Matt Dickinson of The Times newspaper decided there was plenty left to say. He has written a book entitled Bobby Moore: The Man in Full.
Being born after the World Cup ’66, and never have been close to the player, Matt had the chance to look at his life and career through dispassionate eyes. He paints a picture of a distant, sometimes cold man.
My limited media dealings with Moore came towards the end of his life, writes Vernon Grant. But I have to say I never found him to be anything other than warm and engaging. I’m all for biographies attempting to delve deeper into the character of the person the book is about. I am not interested in reading biographies that, so to speak, blow smoke up the backside of the living or dead.
But there are parts of Matt’s book I find to be uncomfortable and segments where I wondered if he was adding two and two and coming up with five. However, it is a good read. A compelling one and I found myself reading it very quickly, albeit I was shaking my head in disbelief at times.
But then for boys of my generation Bobby Moore was a childhood hero. How could he not be when, at the impressionable age of eight, I joined the nation in watching the England captain run around Wembley with the World Cup? It remains to this day the most magical moment of English footballing history in my lifetime. Perhaps I just didn’t want to read anything negative about a hero.
I saw Bobby play for West Ham and England. He was majestic. Cool under pressure and, as his friend Norman Giller told me a while ago, the finest reader of the game we have ever seen in England.
The Matt Dickinson book was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, and rightly so. It did tell me things I didn’t know about the man and it reminded me of things I had forgotten. Like the fact that Brian Clough tried to sign him for Derby County. I was appalled to read in the book that West Ham United do not contribute to the cancer charity set up in Bobby’s name. I guess Messrs. Sullivan, Gold and Brady must be down to their last shilling!
Matt has interviewed friends of Bobby Moore, including Harry Redknapp, Frank Lampard senior and my former Sky Sports colleague, Rodney Marsh. He also acknowledges the very helpful and enlightening input from the woman who knew him well, his widow Stephanie.
Here is my 10 minute on camera chat with Matt Dickinson