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Το βράδυ που ο Μπόμπι Μουρ έγινε αρχηγός του Ολυμπιακού! 

The night Bobby Moore became the captain of Olympiacos

After excelling as a junior player, Bobby Moore made his first-team debut in Claret and Blue in a 3-2 win over Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground as a 17-year-old on 8 September 1958. It was the start of a glittering career that is remembered fondly by football fans the world over. But for one night only the West Ham United captain played for the Hammers' 2023/24 Europa League opponents Olympiacos.

1967 Greek Elections

On 21 April 1967, just weeks before Greek elections were scheduled to be held, a military coup d'état took place in Athens which quickly escalated to the rest of Greece, establishing a dictatorship in the country. The events from that period had devastating consequences for the Athens based Olympiacos club. In December 1967, club legend and president Giorgos Andrianopoulos was forced out of the club's presidency by the regime, with military rule now in place that would last for the next seven years.

Greek businessman, Nikos Goulandris  was widely considered as one of the greatest presidents in Olympiacos' history. He began his involvement with the Piraeus based Athens club in 1970, becoming their general manager a year later and ultimately rising to club president in 1972. As president, he reinstated all the prominent members of Olympiacos board that had been forced out by the military regime and reformed the election process for future new board of directors.

New Chapter

As part of this new chapter, Goulandris and his fellow directors arranged an international friendly match at the Karaiskakis Stadium on 12 June 1972 between the ‘Red and Whites’ and the Sao Paulo based Brazilian side Corinthians.

The invitation was also extend to West Ham United and England captain Bobby Moore. The deal was mediated by the then ‘Red-Whites’ coach Alan Ashman, the former West Bromwich Albion manager who knew Moore personally. The timing of the invitation was perfect, the England captain had recently competed in the British Home Championship against Wales and Scotland, winning his 95th and 96th international caps respectively and was now free of club and country commitments and he had the best part of two months before the following season’s preparations commenced.

VIP welcome for Bobby Moore from Nikos Goulandris

European Championships

The offer to wear the captains armband against the Corinthians might never have happened if England had beaten West Germany in the European Championship quarter-final two-legged play-off matches a month earlier. It would have been a different story for England’s captain, who would have been kept busy in June with semi-final and final or third/fourth play-off matches.


Unfortunately, a 3-1 Wembley defeat to the Germans and a 0-0 draw in the second-leg dashed any England hopes for a European Championship semi-final spot. At that time only four countries qualified to play in the 1972 UEFA Euro tournament held in Belgium between 14 and 18 June, unlike today where there are 24 countries competing for the top prize.

Red and White Shirt

Despite Olympiacos playing in an all-red kit on the night Moore was paraded to the assembled 33,000 crowd wearing his iconic number six on the famous “red and white” shirt. Observing the stands of the Karaiskakis Stadium he murmured “My God, what an awesome world this is.” In a keenly fought match between the two sides, the now 41-times Greek league champions were eventually beaten 2-0 but the match paled into the background when Moore took to their colours.

‘ΓΚΟΛ’ Sports Magazine

Media reporting was frenzied with journalists chasing him, in a good sense for an interview. The weekly ‘ΓΚΟΛ’ sports magazine “GOAL” told its readers that the English defender did not find it difficult to adapt to the demands of the match just weeks after completing a challenging 54 match season for the Hammers.

Moore expressed himself with positive comments on the field conditions and pointed out the language difficulties but also praised the enthusiastic displays of the fans of the Piraeus club towards him, even if it was just for an hour and a half.


Moore personally singled out praise for Olympiacos Argentinean forward Antonio Justo Alcibar and also acknowledge that although he didn’t want to lose to the famous Brazilian team Corinthians, but if he “comes again, we will win.”

Asked if he would return the following season, Moore replied “If Olympiacos wants me, I will come for more games.” The magazine went on to say that after his West Ham playing days were over he would now also support the Greek side. But for the moment all he wanted now was to spent some carefree moments in Mykonos with his wife Tina.

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