Bobby Moore’s daughter has paid an emotional return to an east London primary school loved by her dad, and the scene of one an iconic photo.
Roberta visited St Edward’s Catholic Primary in east London where – exactly 51 years ago yesterday – Moore marked what was about to be his 100th international appearance by posing for a team photo for The Daily Mirror with 99 pupils from St Edward’s, all wearing blue and gold England caps.
The pic of the 1966 World Cup winning captain was taken by Mirror photographer Kent Gavin, who joined Roberta to be reunited with 12 of the children – now in their 50s and 60s – who were in the picture.
Two of them went on to become professional players: Ken Charlery who played for Watford, Birmingham and Peterborough and Paul Roberts for Millwall, Brentford and Southend.
Martin Greenfield, 57, and Phil Towers, 57, were both cheeky seven year olds in the front row in the picture. “I just remember how excited everyone was,” said Martin.
Phil added: “I remember that day very well. All of us have a copy of that photo. I remember being told: ‘keep your head up and pull your cap down’.”
It emerged yesterday that one or two of the boys in the photo had actually bunked off from another nearby school just so they could sneak into the playground to be in the picture.
Months before Moore’s 100th game Gavin came up with the idea to take him back to St Edward’s – right opposite the old West Ham Boleyn Ground – to pose with 99 of the school’s current pupils, representing all the caps he had collected up to that point. Gavin remembers: “The result was a truly iconic image.
“The expressions on the boys’ faces were just great. It was one of my most favourite photos. It was pretty chaotic at the time as we had to do it all in the lunch break without a rehearsal.
“The famous picture went on to be recreated by Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney at their respective old schools when it was the turn of that pair to join the elite group of nine England players to have won 100 caps for their country.”
Roberta said; “Dad would have been so proud and honoured that he was being remembered 51 years on. He always had very fond memories of his time at the school and loved going back for that photo.
“It’s one of my favourite photos of my dad. I remember my brother had the photo on his bedroom wall.”
As she posed with 99 of the current pupils in a re-enactment of the 1973 photo, she told the children the tale of how her Dad rose from humble beginnings to lead West Ham and his country to glory in the mid-1960s, becoming one of the biggest legends in world football, but never forgetting his East London roots.
A spokesperson for the school said: “Our children were delighted to meet Roberta Moore, Bobby Moore’s daughter, who was here to recreate a famous photo from 1973.
“In the original photo in 1973, Bobby Moore had his picture taken with St Edward’s children to celebrate his 100th England cap. We invited Roberta back to St Edward’s to have a similar picture taken with our current children. We also managed to trace a good number of the children from the 1973 photograph and they were able to join us yesterday as well. Plus we had the actual photographer from 1973 join us, Kent Gavin.
“Our children were delighted to meet Roberta, Kent and our ex-pupils to hear about their stories and memories of Bobby. I know that many of our children managed to get Roberta’s autograph as well.”
Story courtesy The Daily Mirror