Often Partisan

Where Are They Now – Part XXII

I’m indebted to the amazing stats compiled by Steve Tirebuck for this series of articles

It’s quite humorous at times listening to people talk about how bad Blues are at the moment – when I hear some talk about the current side being the worst team ever I can only think people have short memories or are too young to remember the real dark days. I can barely remember them myself; I was twelve when this player made his debut for us and I honestly can’t remember anything about him but clearly he made an impression because whenever people talk about the “bad old days”, he gets a mention. The player I’m referring to is Richie Moran.

Richie Moran

The Blues side of the early 90’s were a somewhat different proposition to the side we have now. Playing to an average home attendance of just over 7,000 in a crumbling stadium, languishing in the third tier and with owners who were up the creek financially, Blues were the proverbial club in crisis. Believe me – the current situation we’re in has no resemblance to then – a time when I remember my Dad asking me who I was going to support when Blues went bust.

Richie Moran was typical of the team at the time; he had a decent record in non-league and whilst he was going to try his hardest he was never going to be good enough to make the step up to league football. Unlike his team mates though, Moran came to Blues on the back of a season out in Japan playing for Fujita Kogyo.

Moran made his debut on the 1st September 1990 as a substitute for Robert “Hoppy” Hopkins in a home game against Leyton Orient, and he scored the third goal in a 3-1 win. It was to be his only goal in an ill-fated spell which lasted a season – making just nine appearances and only two of them being starts. He made his last sub appearance in March 1991 as a sub for John Gayle against Reading but by then he had fallen foul of the change in manager from Dave Mackay to Lou Macari.

In the book The Changing Face of Football: Racism, Identity and Multiculture in the English Game by Les Back, Tim Crabbe and John Solomos there is a quote from Moran which I believe refers to Macari.

“He recounted how when he was playing for Birmingham City, the manager had: ‘Called me into his office and asked me why I had dreadlocks. And when I explained that it was a reaffirmation of my African heritage it was met with derision, and to me, having explained it was part of my heritage – whatever corner of the globe you come from – he had actually insulted my whole heritage … And I told him, with my tongue pretty much in my cheek, that … if I should have my hair cut then why couldn’t he have elocution lessons to change his Glaswegian accent, which didn’t go down too favourably and I didn’t play in the first team again strangely enough.'”

Moran never played for Blues again, and dropped out of the Football League altogether. He played some football for Kettering Town, Bashley and Waterlooville before finally giving up altogether.

After quitting football Moran travelled the world for a while before becoming an active campaigner against racism in football. In 2005 he wrote a book, “It Really is a Small World” which talked about his experiences whilst on his travels. He spoke about how he felt racism was institutional within football and that there was a lack of black players at the time who were willing to put their heads above the parapet and condemn racism.

Most recently, Moran commented on the Inside Left website about the John Terry/Anton Ferdinand case which you can read here. He is still very much an active campaigner against racism in football and is determined to ensure players now will not have to suffer what he did as a player.


20 Responses to “Where Are They Now – Part XXII”

  • Masaccio says:

    I saw him score his goal! Do I get a t-shirt?

  • Masaccio says:

    I even managed to see Rui Esteves’ first half performance against the Orient in a rain soaked away game.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Bullshit in my eyes

    Moran suffered no racism as I recall and if he did nothing on a scale of Regis etc…

    The kick it out campaign is a good idea but at the wrong time. It would have been more needed in the 70s when the terraces (including St Andrews) were habitated by large numbers of violent racists.

    • alexjhurley says:

      Paul, gotta take issue with this. “he suffered no racism in my eyes” how on earth do you know, were you with him at all times during his blues career ? If the man says macari dissed his heritage / culture you gotta take his word for it – and to my mind that’s discrimination. Don’t matter how crap he was, he deserves some respect.

  • Graham says:

    I met him in the mid 90s he was a DJ in a bar in Tenerife. He saw my Blues Badge and came over for a chat – said he loved it at the Blues.I had had a few and said he was the worst Blues player of all time – he just laughed.

  • RichardM says:

    Agree with Paul Carter – this smacks of sour grapes to me and a cover up for the fact he just wasn’t good enough. I remember watching him attempt an over-head kick in the centre of the pitch, missing completely and faling on his arse, leading to hysterical laughter from the Kop stand – the only Blues player I can ever recall being laughed at by his won fans.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    They don’t call me the voice of reason for nothing Rich

  • kentucky blue says:

    Easist goal ever 18 yards out no defenders and no goalkeeper in the way

  • Rosalino says:

    Hmmm, I don’t think any of us a in a position to say whether Moran was subject to racist abuse or not, and to make a flippant statement like ‘and if he did nothing on a scale of Regis etc…’ doesn’t actually make it right or better. Moran being a rubbish footballer has no bearing on his standpoint, you shouldn’t be subject to abuse in you place of work, whether from the people on the terraces, or the people you work alongside, full stop. You are not the voice of reason Paul, because if you were you’d understand the term ‘endemic racism’, and how you seem to be very accepting of it.

    • RichardM says:

      Thats a little harsh – I didn’t see anyone saying “racism is acceptable in the work place” – the point was he was just plain rubbish, regardless of the colour of his skin. The Macari story may well be true, and if it is it’s unacceptable, but strange that we’ve never heard Dennis Bailey or Simon Sturridge, fellow black players in the Blues squad at the time speaking out about endemic racism at the club. On the contary, Bailey has always been very positive about his time at the Blues.

      • Rosalino says:

        The initial statement says ‘bullshit’ and that he saw no evidence of racism. So me pulling him up isn’t a little harsh. Although I can’t comment on what went on in the dressing room, I have seen plenty of examples of racism by fans, both ours but more often from the opposition. Moran leaving professional football may have a lot to do with his lack of ability, but I’m sure his overall experience didn’t motivate him either. Also, if Evra and Ferdinand are anything to go by, I can see why black players haven’t stood up for themselves, because if you do you get treated far worse, and if its endemic in the club would you bite the hand that feeds you?

  • skareggae72 says:

    Not sure if Macari ever worked with Jason Lee,i hope not !

  • Rayzorblue says:

    Saw him in Torquay 93ish, I was wearing a blues shirt,when he saw me he started singing keep right on. I also saw his one and only goal !

  • Charlie Jones says:

    Almajir , the dark days of the 90’s were definately bad, very bad , but the performance of the team in the match against Barnsley was without a doubt the worse performance by a Blues Team that I have seen in over 50 years of supporting them.Even the defeats by Kiddiminster and Altrncham come nowhere near as bad , at least we had some attempts on goal in those matches..

  • Macc lad says:

    I remember both Moran and Macari. Neither of them had any talent.
    No room in this world for racism by the way. Why deny yourself the use of talent because of the colour of their skin? Crass and ridiculous.

  • Bluehobba says:

    He was useless!

  • Jerry Dignan - The Voice of Treason says:

    A very bad player indeed……we are going through a bad patch now but thank God our current team are light years ahead of the late 80’s early 90’s. The 2nd half against Barnsley reminded me of the 2nd half against Swindon.

  • alexjhurley says:

    I saw his goal as well. He was crap, but not as crap as Carl Richards – hell always be my worse ever blues player. And zigic.

  • Bull Sh*t - The Voice of Friesian says:

    Went to the Hawthorns as a young lad while Regis and co. were playing. It really was quite an appalling time and I would put my mortgage on Moran getting similar abuse at other away grounds.

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