Statue of Bobby Moore, Wembley

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Bobby Moore Sculpture
Bobby Moore statue, Wembley (17).jpg
The sculpture in 2008
Coordinates 51°33′26.28″N 0°16′46.56″W / 51.5573000°N 0.2796000°W / 51.5573000; -0.2796000
Location Wembley Stadium, London
Designer Philip Jackson
Type statue
Material bronze sculpture
Height 20 feet (6.1 m)
Beginning date 2005
Completion date 2007
Opening date 11 May 2007 (2007-05-11)

The Bobby Moore statue is a bronze sculpture of the former West Ham and England footballer Bobby Moore, situated outside England's national stadium, Wembley Stadium, in London. It commemorates the life of Moore, who captained the only England side ever to win the World Cup, defeating Germany 4-2 in the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final held in England at the old Wembley Stadium, demolished in 2003. Commissioned by the Football Association, it was unveiled outside the new stadium when it opened in 2007, fourteen years after Moore's death from cancer, aged 51. Standing 20 feet (6.1 m) tall on a stone plinth, it looks over spectators as they walk down Wembley Way into the stadium. Sculpted by the Royal Sculptor Philip Jackson, it is Jackson's second piece featuring Moore, after the World Cup Sculpture unveiled in 2003.

Statue[edit]

The work, titled The Bobby Moore Sculpture by Jackson, is a twice life size, tall bronze piece [1][2] and stands at 20 feet (6.1 m) including the plinth.[3] It is located at the end of Wembley Way and weighs around two tons.[1][4] It was placed in a prominent position high on a plinth on the north side of the stadium, with Moore looking north along the Way, which forms the main pedestrian approach to the stadium, where it can look over arriving fans.[1][4][5]

In addition to the statue, the work features on the front of its stone plinth a plaque, depicting the rest of the team, while similarly on the side is mounted a sculpture of an England cap, with "World Championship, Jules Rimet Cup, 1970" written on the peak.

The work also features an inscription composed by Jeff Powell, a football journalist and one of Moore's closest friends.[6] It reads:

Immaculate footballer. Imperial defender. Immortal hero of 1966. First Englishman to raise the World Cup aloft. Favourite son of London's East End. Finest legend of West Ham United. National Treasure. Master of Wembley. Lord of the game. Captain extraordinary. Gentleman of all time.[6]

Inspiration[edit]

The full statue and plinth, outside the Wembley north entrance

The subject of the statue is the English footballer Bobby Moore OBE (1941–1993). Moore, who died of cancer aged 51, was the captain of West Ham United and England team, and had led England to victory at the 1966 World Cup at old Wembley. The statue is a tribute to Moore's unique achievement of being a World Cup winning England captain, and was commissioned in response to a Football Association fan poll to find the greatest England player of the last 50 years, won "hands down" by Moore.[1]

Jackson sought to create a sculpture that "captures the qualities associated with Bobby Moore, namely integrity, loyalty, leadership, popularity and humility but above all as the greatest-ever English footballer."[7] Jackson consulted with a specially formed panel to agree the design, formed from Moore's widow Stephanie, Moore's fellow footballers and friends Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA and WNSL chiefs Brian Barwick and Michael Cunnah, the Royal British Society of Sculptors President Brian Falconbridge, and architect Lord Foster, as well as fan representative Gavin Morton-Holmes.[7] On unveiling, Jackson said "What emerged [from the design consultation] was he was this extraordinary presence in the team, which gave this enormous confidence and allowed the team to sort of win through in '66 and so I created the sculpture in this sort of old fashioned heroic style." [5]

History[edit]

Commissioning[edit]

The statue at the end of Wembley Way

Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL) announced it was commissioning the statue in September 2005, while the new Wembley was being built, replacing the Old Wembley.[1] According to Paul Kelso of The Guardian, the statue was the Football Association's first official tribute to Moore.[8]

Jackson was selected from a short-list to produce the statue. It was the second time Jackson had produced a sculpture of Moore, having completed The Champions sculpture situated near West Ham's stadium, the Boleyn Ground, unveiled in 2003 by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and features Moore held aloft on the shoulders of other players, himself holding the World Cup trophy aloft.[9]

Production[edit]

Preview images of the clay mould for the sculpture were released in January 2006, while Stephanie Moore visited the studio to see the work in progress.[10] Modelled in clay, the sculpture was then moulded in hard plaster and then sand, to facilitate casting in bronze, with the cast statue finished by patination for the final colour.[10]

Jackson created eight casts of Moore's right foot for the sculpture, one of which was auctioned on 31 May 2006 at Christie's in aid of Moore's cancer charity.[11]

Unveiling[edit]

By night, beneath the Wembley Arch

The statue was unveiled on 11 May 2007 by Sir Bobby Charlton, with guests including Moore's widow Stephanie, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Sir Geoff Hurst.[6] The statue was the "finishing touch" to the completion of the new Wembley, which officially opened after several delays, on 19 May, with the staging of the 2007 FA Cup Final.[1] WNSL originally intended to unveil it in 2006, on the 40th anniversary of the World Cup win, with the new stadium having originally been due to open in time for the May 2006 FA Cup Final.[7][12]

Reception[edit]

The statue, along with the signature steel arch, are described by Paul Hayward of The Guardian as the "inspiring architectural flourishes" of the stadium.[13] Henry Winter of The Daily Telegraph, writing in 2009, described how the statue "captures Moore's dignity", and is the place where everyone on their way into Wembley pauses for a moment to admire "this magnificent likeness of the most important figure in the history of English sport and [give] thanks for 1966".[14]

Moore's widow said of the completed statue, "Philip has done an incredible job of capturing Bobby – both in terms of his qualities as a player and his physical appearance."[4]

Gallery[edit]

For a full gallery see Bobby Moore statue, Wembley page on the Wikimedia Commons

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Footballing legend Bobby Moore returns to Wembley". www.wembleystadium.com > Press Releases. Wembley National Stadium. 10 May 2007. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Bobby Moore Sculpture". www.philipjacksonsculptures.co.uk > Public commissions. Philip Jackson Sculpture. n.d. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Statues". www.boobymooreonline.co.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Bobby Moore Statue Unveiled At Wembley". Sky News. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Wembley's Moore statue unveiled". BBC News. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "Footballing legend Bobby Moore takes his place at Wembley". www.wembleystadium.com > Press Releases. Wembley National Stadium. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "Wembley Stadium commissions Bobby Moore statue". www.wembleystadium.com > Press Releases. Wembley National Stadium. 2 September 2005. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Kelso, Paul (11 May 2007). "Blair to unveil Moore statue at Wembley". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Champions The World Cup Sculpture". www.philipjacksonsculptures.co.uk > Public commissions. Philip Jackson Sculpture. n.d. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Bobby Moore tribute takes shape". www.wembleystadium.com > Press Releases. Wembley National Stadium. 18 January 2006. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "The price of sporting prowess: 1966 and all that". The Independent (London). 17 May 2006. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Bobby Moore sculpture for Wembley". BBC News. 2 September 2005. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  13. ^ Hayward, Paul (18 April 2009). "Wembley pitch not passable for Arsenal and Chelsea". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Winter, Winter (22 December 2009). "England captain John Terry could do with a touch of Bobby Moore's class". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 

External links[edit]