Wherever people gathered on Wednesday, there was a pervasive sense of loss, an unforced emotion that suggested many had been taken unawares by the depth of their feelings.
Their reaction seems to spring from a number of identifiable sources.
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Much of what passed for glamour and creativity in the Sixties was sham, but the decade was a genuinely distinguished period for football in England, with Moore, George Best and Bobby Charlton at the apex of a broadly based pyramid of exceptional talent.
Viewed from the vantage point of the present grey era in the game, that was something of a golden age and the blond, upright, regally composed figure who orchestrated the defeat of West Germany at Wembley on a July afternoon nearly 27 years ago was naturally freeze-framed in the mind's eye as its golden symbol.
That he should become the first of the glory boys of that distant summer to die was sure to make the jolt all the more sickening when he was claimed by cancer of the liver and colon at the age of 51.
Sir Alf Ramsey called him "my captain, my leader, my right-hand man. A cool, calculating footballer I could trust with my life.
He was the supreme professional, the best I ever worked with.
Without him England would never have won the World Cup." Pelé said he was a friend, an honourable gentleman and the greatest defender he had played against.
Franz Beckenbauer went further, calling him the "best defender in the history of the game".
Jock Stein said "there should be a law against him.
He knows what's happening 20 minutes before everyone else." When Moore died on 24 February 1993, Hugh Mc Ilvanney, Frank Keating and David Lacey paid their tributes in the Guardian and Observer. Moore sounds even more remarkable now than he did two decades ago.
Amid the coarsening of spirit that has been manifest in this country over the past couple of decades, there is a measure of reassurance in finding so much of the nation so deeply affected by the death of Bobby Moore.
It is impossible to doubt the spontaneity of grief felt by millions whose intimacy with the man was no greater than could be developed through watching him from the terraces of a football ground or on a television screen.