Mutual Respect by Steve Payne
says: what if heightened immigration fears had brought Enoch Powell to
Number 10? Tragically, in 1993 Bobby Moore died of bowel cancer age just
fifty-one. Here's to you big guy, you're the greatest. Please note that the
opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the
June 7th 1970,
on this day in Guadalajara Soccer Stadium representatives
of Her Majesty's Government watched in mounting horror as Brazil beat
favourites England 1-0. Captain Bobby Moore then embraced Pele in a
startlingly iconic gesture of sportmanship that challenged the racist
immigration policies of Prime Minister Enoch Powell.
England were considered by many to have a stronger side than the one that
lifted the World Cup four years earlier. Sir Alf Ramsey was still in charge
and players from the World Cup winning side such as the Bobbies Charlton and
Moore (the Captain), Alan Ball, Gordon Banks, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters
were in their prime. They had been joined by midfielders Francis Lee and
Alan Mullery, and defenders Tommy Wright, Terry Cooper and Brian Labone.
reigning champions, England had not had to qualify so they arranged a
pre-tournament tour, playing the national sides of Columbia and Ecuador, to
acclimatise to the heat and altitude.
"Bobby Moore was a gentleman and a professional" -
reader's commentAt the final whistle, the Brazilians leapt for joy as
though they had already won the cup, so clearly relieved were they to have
beaten the World Champions. The enduring images are those of Bobby Moore and
Pele embracing each other and the obvious mutual respect that the two teams
held for each other.
In 1966, the British people had seen the triumph of the Labour Government,
the shiney NHS bodies of Moore and his working class footballers. They had
taken the national team to the summit of human experience, the world cup.
But in 1970, against the backdrop of Powell's apocalyptic warnings of
"rivers of blood" and that "in ten years the black man will hold the whip
hand in this country", Moore took the national team to a new level. Because
the team that travelled to the Mexico 1970 World Cup were more than
champions, they were working class heroes taking Britain out of the Imperial
Era, beacons of an exhilerating future that Powell would never understand.
says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
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