Gary Moore (1945-2021)

Gary Moore, a member of the 1974/75 promotion side that also reached the last four of the League Cup, has sadly passed away at the age of 76. In two seasons at Sealand Road Gary made 43 league appearances and scored four goals but will best be remembered for scoring the second equaliser in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final against Aston Villa that finished 2-2.

Gary Moore

Born in Sedgefield, Gary started his career as an apprentice at Sunderland, where he became an England youth international, and signed professional terms at Roker Park in 1962. A move to Grimsby Town followed in 1967 but his best years came at Southend United where he scored an impressive 55 goals in 188 appearances. Most notably he scored seven goals in two FA Cup ties against King’s Lynn and Brentwood in the 1969/70 season.

The blond-haired striker had a loan spell at Colchester before Ken Roberts brought him to Chester for £10,000 in August 1974. Gary made his debut as a replacement in defence for the injured Trevor Storton in a 3-0 win over Hartlepool but found first team opportunities limited by the form of lethal striking partnership Derek Draper and John James and was mainly used as a substitute. Nevertheless he made significant goal contributions, coming off the bench to head the only goal of the game at Swansea and scoring twice in a superb 4-1 win over promotion rivals Lincoln City. Those two strikes proved crucial as Chester pipped the Imps to the fourth promotion spot by the slimmest goal average margin. 

n the League Cup run of 1974/75 Gary was used as a substitute against Blackpool and in the first leg of the semi-final against Aston Villa. It was in the latter game, in front of a packed Sealand Road End, that the burly forward replaced John James with 20 minutes to go and in the 80th minute turned home a Derek Draper cross from close range to keep alive Chester’s Wembley dream. He kept his place in the starting eleven for the 2nd leg as the Seals were narrowly beaten 3-2. 

Gary Moore (left) celebrates with Terry Owen and Norman Whitehead after the 1st leg of the League Cup semi-final against Aston Villa

Opportunities continued to be limited in 1975/76 and at the end of the campaign he signed for Swansea City but injury forced him into retirement in 1978. Gary continued to be involved in football and was a coach at Blyth Spartans before becoming manager of Northern League sides Consett and Crook Town. He was later a scout for Aston Villa and England under his old Grimsby colleague Graham Taylor. Away from football Gary worked as a sales rep in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.