One of the features of Ernie Moss Day may have been less visible than many others, but it leaves a superb memory of the great man for thousands of future visitors to the Proact Stadium to enjoy, was the unveiling of a stunning mosaic in the main foyer at the club.
The artwork, created by Salford-based artist Robert Lally, who also fashioned the Dave Blakey mosaic in the Chesterfield FC Memorial Garden, was commissioned by Phil & Sylvia Tooley and is on permanent loan from them so all Spireites can enjoy the work of art.
Unveiled by the Moss family and watched on by ex-Spireites and team-mates Bob Newton, Colin Tartt & Andy Kowalski, plus Ernie’s guests at the match against Port Vale, the mosaic, based on an image taken by then club photographer Alan Roe, drew much admiration.
The work shows all-time record goalscorer Ernie scoring a trademark header past Colchester United keeper Mike Walker in a 3-0 win in September 1979, the image being one of the Moss family’s favourite from his long and distinguished career.
Phil Tooley said: “In the summer, me and Sylvia realised there was no permanent memory of local hero Ernie in the club’s main entrance.
"The Ernie Moss Room in the East Stand is a great tribute to the man, who is everyone of a certain age’s Spireites hero, but in the place where most visitors pass through, there was nothing.
“Having seen Rob Lally’s work at the Museum of Football in Manchester, and with fund-raising going well at the time, I commissioned him to create the Dave Blakey work for the Memorial Garden and that has been very well received, so we decided to ask him to create the Moss mosaic, the image selected being because it’s so iconic and career defining plus it’s also a family favourite.
“As soon as we’d decided to go ahead and get the mosaic created, it was announced that Ernie Moss Day II was on, so Rob was immediately targeted with a deadline to complete the piece, which he achieved with a few days to spare, and thanks to the club, we were given permission to hang the work where it is and get it unveiled on the big day.
“It seems as though the family liked the work. There was plenty of emotion at the unveiling and we hope the mosaic is subsequently enjoyed by many more friends and fans in the future. I know I’m biased, but it’s well worth sticking your head round the front door to take a look.”