Billy Moore

Billy Moore: West Ham United

William (Billy) Moore was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 6th October 1894. He played amateur football for Seaton Delaval before joining Sunderland in 1913. Players in the team at the time included Charlie Buchan, George Holley, Charlie Gladwin, Joe Butler, James Richardson, Henry Martin, Jackie Mordue, Frank Cuggy, Charlie Thomson and Harry Low.

His professional career was interrupted by the First World War. He became a regular in the first-team after the war and scored 11 goals in 45 games for the club over the next two seasons.

Syd King, the manager of West Ham United signed Moore in 1922. Moore joined a team that included Jimmy Ruffell, George Kay, Edward Hufton, Jack Tresadern, Vic Watson, Sid Bishop, Billy Brown, Dick Richards, Jack Young and Billy Henderson.

Jimmy Ruffell later said: "You couldn't wish for a better man alongside you than Bill Moore. He was nippy and clever and was always surprising people. He didn't look tough, but he was wiry. Sometimes a back would run at him and you'd think he couldn't come out of that standing up but out he'd come and then make a perfect cross."

West Ham United enjoyed a good FA Cup run in the 1922-23 season beating Hull City (3-2), Brighton & Hove Albion (1-0), Plymouth Argyle (2-0), Southampton (1-0) and Derby County (5-2) to reach the final against Bolton Wanderers. The final took place at Wembley Stadium, only four days after the stadium had been completed.

The stadium had a capacity of 125,000 and so the Football Association did not consider making it an all-ticket match. After all, both teams only had an average attendance of around 20,000 for league games. However, it was rare for a club from London to make the final of the FA Cup and supporters of other clubs in the city saw it as a North v South game. It is estimated that 300,000 people attempted to get into the ground. Over a thousand people were injured getting in and out of the stadium. When the game eventually got started, Joe Smith and David Jack scored in Bolton's 2-0 victory over West Ham United.

Billy Moore in the 1923 FA Cup Final.
Billy Moore in the 1923 FA Cup Final.

In their next game West Ham United beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 to ensure promotion to the First Division. Vic Watson was top scorer with 22 goals and Moore added 15 more. Later that month he won his first international cap for England against Sweden. Moore scored two goals in the 3-1 win. It was the only cap he won and therefore his goals per game is the best in England's history.

West Ham United finished in 13th place in their first season in the First Division. Moore ended up as the club's top scorer with 9 goals. The club continued to struggle in the top division but Moore maintained his form and along with Vic Watson, Jimmy Ruffell, Stanley Earle and Tommy Yews continued to score on a regular basis.

A cartoon produced in 1933 that shows Jim Barrett, Charlie Paynter,John Morton, Billy Moore and Richard Leafe.
A cartoon produced in 1933 that shows Jim Barrett, Charlie Paynter,
John Morton, Billy Moore and Richard Leafe.

Billy Moore retired from football in 1929. He had scored 48 goals in 202 games. After a spell as assistant trainer he served as trainer-in-chief between 1932-60. Moore lived in Plashet Road and was a regular visitor to Upton Park after his retirement in 1960.

Billy Moore died in 1968.