It is more than fitting that West Ham United has a home game to mark twenty years since Bobby Moore passed away. Yesterday, the actual anniversary of his death was marked by Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters laying a wreath at the statue of Moore outside West Ham’s stadium.
Hurst and Peters were teammates of Moore at West Ham, and all three were in the England side that won the World Cup in 1966. The tribute to Moore will start with his grandchildren, Poppy, 21, Freddy, 16, and Ava 13, leading out West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur.
Then there will be a minute’s applause and the West Ham fans will hold up a mosaic of his famous number six shirt, which has since been retired by the club.
It will be hoped by all connected with West Ham that the tribute to Moore can inspire the team to get some points against a Tottenham side that is going well.
West Ham started the season in good form, but their form has dipped, and owing to some dire away performances, they are nervously looking over their shoulders at the teams in the relegation places. A defeat tonight would put West Ham officially in the relegation mix.
There is also a sub-plot to tonight’s game. Last week, Tottenham’s fans were subjected to an attack from far-right activists in Lyon, based on Spurs’ Jewish links. West Ham’s co-chairmen, David Gold and David Sullivan, have asked West Ham fans not to refer to it with chanting or abuse.
I believe that the Bobby Moore tribute will deflect this type of behaviour on to what is important, and the game will be an emotional but exciting affair.