The public shame of a World Cup hero; Newsflash 1970.
IT was four years on from the historic England World Cup win, but in 1970 the team and its captain were back in the news.
Bobby Moore, who had lifted the Jules Rimet trophy to much national jubilation, was cleared of theft in Colombia.
Moore was accused of taking a pounds 600 bracelet from the Green Fire shop in Bogota, but police and investigators indicated that he was set up and the Supreme Court ruled he should have "unconditional freedom."
On May 18, while the England team were preparing for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Moore had gone into the shop with Bobby Charlton to find a present for Charlton's wife. The store owner and assistant called police after they left.
It was subsequently believed to be either a blackmail attempt or a scheme to damage England's morale ahead of their crucial games.
Two years later a Colombian judge decided charges against Moore should be dropped, but the case was re-opened in 1973. It took a further two years before the Foreign Office wrote to the player to say the case was closed.
In world politics there were several big movers and shakers taking up prominent roles in 1970.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, a passionate Arab nationalist, took direct control of Libya four months after a bloodless coup that brought an end to the monarchy.
Since the coup, led by Gaddafi's Free Unionist Officers, the country had been run by civilian ministers. Now the 28-year-old colonel had taken the title of prime minister.
He went on to make a name for himself as one of the world's most unpredictable and autocratic heads of state.
Similarly outspoken, protestant right-winger Rev Ian Paisley won a seat in Northern Ireland's parliament in April 1970.
Dr Paisley gained a winning margin of more than 1,000 in a Bannside by-election at his second attempt.
He denied his victory was one for militancy in Ulster and said he would represent everyone in his constituency. He went on to enter the House of Commons two months later after winning North Antrim.
The other big political news of the year came at home with a shock general election win for the Conservatives.
Edward Heath became the new Prime Minister in a result which confounded all opinion polls which had predicted a comfortable win for Labour and their leader Harold Wilson.
On a lighter note, two legendary British comedy teams made their TV debuts in 1970.
Monty Python's Flying Circus received a lukewarm reception in its first year, being replaced in the Midlands by a farming programme.
The Pythons broke previous comedy rules, targeting pompous bureaucrats, upper-class twits and accountants. Programmes were made up of sketches that did away with punchlines and were linked instead by animations by resident cartoonist Terry Gilliam.
The other big show of the year had just three stars - Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor. The Goodies were three odd-job men who did anything, anytime, anywhere - including launching a rocket to the moon and singing about Funky Gibbons.
IN THE NEWS: Clockwise from top left - Bobby Moore, Colonel Gaddafi, the Monty Python team, The Goodies, Ian Paisley and Ted Heath
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|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Mar 4, 2006|
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