Bobby Moore's West Ham replacement Alvin Martin pays tribute to the England icon
Alvin Martin was the man chosen by West Ham United to step into the considerable boots of legend Bobby Moore.
He joined the Upton Park club as an apprentice in 1974 after Moore left for Fulham and the big Liverpudlian went on to become a firm Hammers favourite himself with nearly 600 appearances in 21 years.
But he still recalls being in awe of England icon Moore nearly 20 years after his untimely death in 1993.
He said: "There was an aura about him, if he walked in the room you just knew he was there.
“The first time I set eyes on him was when I was at a hotel in Liverpool speaking to (former West Ham manager) Ron Greenwood and (then coach) John Lyall.
"They had invited me along to talk to me because I was due to come down on trial.
"The West Ham team came down the stairs in this posh hotel, there must have been ten or 15 players there but all I could see was Bobby Moore. He just stood out."
The FA will pay their own tribute to Moore at Wembley this weekend, exactly two decades on from his death at the age of just 51.
And Martin, 54, believes that Moore will always be considered a legend within football thanks to his achievements with England and West Ham.
He lifted The FA Cup with the Hammers in 1964 before winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup the following year and then the World Cup as Three Lions captain in 1966.
Martin, who won 17 caps for England himself, added: "There seems to be a lot of legends around now but Bobby was above legendary status.
"Everyone liked him. He was an immaculate man. About 100 people must have called him their best friend.
"I only wish I had joined West Ham earlier so I could have played with him."