West Ham's Bobby Moore: From World Cup Star To Comic Book Hero
The 2010 World Cup was no classic. In fact, the only stuff anyone will even remember will be the shocking refereeing gaffes (video technology, anyone?) and the ridiculous histrionics from the likes of Kader Keita. For shame.
It wasn't always like this, of course. There was a time when players bled, sweat and cried for the shirt, when they were modest in victory and magnanimous in defeat, when they wouldn't leave the field before shaking the hands of their opponents and the officials.
The famous photograph of West Ham's Bobby Moore and Pelé, taken in the minutes after Brazil's 1-0 win over England in the group stages of the 1970 tournament, encapsulates this spirit through the camaraderie of two football legends.
It is one of the most iconic sporting photographs, taken after one of the most famous games at the greatest World Cup finals. No wonder Moore said it was his favourite photo.
Taken by John Varley at the Estadio Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara on 7 June, 1970, it shows the two talismans swapping shirts and respectfully embracing each other. The then-world champions England were effectively handing over the baton of world supremacy to the world's greatest team and player.
The photo has now been given a makeover by British comic book artist Richard Piers Rayner, best known for his illustrations of the graphic novel series Road to Perdition, which was made into an Oscar-winning Hollywood blockbuster in 2002.
"I loved the rare and irresistible opportunity to recreate one of sports defining images," he says. "In a brief moment at the end of the game opponents acknowledge the sportsmanship of their contest. There is no better reason to call it the Beautiful Game, and no better challenge than to bring all that colour and drama back to life."
Signed limited edition copies of the Mutual Respect print by Richard Piers Rayner are available from YFP Publishing, priced at £175 (£225 framed). A must for all West Ham fans.
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