Category: Defenders

Billy Wright

Billy Wright

Billy Wright
Name: William Ambrose Wright
Date of Birth: 6th February 1924
Place of Birth: Ironbridge, Shropshire
England Debut: 28th September 1946
Against: Northern Ireland
Final Game: 28th May 1959
Against: USA
League Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Born in February 1924 in Shropshire, England, Billy Wright grew up to be the first man to represent England on one hundred occasions. His early career began at the young age of 14, when he started out working as a groundsman for Wolverhampton Wanderers. He displayed a different kind of talent on the pitch, and at the same age found himself making his debut for the B team in a match against Walsall.  He was given an 8 month trial period and went on to debut for the first team when he was just 15 years old in a match against Notts County.  This match, however, took place just after the start of the Second World War and isn’t counted in official stats, so Wright’s first actual recorded debut didn’t occur until a 1945 – 1946 FA Cup fixture against Lovells Athletic.
Wright officially signed for the team as a 17 year old, but spent time serving in the Military during WWII as a fitness instructor.  He still managed to make appearances for Wolves during that time though.

At the end of the war Wright took over captaincy of Wolves and led the team to win three First Division titles.

His England call-up came on 19 January 1946 when England beat Belgium 2-0.  On 28 September of that year he made his first full debut in an impressive 7 – 2 win against Ireland.  He became the England Captain in 1948 and kept that role until he retired from professional football 90 matches later.
After his football career finished, Wright took on the role of Head of Sport for ATV and Central Television.  Not long after he officially retired in 1989 he joined the Board of Directors for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Billy Wright died on 3 September 1994, aged 70, after losing his battle with stomach cancer.

Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore

Name: Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore
Date of Birth: 12th April 1941
Place of Birth: Barking, England
England Debut: 20th May 1962
Against: Peru
Final Game: 14th November 1973
Against: Italy
League Club: West Ham United, Fulham, San Antonio Thunder, Seattle Sounders

Bobby Moore was born in Barking, Essex and attended Westbury Primary School and Eastbury Secondary Modern. He played youth football for both schools.

His senior team career began in 1958 with West Ham United, and he debuted against Manchester City on 8 September that year, immediately becoming a regular first team player. He played for West Ham for 15 years, and in January 1974 played his last match for them against Hereford United.

He transferred to Second Division Fulham for £25,000 and played for them until his final game in May 1977.  Brief appearances followed with two North American soccer teams, San Antonio Thunder and Seattle Sounders.

Moore’s first England cap came in May 1962 in a friendly against Peru in Lima.  By May 1963 he had taken on the England captaincy for the first time in a match against Czechoslovakia, a game England won 4 – 2

Moore nearly missed out on playing in the 1966 World Cup after letting his contract with West Ham United lapse, but after intervention by the England team, he re-signed with his club and went on to captain the England side in the tournament of a lifetime.

After winning the World Cup with some dramatic play, Moore was picked for the England side again in the 1970 World Cup, but England were defeated by West Germany and they exited the competition after reaching the last eight.

Professionally retired in 1978, Bobby Moore tried his hand at management with Oxford City, Southend United and Hong Kong Team Eastern AA but none of the teams did particularly well.  His business ventures, including a sports shop next to the West Ham United ground, began to fail and he eventually became a sports columnist for the Sunday Sport and a commentator for London’s radio station Capital Gold.

On 14 February 1993, Moore announced to the World that he was suffering from Bowel Cancer.  He’d already undergone an operation two years earlier.  Only ten days later, Bobby Moore was dead.  Cancer Research UK has a Bobby Moore Fund dedicated to raising money for research into the disease.