When Bobby Moore Celebrated His 100th England Cap By Beating Scotland On Valentine's Day

On this day in 1973, the World Cup winning captain marked a century of international appearance for the Three Lions
07:00, 14 Feb 2023

On February 14th, 1973, England’s only ever World Cup winning captain marked his 100th international appearance in the only way he knew best - leading his team out to do battle with Scotland at Hampden Park - and beating them 5-0.

There was no guard of honour that day and certainly no golden cap in a glass case against the old enemy; just a few kind words from his manager, Sir Alf Ramsey, then a couple of  beers with his teammates on the way back to London.

Only two footballers had represented England on 100 or more occasions at the time, the first being Billy Wright of Wolves; who was the first to reach the landmark, also against Scotland,  in 1959, while the second was Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton, whose moment came against Northern Ireland at Wembley in 1970.


But the third is often regarded as England’s finest-ever player and captain, a man that the great Pele once claimed to be the best defender he’d ever played against, who celebrated the achievement in the same respectful and understated way he had when England were crowned World Champions.

Moore had made his Three Lions debut in 1962 and represented his country for more than a decade, leading them to World Cup glory when England defeated West Germany at Wembley to lift the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966.


By February 1973, Moore was 31 and - while most of his fellow World Cup winners had since retired or fallen out of favour with manager Sir Alf Ramsey - had remained an England stalwart. 

The likes of Bobby and Jackie Charlton, Gordon Banks and Geoff Hurst were no longer part of the squad, while only Martin Peters and Alan Ball remained from the class of ’66 with Peter Shilton, Colin Bell, Martin Chivers and Allan Clarke forming the backbone of England’s new order.

In stark contrast; Moore led his team out against a promising Scotland side that boasted household names like Billy Bremner, Kenny Dalglish and Peter Lorimer who would go on to feature at the following summer’s World Cup.

But the game was over as a contest after just 15 minutes as England raced to a three goal lead before Chivers and Clarke crowned a memorable day by making it 5-0 - their biggest ever win north of the border.

Incredibly, it was the emphatic nature of the scoreline which grabbed the headlines that day and - unlike the adulation that was awarded to the likes of David Beckham and Ashley Cole on reaching the same landmark - Moore’s moment went somewhat under the radar.

That was apart from a now iconic photograph taken not far from Moore’s spiritual home of the Boleyn Ground in West Ham with the England skipper sitting, arms folded, surrounded by 99 pupils of St Edward’s Roman Catholic School - each wearing one of the sought-after tasseled titfers.

But in an era when England players weren’t awarded individual caps for each appearance like they are today; Moore’s friend and photographer Kent Gavin was forced to borrow 32 of Billy Wright’s precious mementos so that each child had one to wear.  

“I phoned Billy Wright and asked if he’d be willing to lend us his caps and he said he’d love to,” Gavin later explained.

“If you look at the expressions on their faces you can see just how proud they are to be wearing those caps.

“There was one cheeky devil who came over to Bobby and pointing at the date on the cap, said: ‘I know you’re old, but you couldn’t have played in this game!’ Bobby just fell about laughing.

“It worked because of the expression on the kids’ faces. Some of the caps don’t fit, some are pulling faces - it’s marvellous.”

Moore would represent his country for a 108th and final time later that year and despite others surpassing his impressive total, few would argue that he remains one of the most revered and respected captains ever to wear the famous white shirt of England.

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.