had not been our captain."

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