Bobby Moore time capsule reburied at West Ham United's spiritual home
PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 June 2018
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West Ham United have teamed up with Barratt London to ensure that the legacy of the great Bobby Moore lives on at the site of the Club's former home, the Boleyn Ground.
The Bobby Moore time capsule – originally placed by his widow Stephanie in October 1993 during the building of the stand named after him at the old stadium – was retrieved in June 2017 by contractors reaching the final stages of the demolition process at the redeveloped site.
Following the 25th anniversary of Bobby’s death from bowel cancer at the age of just 51, on 24 February 1993, the time capsule has now been reburied directly under the location of the former centre-circle – the focal point of the Legacy Route at Barratt London’s new Upton Gardens development.
Situated below the very spot where England’s legendary World Cup-winning captain shook hands with hundreds of rival counterparts throughout his illustrious 15-year playing career at Upton Park, the time capsule was recently laid in a private ceremony, at the symbolic time of 3pm, fittingly led once again by Stephanie, and supported by West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Gold and representatives of Barratt London.
Containing mementos of his life and playing career donated by the Club, supporters and Stephanie herself, the original capsule was buried in the foundations of the Bobby Moore Stand at the Boleyn Ground on October 2, 1993, following the demolition of the old South Bank terrace the previous summer.
Having been carefully extracted last summer, it has been housed in a new outer container, with a small number of new items added to tell the story of the time capsule’s journey and the legacy created since Bobby’s passing, including the millions of pounds raised in his name by the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.
The charity has funded world class bowel cancer research and awareness projects and aims to reach £25million this year to help beat bowel cancer sooner.
Stephanie Moore MBE, said: “I would like to thank both West Ham United and Barratt London for working together to ensure the unique heritage of the Boleyn Ground is preserved.
“It seems like only yesterday I placed items in Bobby’s time capsule and, by adding more mementos from the last 25 years, we ensure that his memory can continue to live on.
“This year has also marked the 25th anniversary of the Bobby Moore Fund, which was founded with a simple purpose in mind – to bring forward the day when bowel cancer can be cured.
“I’m proud to be able to talk about the huge strides the Bobby Moore Fund has made in the fight against bowel cancer since 1993.
“We’ve raised over £23.5million since being founded, and this has enabled us to fund ground-breaking new research projects to drive forward our understanding about how bowel cancer can be prevented, diagnosed earlier and treated more effectively.
“Survival is improving and has doubled in the last 40 years. We still have so much more to do and I hope by continuing to raise vital funds and awareness, we will beat this terrible disease.”
West Ham United Joint Chairman David Gold, who helped lead the ceremony, said: “When you come here, the memories of the Boleyn Ground are there to be seen. And it is so important that our greatest-ever player is a part of that.
“For us to bury the time capsule here, under what was the old centre spot, is fantastic. It’s been a great day, Stephanie was here of course, and the memory of Bobby Moore lives on.
“It’s been an amazing redevelopment of the area and, in a way, that is also the legacy that we leave behind. We always believed that would be the case – the regeneration of Green Street and the Boleyn Ground, it is fantastic what is going on here.”
Former Hammers striker Brian Dear, a member of the famous 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup team and close friend of Bobby’s, said: “I’m very proud and pleased to be here, to support West Ham United and Barratt London in what they are doing for this area.
“It’s very special that we are continuing to honour Bobby Moore. There won’t be many men who are at Wembley three years in a row winning trophies in the way he did.
“For the people of this area and the people of West Ham, they don’t forget their heroes. Bobby was our most iconic player and this represents everything good about West Ham United.
“The people living in this development should be very proud to have the time capsule down there, it is wonderful that Bobby’s legacy will continue at Upton Park.”
Stephen Thompson, Managing Director for Barratt East London, who participated in the event alongside members of the Upton Gardens site team, said: “We are proud to have been involved in this special event to honour one of football’s greatest legends.
“Upton Gardens has a unique and significant history and the preservation of its heritage is of great importance to us.
“In tribute to Bobby Moore’s memory, we are pleased to have been able to bury this time capsule in its final, rightful resting place, under the centre circle of the former Boleyn Ground.”