Development and regeneration in Barking and Dagenham

BOLD meets England football legend

Thu 3 September 2015, 4:32 pm

“The best footballer I played against was Pelé, but the best I played with was undoubtedly Bobby Moore.” So says 1966 World Cup hat-trick scoring hero, Sir Geoff Hurst, in an interview with BOLD to promote a new film about his old England and West Ham teammate: Barking-born Bobby Moore.

BO66Y, produced by sports journalist and broadcaster, Matt Lorenzo and directed by Ron Scalpello is set for a 2016 release to celebrate 50 years since Moore captained the England team that held the Jules Rimet trophy aloft.

Lorenzo, the first sports journalist to appear on Sky Sports in 1989 – grew up with Moore: his father, Peter, was a close friend. The film has been in development for two years and the list of footballing greats – both past and present – who have signed up to appear in the film include: Wayne Rooney, Roy Hodgson, Paul Gascoigne, Frank Lampard (junior and senior) and Harry Redknapp. Other members of the ’66 team to appear include Hurst, George Cohen, Gordon Banks and another East End hero of the ’66 team, Martin Peters (who met his wife of more than 50 years in a Dagenham bowling alley).

But BO66Y also aims to explore what Moore meant to local people, as Lorenzo explains: “The word 'hero' is overused, but that’s the commonly held opinion of people from Barking and the surrounding area about Bobby Moore. 

“What comes across in the film is not only what he did on the football field, but that no-one had a bad word to say about him off it. He was a great ambassador. The outpouring of support was fantastic when he passed away in 1993: the reaction from the West Ham public who went to the ground to pay tribute was truly astonishing.”

Hurst regales BOLD with anecdotes about Moore: a strict training and playing schedule during the years he played with him meant there was little time for socialising, but on the occasions when the team was afforded a glass of wine, Moore’s character would shine through. It would be unheard of today, says Hurst, but the squad enjoyed a glass of wine at Pinewood Studios, where an early Bond film starring Sean Connery was being filmed. The team's manager, Alf Ramsey, mispronounced the actor’s name as "Seen". "Now I've Sean everything," quipped Moore.  

BO66Y has the potential to influence young people in Moore’s birthplace and beyond, says Hurst: “Time marches on but the great thing about the film is that it will jog people’s memories about the different aspects of his life – not only the great highs but the great lows, such as the incident in Mexico and battling with cancer twice.

Hurst pauses for reflection. “He called me not long before he died, as he did a few other people, and I think it was just to say goodbye really. I think the film will be a massive inspiration to young people and when those from the surrounding area watch it, I think they will feel very proud.”

The people behind the film aim to complete it through crowdfunding and are inviting football supporters and film fans worldwide to back it through Kickstarter, the world's largest funding platform for creative projects.

A longer version of this article will feature in the next edition of BOLD magazine.

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