Brown remembers Bobby Moore

"He was a terrific fella, a great man in every aspect. You couldn't ask for anyone better as a team-mate and a friend."

So said West Ham United club legend Ken Brown as he recalled the lasting legacy of the famous No6 ahead of a special charity day being held for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday. By the time Moore made his debut in September 1958, Brown was established at the heart of the club's defence and the defensive duo went on to form a formidable partnership.

In that time, United memorably won the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965, and Forest Gate-born Brown, now 74 and living in Norfolk, is effusive in his praise for the legendary club captain. "Whether it was playing with him or socially - you couldn't ask for a better man to be around. He didn't shout the odds, he just played by example and it rubbed off tremendously on everybody.


"He had this great knack of knowing where everybody was on the football field. If the ball was coming from the right, he didn't even bother to control it. He would just lay it off to someone who was wide out on the left because he knew there was somebody out there. That is so hard to do in football. He mastered it and even though he wasn't the quickest of people, his control, his ability on the ball and his mind was second to none."

Like the rest of the footballing world, and the nation in general, Brown, who made 455 league and cup appearances between 1952 and 1967, was deeply saddened at Moore's death from bowel cancer in February 1993. He believes the fund in his memory raising money and awareness to help tackle the disease is a fitting legacy. "This charity is such a good way of remembering him. Bobby did so much for others in his life and it is important that we never forget his contribution."

Brown, whose son Kenny also served the club as a player in the 1990s, is still often to be found at the Boleyn Ground and takes close interest in those wearing the claret and blue today. He had words of praise for the way the team has coped with the current campaign. "Alan [Curbishley] has done very well," he said. "He has had a lot of key people out which doesn't help but he has got on with the job. You can't do much about it except get on with it. They are up there in the top half of the table and things are looking good for the future. There is always next year for them to push on."