Harry Redknapp blasts FA for treatment of Bobby Moore after West Ham and England legend's retirement

Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp has blasted the Football Association for their past treatment of his former West Ham United teammate and England legend Bobby Moore.

The 1966 World Cup winning captain is as big a hero to Hammers fans as he is England supporters following a trophy-filled and distinguished career.

Moore is still recognised as one of the greatest defenders ever to grace the game.

Some of the quotes about England's legendary number six speak volumes.

High praise

Brazilian icon Pele said of Moore: "He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against."

German great Franz Beckenbauer was another admirer: "Bobby Moore was the best defender in the history of the game."

And the man recognised as the greatest club manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson simply said this: "Moore was the best defender I have ever seen."

Why then when this great captain and honourable man hung up his boots in 1978 was he not treated as such by the Football Association for which he achieved so much?

While his the likes of Pele and Beckenbauer were offered major roles in their associations and around the football world, Moore's genius was left to rot on the cold terraces covering punditry stints on small time television and radio.

Even when he was given a shot in the game it was only at lowly Oxford City and Southend United.

At least current West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan saw the shame in how Moore, who also played for Fulham at the end of his career, had been treated after his retirement and gave him a job as a columnist on his Sport newspapers.

Now, in an extract from an interview with Moore's former Hammers teammate Redknapp – published by the Evening Standard – for the forthcoming film ‘Bo66y Moore The Movie’ the ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers boss has hit out at the FA for their short-sightedness.

The new movie, which marks the 50th anniversary of England’s World Cup triumph, looks to uncover the truth behind the man who led them to it.

Sad truth

But Redknapp insists the sad truth was that Moore, who died in 1993 aged just 53 after a battle with bowel cancer, could have helped his country to more success had he not been overlooked.

"The FA could have used him any way," Redknapp tells the documentary.

"He shouldn't have been doing local radio, he should have been sitting up in the stand at Wembley, he should have been sitting in the front row at West Ham.

"He should have been an ambassador for football in this country."

Redknapp, who came through the famous West Ham Academy while Moore was captain at the club, believes that former England boss Terry Venables would have brought Moore back into the national setup for Euro '96 but for his death three years before.

He said: "If Bobby had been around I'm sure Terry would have used Bobby without a doubt because Terry Venables was that type of guy, he'd use people that he felt had something to offer.

"Terry would have had him around for his knowledge and everything else around the group."

Righting past wrongs

In an attempt to retrospectively honour the passed hero, the FA have at least acknowledged his place in Three Lions history but erecting a statue of the defender outside the new Wembley Stadium.

Inscripted on that statue are some touching words which are perhaps tinged with regret.

"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."

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