In memory of Bob Moore: 'It had to be'Published on 26 oktober 23, 11:10
ALKMAAR- Bob Moore was a fan of both Aston Villa and AZ. The Englishman held season tickets for both clubs and traveled to Alkmaar every two weeks. He passed away at the age of 64. This year, AZ was drawn against Aston Villa in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Reason enough to have a conversation with his daughter, Stacie Moore, by none other than Ron Vlaar.
Bob grew up as an Aston Villa fan but quickly saw a connection with AZ. "We used to come here for vacations when we were young," says daughter Stacie in the city center of Alkmaar. "He started following AZ because it reminded him a lot of Aston Villa."
It actually began in 1981, the year when both Aston Villa and AZ became champions. "I did some research, and I found out that AZ had a lot in common with my own club, Villa," Bob said in a 2019 interview with AZ.nl. "In terms of the atmosphere in the stadium and the way they play." Bob visited the AFAS Stadion after Vlaar made the switch to AZ and became an instant fan. He got a season ticket and would be on the stands every other week.
Stacie: "He always looked forward to coming here. He even learned Dutch and had a season ticket for a few years. Then, unfortunately, he contracted COVID-19, which he passed away from." For her, it's special to be in Alkmaar now with this unique fixture. "When the draw was happening, I was at work. I didn't know what was going on, but my phone kept ringing. I saw messages like 'it's written in the stars' and 'it had to be.' That's when I realized what was happening. I immediately booked a ticket."
"When he passed away, I always said I would come here in his memory," Stacie continues. "But time and life go on. Then this draw came up. It was the perfect moment to come here. The match will also be a kind of memorial for him. He never had a proper farewell or a regular funeral due to the COVID restrictions. He would have found this match very special."
Vlaar: 'Cheerful Guy'
On February 16, 2019, when AZ won 3-0 against VVV-Venlo, Ron Vlaar met Bob after the match. The two chatted for a while and took a photo together. "I remember him as a very cheerful guy," says Vlaar. "He was very friendly, a real big fan." The former Aston Villa and AZ player also has a gift for daughter Stacie, who had traveled to Alkmaar in an old jersey. She receives the current home shirt, with the number 12 and 'Moore' on the back.