A long wall of murals dedicated to the footballer, Bobby Moore, that have been largely covered up in recent years are to be opened up again for a few weeks.

The ceramic tiles, which show scenes from famous sports and entertainment events at Wembley Stadium and Arena, date back to 1993 when they were originally dedicated to England football captain and 1966 World Cup Winner Bobby Moore. The mural was made by the Architectural Art Service of the Langley London firm, and the artist was probably Kathryn Digby.

(c) Brent Council

However, they’ve been covered in advertising for a nearby housing development and a local shopping outlet since 2013, and in 2019, the council granted a 10-year lease to the local developer to cover them in lightboxes, despite local opposition to the plans.

Last year, three areas were uncovered for a short time, and that is going to happen again between 10th to 28th March.

The Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals are located on the walls of a pedestrian subway, which runs between Wembley Park Station and Olympic Way, and on the retaining walls to the south of the subway. As the murals are outdoor, if you live locally, then they can be seen as part of your daily exercise.

The first scene outside the subway shows American Football players. Many people think that the sport at Wembley Stadium started with the first NFL game there in 1983, with matches played annually at the new stadium since 2007. However, its history goes back a further 40 years, to the Second World War when two U.S. Forces teams played.

The middle scene shows a tackle involving two rugby league players. The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final was first played at the Stadium in 1929. It proved very popular, as a great day out for supporters. The final was played annually at Wembley (apart from during the Second World War) until the old stadium closed in 2000, and it has been a fixture at the new stadium since 2007.

The Empire Pool (now Arena) was built in 1934, as a year-round venue, for swimming in the summer and ice hockey and public skating in winter. It got its name because the first event held there was the swimming competition for the 1934 British Empire Games. From the autumn of that year, it was home to two ice hockey teams, the “Wembley Lions” (who played there until 1968 and were national champions four times) and the “Wembley Monarchs”.

(c) Brent Council


Article last updated on March 8th, 2021 at 02:21 pm

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6 comments
  1. Brian Butterworth says:

    They are just a little “provincial sports centre” aren’t they? I can see why they have found any excuse to cover them up.

    I guess CAD has made great progress in what can be achieved by tiled wall decoration.

    But… I like Euston station so what do I know?

  2. Marc says:

    Isn’t there a mosaic of a rock band as well – presumably to commemorate Live Aid?

    • Philip Grant says:

      One of the original mural scenes did show rock artists who played at Wembley. Unfortunately, most of it was destroyed when steps from the bus stop on Bridge Road down to Olympic Way were constructed c.2006, in advance of the new Wembley Stadium opening!

      You can still see a photo of it, and information about the musicians shown and their Wembley connections, at page 9 of a detailed article I wrote about the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals. This is on the Brent Archives website at:
      https://www.brent.gov.uk/media/16416203/the-bobby-moore-bridge-tile-murals.pdf

  3. Peter Burrell says:

    Football, American Football, Ice Hockey, Rugby League – so where’s the mural for SPEEDWAY which was huge at Wembley from between the wars up to the demolition of the old stadium?
    Weekly League matches attracted tens of thousands of spectators and no less than 25 World Championship Finals took place at Wembley between 1936 and 1981.

    • ianVisits says:

      Ask the council, or the artist, or someone who might be able to vaguely remember, or even care, if it was discussed 30 years ago when the murals were commissioned.

  4. Martin Francis says:

    More on the background here: https://youtu.be/hq59xKP7Uns

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