To have achieved what Brian Moore did for both Cambridge United and the Lilywhites is almost unbelievable when you consider he was vertically blind in one eye.
Brian McGowan Moore was born in Belfast on December 29th, 1933 and began his football in the Glentoran Junior team. Despite being an amateur, he progressed through the ranks to the first team but having been offered just a reserve team contract, he decided to quit the game all together. Twelve months later, having been offered a first team contract by the Distillery Club, he returned to football. Then at the age of twenty, he had a taste of international football when he was selected to represent the Irish League against the Football League at Anfield. In 1955, he had the chance, which he was happy to accept, to come to England and join West Ham United for a fee of £4,500. Then on Boxing Day 1955, while playing for West Ham away at Middlesborough, he was struck in the eye by the heavy leather ball they used at that time. Rather than come off and leave his side with just 10 men, in the pre-sub era, he played on. After the match he was rushed to hospital, having collapased, and there he was found to have received irreparable damage to his right eye and as a result was more or less blind in that eye.
Despite being given £500 compensation by the P.F.A. as his career was believed to be over, Brian had other ideas. Shortly afterwards he joined Cambridge United, which allowed him the chance to play with his childhood hero, Will Mannion. It had been as a result of seeing Mannion play as an inside-right that Brian had started to play there too. His old schoolboy position had been as a centre half.
Brian made his debut for Cambridge United on November 10th, 1956 against Sudbury and at the start of the 1957/58 season, at the insistence of Mannion, switched to playing at outside right. That season saw him score 68 goals, 49 in the league, which is still a Cambridge United Clun record. These included 5 hat-tricks, that included 5 goals in the first 39 minutes against Sudbury. Later made Club Captain, Brian then fell out with the club's new player-manager (Alan Moore) and in 1960 he moved across the river to join Cambridge City at Milton Road. His last match for Cambridge United had been against Wisbech on May 6th, 160, he had scored 80 league goals for them in 119 appearances.
Brian Moore (seated fourth from left)
At City, Brian, who had been signed by the Club's Chairman rather than the manager, became an important part of the the Lilywhites side that in 1962-63 lifted the Southern Premier League title. That season he scored 34 goals for the first team (19 of which were in the Southern League), finishing as the second highest goalscorer for the season behind Alan Banks. All in all, Brian scored 107 goals for the Lilywhites before he joining Wisbech Town and in 1965 was part of their team that played Brighton and Hove in the F.A. Cup. Wisbech going down by 10 goals to 1. He later had spells with Boston United and Newmarket Town, before managing the Pye Ltd's (a Cambridge based electrical prducts firm) Football team. Brian at that time being also a Pye's employee.
Brian died in 2006.