It’s the defining symbol of England’s greatest football triumph – but World Cup captain Bobby Moore’s famous red shirt is gone.
Mystery surrounds his whereabouts 57 years after he hoisted the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley. And for the football legend’s bewildered family, there’s a touch of foul play.
The last time ex-wife Tina saw the 1966 red strip number six was in her attic. To her shock, it has now turned up at auction in the hands of an unknown private buyer. It can bring in millions of pounds.
Today, the Mail can reveal the disturbing conundrum that has puzzled Moore’s family and prompted them to launch a heartfelt plea to get the shirt back.
Bobby Moore holds up the Jules Rimet trophy after England won the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany at Wembley
Sir Bobby’s first wife Tina, departed, and daughter Roberta are calling for the shirt to be returned
Mrs Moore, his wife of 24 years, said: ‘I would really like to have that shirt back where it belongs – with me, with my family and with the nation, so that everyone has a chance to look at it and feel to marvel at it. Bobby’s performance.’
They last saw the shirt decades ago. In the 1970s and 1980s it was kept folded in a leather bag in the attic of the house Tina and Bobby shared in Chigwell, Essex.
Their daughter Roberta remembers seeing it when they went to the attic to get Christmas decorations.
When Moore died of cancer in 1992, his daughter brought his cherished trophies, medals and caps to his home for him to hold for the last time.
But the famous red shirt was not among the possessions – nor an almost equally precious Brazil yellow shirt that Moore had traded with his rival Pele during the 1970 World Cup.
Sir Bobby’s 1966 shirt was kept in the attic of his country house in Chigwell, Essex
Also missing is the shirt given to Moore by Brazilian star Pele after an epic encounter in 1970
Years later, Mrs. Moore unsuccessfully hunted for the missing shirts. She just doesn’t know how they disappeared.
Then in 2021, to her surprise, the family was called by the football association and was told: ‘Your father’s shirt has been found.’
Even more mysteriously, the FA revealed it was now “in the hands of a private buyer,” recalls Roberta.
There is no suggestion that the current holder has done anything wrong. The shirt could have changed hands many times.
She said, “It was a huge shock and totally baffling at first. The shirt belongs to my mother and she had been looking for it for years. Now they told us out of the blue about a private buyer and he was ‘found’?’
Stunned by the news, Roberta and her mother searched for more details about where the shirt had been – and where it was now.
The statue of Bobby Moore outside Wembley Stadium – the site of his 1966 triumph
Roberta, 58, added: ‘It was all very strange. The information was vague. The shirt was “found at general auction from an unknown deceased”. It was hard to comprehend: how does the shirt go from being in a bag in my mother’s attic to being auctioned off by a deceased person?’
And as for who has the shirt now, the Moores say they were told, “They asked to remain anonymous.”
In a further twist, the current holder of the shirt was apparently “shocked” by all the attention.
The Moores are convinced that regardless of the circumstances in which the person bought the shirt, it belongs to Tina. When Bobby divorced Tina in 1986 – and remarried Stephanie Parlane in 1991 shortly before his death in 1993 – his football memorabilia was given to Tina in the settlement.
Moore kissed Tina at a banquet honoring the 1966 World Cup team
Today, the family is making a passionate plea to the holder of the shirt to come forward.
Ms Moore, 79, said: ‘If there’s anyone who has the shirt, I’m calling on them to come to us and explain how they got it.
“I’m sure it was done in good faith, but I don’t think the people or this person are aware of what happened.
“I would really like to talk to them and find out. But most of all I just want to get back the shirt that Bobby gave and entrusted to me. I owe it to him and the family to get it back. That is my wish.’
The Football Association does not know who owns the shirt or how it came into the possession of the Moore family.
But an FA spokesperson said: ‘Bobby Moore is an English hero. It would be great if there was a way to find and display his historic World Cup winning shirt for the nation.”
Do YOU know who has Bobby’s missing shirt? Call the Mail on 0203 615 1062 or the Mail on Sunday on 0203 615 2913 or email Sam.Greenhill@dailymail.co.uk