What was ‘that tackle by Moore’?

What was 'that tackle by Moore'? For the uninitiated, ‘that tackle by Moore’ is immortalised in the song ‘Three Lions’, which was first released in 1996 and has since become an anthem of the English national football team. Readers of a certain age will, no doubt, be all too familiar with the Moore in question, and his tackle, which has been replayed countless times on television.

However, for those unfamiliar with the history of English football, the lyric refers to the late Robert ‘Bobby’ Moore OBE, who was capped 108 times by England and, most famously, captained the team to its 4-2 victory over West Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 1966. Indeed, Sir Alf Ramsey, who managed the national team between 1963 and 1974, said of Moore, ‘Without him England would never have won the World Cup.’

However, ‘that tackle’ did not occur in 1966, but four years later, in a group game between England and Brazil at the Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, during the 1970 World Cup. Facing a Brazilian break, led by right winger Jairzinho, Moore found himself two against two, but bided his time and, as his opponent dribbled into the England penalty, cleanly dispossessed him and carried the ball away upfield. The impeccable timing of the tackle, or interception, made it one of the most iconic in the history of football.