Steven Gerrard will tonight win his 100th cap for England in the Friends Arena against Sweden. Becoming the sixth centurion, his milestone aptly falls on the date Bobby Moore, perhaps the most cherished footballer to have ever pulled on an England shirt, made his final appearance for the national side against Italy at Wembley.
The denouement to Moore's England career was a sad one. Earlier that year, he gave perhaps his worst performance for the Three Lions in a 2-0 defeat away to Poland in a 1974 World Cup qualifier. Dropped by Sir Alf Ramsey for the must-win return match, his deputy Norman Hunter was culpable for Jan Domarski's opener as England could only draw 1-1 and Moore could only look on. Vividly, he consoled Hunter on the turf after the final whistle.
Like Gerrard in Stockholm tonight, Moore captained England in his 108th game as they hosted the Italians, having lost a Torino friendly to the Azzurri in June earlier that year. Fabio Capello, exactly 33 years and 11 months before he was announced as the England manager, spoiled the party with the game's only goal for the visitors. It was also Ramsey's final match in charge.
Moore was 32 when he retired from international duty but would return to Wembley again the following season for the 1975 FA Cup final with Fulham against his beloved West Ham United. The Hammers however won 2-0.
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