Ronnie Moore – The interview.
Ronnie Moore was born in Liverpool in the year of 1953. It was 18 years later that Tranmere fans would become familiar with his name, becoming a professional player at Prenton Park as a Striker. He would go on to play for Rovers for 11 years, across two spells as the Whites would be his first and last club. In the midst of these spells he had played in the USA for Chicago Sting. John King would give the Liverpool-born forward his pathway into management and he would go on to become a successful football league head coach. This is his story, told in his words, with the aid of my questions …
What was it like coming back to Tranmere to manage the club in 2012?.
It was brilliant coming back to Tranmere as a manager, I’ve had so many good times at the club in many different roles: player, coach, caretaker manager and manager. To be honest, we were so close to reaching the play-off final the last time i was at the club it was a joke i got the sack when we finished 7th.
You had spent twenty years at the club in various roles before taking over from Les Parry. If you were to name three of your favourite moments prior to your time back at the club in 2012, what would these be?
There are lots of favourite times, too many to mention really.
1) 1975|76 Scoring 37 goals also scoring 4 goals in the games against Brentford, Stockport, and Newport a nice 12 goals in 3 games.
2) 1990 Wembley win in play-off Final v Bolton,we had 4 Wembley appearances in just over a year Fantastic time to support the White Army.
3) Beating Arsenal 1-0 at Highbury in 1973 when Ron Yeats was manager
What was Palios like as a teammate?
Mark Palios is a winner and a very disciplined mid-field player. He was a hardman who could also play a bit.
What was your aim as you came into the club? The first few months were exceptional.
Why did the team suffer such a reversal of form from December 2012? It seemed to begin with the Wallace injury but was there more going on?
My aim when I came into the club was to get us promoted as soon as I could. We started like a house on fire but too many injuries to key players and some of the better loan players being recalled to their parent clubs brought a huge halt to the team’s progression.
You were assistant manager under Johnny King in Tranmere’s most successful period. I bet this was a really interesting time as you moved from playing to coaching. What were your experiences like? What was Johnny King like as a man and what lessons did you learn from him?
Moving from player to coach was very hard but it was something I had always thought of doing and working with John King was special. He was a sincere man never afraid to kick you up the backside but also never afraid to praise you, a great leader of men never one to scream and shout at players. He also had the gift to attract quality players to the club. The next few years were fantastic for me and everyone connected with Tranmere Rovers we had so many highs and got so close to playing at the top level, the losses in the play-offs hurt us all so much it still hurts now when I think about the semi-final game against Aston Villa, a game we should have won.
What player did you find the most difficult/best player to manage?
I was very lucky with the players I had at the club. They were good honest players and I never had a difficult player to deal with. There were a lot of diamonds and winners, players like Andy Robinson, Ian Goodison,Ryan Lowe,Owain Fon Williams I could go on all day naming the players I loved and worked with.
What is your favourite game during your time at Tranmere?
My favourite game would be so hard so I’ve mentioned a few, Exeter when we had to win to stay in the football league we won 1-0. I also loved playing in the Mercantile Centenary Trophy at wembley in 1988,Chris Malkin’s winner at Wembley, the 4 games at Wembley .
What is the ground that you most loved going to as a player and a manager?
In the early years i loved playing at Chester City in fact one year i ended up playing in goal when Dick Johnson was injured and came off at half time. We were losing 1-0. I kept a clean sheet but we ended up losing 1-0. Oldham was another place I loved going to.
Did you enjoy winning more as a player or as a manager?
Both really only difference is scoring a goal you just can not beat that feeling.
Your most influential player whilst manager of Tranmere?
Ian Goodison was a great leader. Andy Robinson was one of the best players I have managed.
Were there any players that you let go, whilst you were manager, that you would’ve liked to keep?
Not really, I remember having to make a decision on a young lad turning pro. I decided not to sign him and let him go, he now plays for Wales (Will Vaulks).
Is it true that we were close to signing Jamie Vardy on loan in the 12/13 season?
No that is not true we could have done with him though.
What was it like to manage your son?, Ian Thomas-Moore. I thought he was a great forward.
Not easy you tend to pick on him more than you should do so the lads didn’t give him any stick. He did his talking on the pitch. I’m so proud of him, he’s a brilliant player.
Tranmere dismissed you of your duties after it became apparent that you put a small bet on. Tranmere were, at the time, in a relegation scrap and would eventually go down. What were your feelings towards your dismissal and do you believe that you would’ve been able to keep Tranmere safe?
I was out of work at the time we set up a family betting group in my name: me and my wife, her sister, and her Dad we all put £5 each in every week and picked a team ,it’s called ‘£20 Accumulator’. The problem was when I got back into management I should have cancelled the betting app. I do believe if we had been in the top 6 I would have kept my job because we were struggling so it gave Peter Johnson the chance to sack me, I honestly believe we would not have gone down. I have never been relegated as a manager. It was my mistake so I gave him the chance to sack me .
How big of an achievement was it to keep Hartlepool United in the football league? This meant Tranmere would be relegated, did this achievement feel somewhat bittersweet?
I think it was one of my greatest achievements right up there with my back to back promotions. I was out of work and they showed a great passion to get me to come and save them, they were 10 points adrift in December and we ended up staying up with a game to spare. At the time yes it felt bittersweet but not for the club, just the one person running the club, the supporters were brilliant to me when I was there so it was a sad day for Tranmere.
You are currently out of a managerial role. However, you have done some television work since being manager of Tranmere. Do you wish to go back into the game in some managerial capacity or do you want to continue with your television appearances?
I’ve tried to get back into management but never get any replies back, at 67 people think you are a dinosaur. I am a level 5 coach. I have to attend coaching sessions to keep me up to date with the modern game. I am trying to get back in as a Chief Scout or doing some recruitment work but as one door closes another one hits you in the face. I’m doing a bit of radio work for radio sheffield on the Rotherham games as The Expert Summariser.
- ‘I had a lot of great times. Too many to mention really’
Thank you very much for reading,