Here, Matt tells RetroFootballBlog.com why he loves Bobby Moore…
“Maybe I’m an old fart, but I think it was a better game then. I think there were better players, too because of the rubbish pitches, although it was a slower game. The thing I marvelled at, especially at Wembley, was the passing. Whatever distance they passed the ball from it went to feet.
“I knew Bobby through my dad (the late Peter Lorenzo, a former journalist) so it was commonplace for me to see the English World Cup winning captain in the kitchen having a cup of tea and he was always decent me.
“During the 1966 World Cup final my mum noticed there was no traffic on the road and she took me to have my haircut, so I actually missed the biggest game in English football history.
“Bobby’s was a story worth telling. People don’t necessarily know he had testicular cancer before he won the World Cup. He kept that to himself and there are just so many low points when all people saw were the high points.
“As much as he could he kept how ill he really was to himself. He knew, certainly for a long time that he wasn’t going to survive, but that didn’t stop him from travelling to Edinburgh where his oncologist was based to help with his research. He did that even though he couldn’t be saved just to help others, which is another example of what I think a hero is all about.
“Part of his problem was that he kept too much inside, so that when he was upset or hard done by he didn’t show it and I don’t think that’s good for anybody.
“I don’t think he ever really got on with Ron Greenwood, although Ron was a great coach who did well for West Ham. That lack of a relationship carried on, though, so his three years as England manager coincided with the first three years of Bobby being in the wilderness.
“He never got a look in. He wrote to the FA to tell them he was happy to work in any capacity; he had his coaching badges, which is what people don’t realise but he never got a reply, which is just not very good. I think if he walked into a room where there were FA people they would be somewhat overawed, maybe even jealous of him. I think in their view he was too big a personality to work with, so they kept him down.
“I remember working at Sky Sports News and my boss asking for someone to preview the upcoming fixtures, so I suggested Bobby Moore and he said: ‘Bobby Moore? He’s a bit old hat.’ Which is disgraceful and an example of how people treated him.
“But when [he died] a lot of people were shocked. There were those horrible pictures of him at the San Marino game which I think was less than a week before he died and a lot of people in the film cried as they remembered it.
“The overwhelming feeling of the time was that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone. Three weeks after that the bloke who had been ignored by the FA and didn’t get a knighthood, is being commemorated at Westminster Abbey, which I think has only happened once before for a sportsman. There was a lot of national beating of the breast going on and a lot of hypocrisy.
“I was at Westminster Abbey interviewing the great and the good for London Tonight. I had to dash back and do my live report and I remember Alastair Stewart asking me how it had gone before I went on TV. I told him but I made this huge mistake of thinking about my dad.
“You can talk about the funeral and deaths, but when you personalise it like that it chokes you up and that’s what I did on air. It’s the only time I’ve come close to crying on television.
“Russell Brand is a bit Marmite, but I think he came out with the best quote in the whole film. During the interview, he kept referring to him as ‘Sir Bobby’ and I said to him: ‘you know he was never knighted?’ And he said: ‘well some people are knighted by the authorities and others by the people and I know which has more value.’”