ian moores

 

The 1976-77 season began with Gerry Armstrong wearing the number nine shirt for Tottenham, which had been vacated by Martin Chivers who had left the club in the summer to join Swiss club Servette. After only three games, Armstrong’s shirt and place in the side went to Ian Moores, a 6 foot 2 inch bearded blond striker, who had just joined Spurs from Stoke City for a £75,000 fee. Moores had made his debut for Stoke in 1974 having graduated to full professional from apprentice at the Victoria Ground and had played twice for the England Under-21 side whilst at the Potteries club. Moores made his first appearance for us in a League Cup tie at Middlesbrough on the last day of August 1976 and he scored as we won 2-1, our first victory of the season following a drawn League game at Boro and defeats at the hands of Ipswich Town and Newcastle United. The next Saturday, Moores made his Tottenham League debut at Old Trafford. Spurs trailed 0-2 at half-time, but second half strikes from Moores, Ralph Coates and John Pratt gave us a 3-2 win in a match that was featured on that night’s “Match of the Day”. An encouraging start for our new 22 year old forward, but one that was not sustained.

The 1976-77 season Tottenham vintage was a poor one. After the near relegation of 1974-75, the following season had seen an improvement and a final League position of 9th, but 1976-77 was another poor campaign. Moores retained his place in the side for the next eight games, managing one goal - in the 2-3 League Cup defeat at home to Wrexham - but no further addition to his League total. During that time we lost 2-4 at West Brom and 1-8 at Derby County. After a three match absence, Moores returned to feature in the next four matches, scoring once against Sunderland. The away defeat at Leicester on the Saturday before Christmas was the last time Ian Moores appeared in the first team until the April of 1977.

By this time, Spurs were staring relegation in the face. Moores played in four of the final five League games (including the 0-5 reverse at Manchester City which was basically the point of no return for Tottenham) and was substitute in the other. For a striker, his record was poor - only two goals in seventeen League appearances, plus two more in the League Cup.

1977-78 saw Spurs in the Second Division and Moores not making a first team showing until the eleventh game of the season. We had made an impressive start to the campaign with only one defeat in the opening ten Second Division matches. Moores returned at Charlton and we lost 1-4 !! However, the following week Ian Moores helped himself to a hat-trick against the generous defence of Bristol Rovers and still managed to get upstaged by debutant Colin Lee, who scored four times in the 9-0 victory. Moores kept his place until the end of November, when he made his final League start of the season at Bolton. John Duncan, Chris Jones and Colin Lee were all ahead of Moores in the pecking order. Three appearances as a substitute late on were all he managed during the second half of the season, as Spurs made an instant return to the First Division courtesy of a 0-0 draw against Southampton at the Dell on the final day.

Back in the top flight, Ian Moores found himself back in the first team for the opening fixture - a visit to play Nottingham Forest, where new signings Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa made their debuts for Spurs. It was Moores who provided the cross from which Villa scored to earn us a 1-1 draw. Moores made his last appearance for Tottenham four days later when Aston Villa triumphed 4-1 at White Hart Lane.

After just over two years at the club, Ian Moores left White Hart Lane to join Orient for a fee of £55,000. After scoring 26 goals in 117 League games for the O’s, Moores returned North in July 1982 to sign for Bolton Wanderers. A year on and he left Burnden Park to play in Cyprus where he had five successful years. Returning to England in the late eighties, Moores helped Southern League Tamworth win the 1989 FA Vase, when he scored in the replay of the Final.

Sadly, Ian Moores died in 1998, at the age of 42 following a long battle against cancer. He is one of the players who failed to fulfill his potential in the lilywhite shirt, but he is still remembered by Spurs fans for a variety of reasons.

ANDREW FORD

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