Obituary: Ian Moores

Ian Richard Moores, footballer: born Silverdale, Staffordshire 5 October 1954; played for Stoke City 1972-76, Tottenham Hotspur 1976- 78, Orient 1978-82, Bolton Wanderers 1982-83, Barnsley (on loan) 1983; married (two sons); died Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire 12 January 1998.

There was a time when big, blond, bewhiskered Ian Moores was being touted as an England centre-forward in the making.

Indeed, while cutting a dash with his first professional club, Stoke City, in the mid-1970s, he made two international appearances at under- 23 level. But, having achieved a seemingly ideal career move to Tottenham Hotspur, Moores faded disappointingly from the limelight.

Moores made his senior debut for the Potters, then a force in the old First Division and one of the most entertaining sides in the land, in April 1974. The next season, though not a regular member of the team, he learnt quickly from such immensely gifted colleagues as Jimmy Greenhoff and Alan Hudson, and played a telling part in the club's impressive League form. Had the City squad been extensive enough to cope with an injury crisis of crippling proportions, the 20-year-old Moores might have pocketed a championship medal.

He attracted attention from a host of leading clubs, and after he had played what was to prove the most compelling football of his life during the subsequent campaign, earning his international recognition in the process, he joined Spurs for pounds 75,000 in August 1976.

Now came a period of golden opportunity for Moores and he began with a goal in a stirring victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford. But although his aerial power was fearsome and sometimes he could apply a delicate touch that was surprising in such a strapping fellow, too often he appeared cumbersome and gauche. With the north Londoners suffering relegation from the top flight at the end of his first term at White Hart Lane, the fans lost patience and his star began to fall. There was one memorable day in the Second Division when he contributed a hat-trick to Tottenham's 9-0 trouncing of Bristol Rovers, but such bounty was rare.

In October 1978, with hopes of full England honours long gone, Moores accepted a pounds 55,000 switch to Second Division Orient (as Leyton Orient were called at the time), whom he served competently for four seasons, usually at centre-forward but occasionally in midfield. He was released when the Os were demoted in 1982, going on to brief stints with Bolton Wanderers and Barnsley (on loan) and a spell with Apoel in Cyprus. Thereafter several non-League clubs and Landskrona Bols of Sweden afforded humble outlets for the talents of a man for whom expectations had once been so high.

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