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2013-02-23T07:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:15:22

Ginge expecting great atmosphere

A London derby against Tottenham Hotspur with another bumper home crowd at the Boleyn Ground is just the way to celebrate the life of a legend like the late Bobby Moore OBE, says West Ham United defender James Collins.

The No19 is fully aware of the impact Moore had and continues to have at West Ham and says that the activities planned by the club around the match on Monday week will be a fitting gesture to the life of the former World Cup winning captain.

As defender himself Collins knows all too well the skills of Moore, even though he was too young to see him actually play. But ever since he arrived at the Hammers in his first spell, he knew just what Moore meant to the fans and everyone at the club.


He said: "It is just massive, what Bobby Moore means to everyone connected with West Ham United. I remember being here in my first spell and we retired his No6 shirt that said it to me, what a legend the man is and was in during his life.

"There are photographs of him around the place, the training ground and the stadium and we are reminded every day of the presence he had and continues to have. It is respected and welcomed by all the players as he is someone we all appreciate and to be at the same club as he was at, is great."

With the strong connection Moore still has with the club, even though he sadly passed away 20 years ago on 24 February 1993, Collins says that means that his legend will continue to live on.

He continued: "There are people around the club still who have great stories to tell about Bobby, that he was a lovely man as well as a great player and I am sure the fans have as well, stories that will be passed on to future generations of our supporters still to come.

"I have seen clips of him playing, you could see the class he had and for me, he is the best defender that has played the game. On what is the 20th anniversary of him passing away, it would be a good tribute for us to get that good result against Tottenham for him as well."

Speaking about the Hammers' London neighbours, Welsh-born Collins said the team are well aware of a certain other Welshman in the opposition ranks, Gareth Bale.

Bale is an international team-mate of Collins, the two having played together for their country several times.

He added: "He is on fire but he has been terrific all season for them. It is a tough one. I was speaking with Nobes [Mark Noble] the other day about [Robin] van Persie, we said he is the sort of player, that if he is going to score he will, Gareth is similar in that respect.

"We know like other teams, you have to be on your toes with a player like Gareth, he is one of the best players in the Premier League at the moment. But you know, as a team we will go into this game with confidence, we know what we can do at home and will be giving it a right go, to get those three points."

Collins said there was no better boost for the team than playing in front of another full capacity Boleyn Ground crowd under the lights.

He explained: "The night games are the best for me. I love playing in them, under the lights with a big crowd. Our supporters are passionate and noisy anyway, but the night games seem to bring that out more and it should be a great atmosphere.

"There is nothing like your supporters giving it everything to get behind you. It is then up to us to make sure we are performing on the pitch to make sure they stay on side with us and keep that atmosphere going.

"If we can get back to how we were defending at the start of the season, keeping clean sheets and being solid at the back, then that will filter through to scoring more goals again. There is no reason why we can't do that.

"We are still in a good position in the league table. Hopefully we can get off to a solid start against Tottenham, which will get our fans cheering and we can look to kick on again from there."

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