Mens Team

Stones can become the next Bobby Moore says Buzzer

CLASS ACT: Can John Stones follow in the great Bobby Moore's footsteps?
Bobby Moore remains, in the eyes of those who saw him play, perhaps England’s most celebrated defender of all time.

The West Ham centre-half stood out among his peers and served club and country with distinction, playing 647 games for the Hammers over a 16-year period and winning 108 England caps, captaining both.

Moore was respected throughout football around the world and Brazilian superstar Pele believed him to be the best in the world.

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He remains the only England captain to have lifted the World Cup.

                        MOORE THAN THIS : Bobby kisses the Jules Rimet trophy
MOORE THAN THIS : Bobby kisses the Jules Rimet trophy

Former City and England winger Mike Summerbee was one of Moore’s closest friends for more than 30 years before the West Ham legend’s untimely death at the age of 51.

No meeting between the Blues and the Irons can pass without Buzzer recalling the many happy occasions he spent with Moore both on and off the pitch.

And now Summerbee sees much of Bobby Moore in John Stones, who he believes has all the attributes needed to achieve a similar standing in the game.

“John Stones is playing exceptionally well,” said City’s Club Ambassador.

“He is playing in a different era to Bobby and in different conditions, but I can see a lot of similarities.

Stones likes to bring the ball forward, as Bobby did, and he was one of the great readers of the game – as Stones is.

“He’s a good passer of the ball, too, as Bobby was and without a shadow of a doubt, he has everything he needs to become the second Bobby Moore.

“You would be hard pushed to find somebody better than Bobby in that position so if Stones can get anywhere near that level would be fantastic, but I don’t feel he is far away.

“He’s playing fantastically well, and he is also a leader – you can see that from his games for City and England – but Bobby Moore was almost a one-off, a special footballer and a World Cup-winning captain.

“He was also a very close friend and a special person.”

                        Stones can become the next Bobby Moore says Buzzer

Summerbee and Moore may have played their football some 200 miles apart, but they struck a friendship from the first moment they played against each other, with their families becoming close and the pair even becoming business partners.

“I was at Swindon when I first came up against Bobby,” recalled Buzzer.

“I was 16 and he was 17 and we always played West Ham in a pre-season friendly, so after the game at Upton Park behind closed doors, I was passing the dressing room when Bobby saw me and invited me to come in for a quick chat. We became close friends from that moment on.

“When City play West Ham, I always think about him and his family and the esteem he was and still is held in by Hammers fans – which is fully deserved and would make him very proud if he was still with us.

“I recall one game when I accidentally left stud marks down Frank Lampard’s leg and Bobby came over and asked me ‘Miguel, what’s the problem?’ He always called me Miguel, by the way. I said there wasn’t a problem, just that I’d accidentally caught him, but that it had become a problem now!

“I wouldn’t have been the movie Escape to Victory if wasn’t for Bobby – when we were in each other’s company, we never spoke about football, we just got on really well and he and Tina would stay with me and my wife whenever they were up north.

“So, I see a lot of Bobby in John Stones and since Pep Guardiola has been at the club, his game has come on leaps and bounds.

“More importantly, they are similar off the field in their temperament and the fact that Bobby was a genuinely nice man, and so is John.

“If John can become our Bobby Moore, then he will achieve great things for City and England.”

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