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Bobby Moore's widow delights school

PUBLISHED: 14:36 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:28 12 July 2010

Stephanie Moore with Harleston pupils.

Stephanie Moore with Harleston pupils.

HE was one of the greatest soccer icons in history who captained the England team to its legendary 4-2 victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup.

Bobby Moore with the World Cup in 1966.

HE was one of the greatest soccer icons in history who captained the England team to its legendary 4-2 victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup.

And soccer fans from across the globe joined the national mourning when bowel cancer claimed the life of Bobby Moore in 1993, when he was only 51.

On Monday his widow Stephanie spoke of her “amazing husband” and his bravery during a visit to Archbishop Sancroft High School, in Harleston, where pupils are raising money for the Bobby Moore Fund - the charity she set up in his memory to help fund vital research into bowel cancer.

One of the main aims of the school project - inspired by headteacher Steve Carter, who is retiring at the end of term - is to raise the profile of general fitness, including healthy diet, as important factors in combating disease like bowel cancer.

“When Bobby died there were several days of national mourning. It was then that I realised how loved he was and how I could turn the negative into positive by raising money for cancer research care,” Mrs Moore explained.

“Bobby was very charismatic and fun and loved life, and he was very approachable and modest about what he accomplished. He was known as a gentle man as well as a gentleman. He was very responsible and reliable and worked until three days before he died, commenting on the San Marino match against England. He then went to a dinner when he presented a trophy to David Platt and made a speech with 500 people in the room.

“After we got into the car to go home, the car park was absolutely gridlocked and he got out and started directing traffic. I thought 'This man is desperately ill. I just want to get him home.' His sense of duty and responsibility was so great!”

She and Bobby married in 1991. He had first suffered from cancer when he was 24, but recovered, and only revealed he was seriously ill 10 days before his death.

“It was because he was quite a private person who didn't want the press camped on his door,” added Mrs Moore, who said bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, with 44 men and women dying every day from the disease. However, if diagnosed early it is between 80 to 90 per cent curable. But, tragically, in her husband's case things went wrong.

“Bobby was misdiagnosed for four years and it was too late then. He should have lived. Now we have a national bowel cancer sceening programme that the Labour government started rolling out last year for 60 to 69-year olds. We

would like to see it extended to people in a wider age range, as it is in Scotland - preferably 50 to 75,” she stressed.

Mr Carter, who is a friend of Mrs Moore and her family, was keen to support the fund as football has been a common ground in communicating with parents and students during his career, and some have been bereaved through cancer. “I felt it was a way I could give back something,” he said.

For more details about the charity, which raises about £1.5m for Cancer Research UK annually, visit the website www.bobbymoorefund.org

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