James Lawton: Moran - a man of principle

One of the certainties of life in this corner is that when people in football, particularly, suffer from what they believe to be pangs of conscience, a waspish e-mail will arrive like a burning arrow from Richie Moran, a former professional footballer and spirited anti-racism campaigner.

He was in particularly spiky form at dawn yesterday when reacting to the proposed boycott by Manchester United fans of certain of the club's sponsors in the wake of the Glazer takeover.

"While listening to the chairman of Supporters United," wrote Moran, "I noted that while supporters will apparently boycott a firm like Nike because of an American takeover of their club, they will happily pay out for the same gear regardless of the well documented working conditions of kids making the stuff in south-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

"Personally, I've already told my son I will not buy him a Celtic replica kit for at least the next five years because they have signed with Nike for that period. I also avoid McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Gap, Hugo Boss, Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Caterpillar and Asda for various reasons. I will be watching avidly to see how Sir Alex Ferguson, always touted as a man of socialist principle, reacts to all of this. Meanwhile, it's probably a good job a lot of supporters haven't got trifling inconveniences such as war, famine, earthquakes and tsunamis to worry about."

There is much more of this bracing perspective in the record of a world-wide tour conducted by a man of ferocious but often engaging principle. It is published under the title, It Really is a Small World and can be acquired by e-mailing kofimoran@hotmail.com.

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