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Mex Martillo 10:12 Sat Jan 5
Why Moore left West Ham?
BBC running this story
Anyone remember it, was it like this? Do you agree?
https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/46731183

Bobby Moore: How an FA Cup night out soured England legend's West Ham career

As players across England prepared for this weekend's FA Cup third round, strict protocols would have been followed to aid their preparations. Late nights out would certainly have been off the agenda.

Here is an FA Cup tale that took place in a different era almost half a century ago, when a band of West Ham team-mates - including the only man to captain England to World Cup glory - misjudged the consequences of throwing caution to the wind.

It's told from the memories of one of those involved, Clyde Best, who 50 years ago this season became one of the first black players to star in the English top flight.

It was 1 January 1971 and West Ham had been drawn away to First Division rivals Blackpool in the third round of the cup. It was close to freezing as the players took the train to the north-west on the day before the game.

"Once we had settled at the hotel we learned that the referee was going to call off the game," Best, now 67, tells BBC Sport from his home in Bermuda.

That was the cue for senior players Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves and Brian Dear, along with 19-year-old forward Best and club physio Rob Jenkins, to order a taxi and head to Brian London's nearby 007 Club.

Former boxer London was a friend of Moore's and ran several clubs in the area.

"Blackpool was quite a destination for footballers, a lot was going on. I remember 007 was a really nice place - one of the best in the town," recalls Best.

"The music was great, but we were just standing next to the bar all night. I was teetotal and the guys only had a few drinks. We were only gone for a few hours - I think we were back by midnight."

Much to their surprise, the match went ahead the following day.

On a slippy Bloomfield Road surface, West Ham were torn apart by Scottish midfielder Tony Green as the Tangerines, led by new manager Bob Stokoe, ran wild.

"Green was on a roll - I never saw anybody play on ice like that. He was like a ballerina, you thought he had a pair of ice skates on. He was brilliant that day and they ended up beating us," Best continues.

Despite only a few points separating the teams in the table, the Hammers were expected to defeat a side who were relegated a few months later. Instead they suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss.

Worse was to come when a fan told newspapers that he had spotted the group at the nightclub - and Monday's headlines made for ugly reading for all concerned.

One report stated that a hotel porter saw the players actually leave the hotel at midnight and return at 2am.

It goes without saying that West Ham manager Ron Greenwood was unimpressed.

"Ron was quite a quiet fellow, but if you upset him and did the wrong thing you'd suffer the consequences," says Best.

"We were all called into the office that week. The guys held their hands up and were counted. They said they were drinking, but admitted that I hadn't touched a drop.

"The club suspended everybody but me."

Best, Moore, Greaves and Dear were also fined a week's wages and physio Jenkins was given a severe reprimand.

Moore - a national hero after skippering England to World Cup success at Wembley in 1966 - was now facing one of the most difficult moments of his playing career.

Speaking in 1985, Moore recalled: "It was a completely innocent couple of hours. We only drank two or three glasses of beer. Best drank orange juice.

"After that, things were never the same between myself and West Ham. I had claret-and-blue blood, but I could never forgive the club for the way they treated me."

Moore's relationship with Greenwood and the club soured and he eventually left for Fulham in 1974 having been at West Ham for 18 years.

Dear and Greaves departed at the end of the 1970-71 season, while Best was retained and went on to score a total of 58 goals in 221 appearances for the Hammers before he left in 1976.

"It was just a blatant mistake that could have happened to anybody, but we've had to live with the consequences for the rest of our lives," adds Best.

It hurt the Bermudian that Moore, the man who helped look after him when he arrived from the British Overseas Territory as an 18-year-old, had, in his opinion, been treated poorly by the club in the aftermath of the incident.

Best adds: "If I had to make a decision he would not have left the Hammers for Fulham.

"When you have a person like him so valuable to the team and everybody adored him, you keep him and don't just disregard him.

"The papers probably tried to take him down, but Bobby was such a strong-willed person. He's one of the best defenders I've ever seen.

"The thing I remember about Bobby Moore was that he wasn't only a good football person but a good human being."

'Block out the abuse, Raheem'

Best played at a time of high racial tension in Britain following the influx of immigrants from the Commonwealth during the 1950s and 1960s.

He suffered abuse almost at every stadium away from Upton Park - "it's just how it was" - but says he will never forget the support of his team-mates.

"Bobby was a great help, as was Harry Redknapp, Billy Bonds - they would encourage me to keep going and told me not to let them get under my skin.

"They also told me how brave I was and that they would have packed it in. But I felt I had a calling, so to speak, something I always wanted to do and nobody was going to stop me doing it.

"The most important thing was I had to think about all the people of colour working in England at the time and by seeing me on TV or the newspapers I inspired them.

"When I look at the game now there are more players of colour than anybody else. The game belongs to everybody, not just one group of people. It doesn't matter what colour you are, the ball doesn't care."

Best notes the alleged abuse recently directed at Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and offers this advice to the England winger: "Block it out. It's going to happen because that's the way the world has turned.

"Every time you think it's going to get better, it's got worse. Just go out and perform - your club and people will back you."

Best went on to play for Dutch club Feyenoord, a string of clubs in North America, and tried his hand at coaching before eventually retiring in his home country.

He never got to meet his friend and mentor Moore again in the years before the England legend's death in 1993.

"I was coaching in the USA when he passed away. It's a shame I never saw him, but those things happen in life. It's something you have to accept and just go on," Best added.

"If I could say something to him I would say, 'Thank you for helping me with my development'.

"I will never forget him."

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Any Old Iron 9:39 Thu Jan 10
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Crassus 12:56 Tue Jan 8

If anyone's a cunt it must be you after a snide comment like that. Why would you call Fester a cunt? There's just no need for that kind of bollox.

terry-h 8:03 Thu Jan 10
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
One recurring story I heard about Brian Dear was that he looked after ageing and infirm ex Hammers on a regular basis. When Ernie Gregory was in a bad way,Dear visited him a lot at his home in Seven Kings then in an old folks home just before his death.

Northern Sold 1:20 Thu Jan 10
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
I remember when Southend United put Brian Dear in control of the club bar............... big mistake that.......... think he used to run one of the boozers (the Cornucopia) down the seafront... absolute pisshead

Lertie Button 1:07 Thu Jan 10
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Brian Dear had been given a lifeline having been brought back to West Ham the previous year, that was how he repaid the club.
No one to blame but himself

Wasser 5:04 Thu Jan 10
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Oh, and what Admiral Lard said!

Wasser 5:00 Thu Jan 10
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Very harsh assessment of Bobby Ferguson Crassus. He may not have been our best keeper (he made some great instinctive saves but his judgement was suspect) but I always found him to be a gent.

At the same time we also bought a right back Billy Bonds and a centre half called John Cushley, who’d been understudy to Billy McNeil at Celtic. unfortunately, Cushley never lived up to Greenwood’s expectations hence the signing of Stephenson from Crystal Palace.

Admiral Lard 9:35 Wed Jan 9
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Sacked by Pratt, all you need to know really

Last Saturday I listened to Brian Dear talking about being sacked at the end of that season. He was very clear that he sacked, not let go.

I had the impression he was, and remains, West Ham through and through but is bitter of his treatment. Brian was a very important second string/ substitute player for West Ham throughout the sixties. Only played in 67 matches over 8 years though played in the ECWC win at wembley in 65 scoring a total of 33 goals, amazing strike rate for so few regular appearances. He once scored 5 goals in a single game for us.

If he is angry about his treatment by West Ham, how must Bobby Moore have felt?

He wasnt sacked but, he never had the same respect and he was not made welcome once he retired. I remember being at the home fixture vs our promotion rivals, Newcastle on February 21st 1993. Rumours of his demise were rife and he died just 3 days later.

I didnt go to the hime game against Wolves 2 weeks later, the outpouring of grief, whilst being understandable, made my stomach churn from the club point of view. They shut him out and, when he needed help, there was none.

Reg pratt
Len Cairns
Martin Cairns
Terry Brown

SIR BOBBY MOORE!

Mike Oxsaw 9:09 Wed Jan 9
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Duncan Edwards alongside Moore would have been a dream pairing.

Whatever happened to him...?

Far Cough 7:11 Wed Jan 9
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Instead of Maurice Setters, Greenwood settled for Alan Fucking Stephenson


Crassus, Ferguson might not have been a great goalie for us but a cunt?

Crassus 12:56 Tue Jan 8
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Oh and here is another

He wanted a physical CB along side him, Morris Setters I believe his choice - Greenwood declined

After 66 we could have signed Gordon Banks, but had a verbal upon Bobby Fergusson, a cunt of a bloke - so we declined Banks and paid more for Furgusson, more being enough to be a world record then for a GK

Done that twice btw, Phil Parkes being the second time, at least we got one right

Crassus 12:50 Tue Jan 8
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
BerlinIron 6:55 Mon Jan 7

Yep, he was blackmailed into signing a new contract as we held his player registration

As Sold says, he wanted out over a long period, we held him until we did not want him

Lots of mythology around Sir Bobby and WHUFC

Still treated appallingly mind post playing days

Northern Sold 12:44 Tue Jan 8
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Wanted to join Spurs in 66 to be with his good mate Greavsie....

jimbo2. 12:18 Tue Jan 8
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
The Blackpool incident was January 1971, but Bobby left for Fulham in 1974. Would have been a bit of a delayed action! However it was one of several things that strained the relationship between BM and RG over a few years.

BerlinIron 6:55 Mon Jan 7
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
On the verge of his greatest triumph, details were released to the press in early 1966 that Moore wanted to leave West Ham. Moore had let his contract slip to termination, and only after the intervention of Sir Alf Ramsey and realisation he was technically ineligible to play, did he re-sign with West Ham to allow him to captain the England team of 1966. Ramsey had summoned West Ham manager Ron Greenwood to England's hotel and told the two of them to resolve their differences and get a contract signed up.

JAC 8:56 Sun Jan 6
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Bobby was treated like shit by the football establishment once he left West Ham.

The FA should hang their heads in shame.

terry-h 5:51 Sat Jan 5
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Greenwood said in his autobiography that he wanted all the Blackpool culprits to be sacked but the directors refused to do that. Greaves retired at the end of that season and Dear was let go.
Tina Moore didn't get on with Greenwood at all and the manager's relationship with his captain went downhill fast after the Blackpool incident. Fulham paid £50,000 for Sir Robert in 1974, half to West Ham and half to Moore. According to Moore's biographer, he was angry at Greenwood taking any of the fee from Fulham after his long service at West Ham.

SDKFZ 222 5:34 Sat Jan 5
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Sven Roeder 10:54 Sat Jan 5

I totally agree. I saw Bobby’s last two seasons with us but during his last season, 1973-74, time had caught up with him and he was no longer at his imperious best, I hate to say.

His very last first team match for us was the 1-1 home FA Cup match against Hereford, their goal was a mistake by him and the crowd were getting on his back.

Another reason why he was let go was because we had an up and coming Kevin Lock who played in Moore’s position at the back. Lock went on to play in Moore’s number 6 shirt in the 1975 FA Cup final. I was at these matches and remember them perfectly.

Far Cough 5:25 Sat Jan 5
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
In my opinion, that bracelet thing was a setup to demoralise our squad

Far Cough 5:22 Sat Jan 5
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
Clyde had a wicked shot on him, one hit the north bank crossbar and made it vibrate for quite some time

J.Riddle 2:02 Sat Jan 5
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
I remember as a kid on the NB early 70's blokes in front calling Best Teflon.

arsene york-hunt 2:00 Sat Jan 5
Re: Why Moore left West Ham?
I west to see us play Liverpool in 1967. John Charles was subjected to monkey noises from every part of the ground loudly & persistently. I remember thinking how can Liverpudlians think they are superior to anybody, and have detested the mawkish, grief mongering "Victims" ever since.

Used to love watching Clyde Best, and he was a great role model for the next generation.

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