Vic is a poet, wouldn’t you know it, as well as a decent bowls player. He describes the shorts-lowering incident and his careful retaliation in the verse at the top of this post.
‘The Cambs side went on to play London Youth at Stamford Bridge, where another star played – one Terry Venables.
‘It’s such a long time ago now, and sometimes when my knees give me gyp I wish I had never seen a football. Hey-ho, but it was a great time for us and Cambs County.’
Pages from the Cambs v West Ham programme, reproduced above, show that the United Five were Vic, Tony, Brian, Roger Tailby and Dave Stocker.
The West Ham side is bristling with future pros like Harry Cripps, Jack Burkett, Bobby Keetch, Eddie Bovington, Derek Woodley, Andy Smillie, John Cartwright and Tony Scott.
Oh, and shorts-puller Bobby Moore.
Our email enquiry to the PFA about the current status of the award met with a response from no less a personage than the union’s chief executive. ‘Yes,’ wrote Golden Gordon, ‘the award still exists, with prize money of £15,000 for community work and players and management.’
Established in 1988, it was of course named after a man who exemplified the spirit of fair play and was also one of the game’s greatest practitioners. Bobby Moore was, according to Franz Beckenbauer, ‘the best defender in the history of the game’, and Jock Stein observed: ‘There should be a law against him. He knows what's happening 20 minutes before everyone else.’
United’s connections with Moore don’t end with the capture of the 1997/98 trophy. As Andrew Bennett revealed in Risen from the Dust, the U’s provided the opposition to an all-star XI in Chelmsford manager Peter Harburn’s testimonial on 10 May 1966, and Moore and Geoff Hurst were among the guest players.
Hurst nabbed three goals in a 4-3 win for the stars. I wonder when his next hat-trick was.
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