Everyone at the club was saddened to hear that Tony Moore, a member of Chesterfield's 1969/70 Division Four championship-winning side, passed away last Friday (July 7) at the age of 69.
Club historian, Stuart Basson, has kindly provided the following tribute:
Tony was an early graduate of the club's apprenticeship scheme, signing professional forms in January 1965 and making his debut at home to Rochdale on the 30th of that month. At the time, he was the club's third-youngest player.
Tony took a couple of seasons to become a regular, and the 1969/70 season saw him in the squad of 12 for all but five games. He started 29 of those and scored five goals, but set up many more chances for the likes of Ernie Moss and Kevin Randall. Having signed as a traditional winger he made the transition to a wide midfield berth successfully as tactics changed in the wake of England's World Cup win.
By the end of the following season, however, Tony had moved on. He joined Grimsby on loan in March 1971, before completing a free transfer move to Chester that August. At the time of his departure he had played 153 league games for the Spireites, scoring 13 goals.
Fans who were there at the time will remember that Tony probably took more crowd abuse from Spireites fans than any other Chesterfield player. It began during a spell of poor form in 1965/66 and continued throughout his career. Tony later acknowledged feeling as though he was trapped in a vicious circle, once saying: "I make silly mistakes. I try things which are too hard, at times. Sometimes it's because of the crowds that I don't play well, for I'm inclined to think of them and make mistakes."
Tony was probably an easy target: he lacked the flamboyance of Kevin Randall, and did not share Tom Fenoughty's elegance; he did not capture the fans' imaginations in such a dramatic manner as Alan Stevenson on his ascent to the first team, and no-one would have a dig at Dan Archer for fear that he might recognise you after the game!
Tony was perhaps the ultimate steady player - a hard-working and determined provider, who knew his limitations and played sensibly within them. He scored few goals of his own but one, during a downpour against Lincoln in January, 1970, is remembered as much for Moore's celebration - sat in the mud with his arms aloft, waiting for his team-mates to join him - as for the quality of the goal itself.
After leaving Chester, Tony worked at the Sheffield City Council as a clerical officer. He played non-league football to a good standard, but this was brought to a halt by a diagnosis of cancer at the age of 38. He enjoyed a 20-year period of remission but fought and beat the disease a second time, aged 58.
We send our condolences to Tony's family and friends. Tony's funeral will be held next Wednesday (July 19), at 11am at Grenoside Crematorium in Sheffield.