Mossley AFC: In the footsteps of the greats

KEVIN Gorman, who began his playing days in amateur football against pub teams, was literally following in the footsteps of some of the game’s greats when he appeared for Mossley at Wembley.

Forty years on from their appearance in the final of the FA Trophy, the tough-tackling midfielder revealed the previous game on the hallowed turf had been England against reigning World Cup holders Argentina.

Former Lydgate resident Kevin, 66, who is living in retirement at Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, said: “This in inside knowledge that you may not know but everyone who plays at Wembley signs a book.

“I glanced across to the other page and there were some of the best players in the world, England’s Kevin Keegan, Steve Coppell, Dave Watson and David Johnson along with Argentina’s Daniel Passeralla, Alberto Tarantini, Leopoldo Luque and some teenager called Diego Maradona.”

Kevin, who started his working life as an apprentice electrician and was a health and safety adviser at the time of the final, added it was a great achievement to get to Wembley, especially for local players like himself, Alan ‘Bomber’ Brown and Davy Moore.

He added the only disappointment was losing 2-1 to Dagenham.

Kevin added: “We were a very driven team that had been used to winning and had gone on a great unbeaten run in the build up to the final

“I didn’t play as well as I expected to do which I still find annoying.”

Kevin, who was raised in Blackley, still has clear memories of the Wembley trip, especially the meeting on the Friday lunchtime when the team was announced after training.

He explained: “I am sure there were about 18 lads but for the game there was 11 players and only one substitute.

“Manager Bob Murphy was unpredictable and we were all on tenterhooks not knowing if we were playing.

“Imagine the scene, some skip out to phone home, some walk out in tears and some just sit in silence.”

Kevin’s memories of arriving at Wembley are still as vivid as if it was yesterday.

He said: “We all had new blazers, trousers and club ties. Yes, suitably dressed and with somewhere to go.

“The coach went through the main entrance to Wembley and as we disembarked, we looked up the tunnel to the pitch.

“We poured into the dressing rooms, gobsmacked, overawed with fear and excitement in equal measures.”

There were some lighter moments with Kevin explaining how they beat a booze ban.

He said: “The first challenge was how to ensure we still got enough beer after being told we could only have two pints on the Thursday night and none on the Friday.“Like most teams, we had a good supply of seasoned drinkers so that was soon fixed on the first night from memory.”

Kevin was spotted by Chadderton playing Sunday football and subsequently played for Bacup Borough and Droylsden, who sold him to Mossley for £500. He went on to make 299 appearances for the Lilywhites between 1978-83 and 1989-91 having in-between played for Southport, Buxton, Rossendale and Stalybridge Celtic.

He later turned down the chance to manage Mossley because of work commitments – he spent the last 14 years of his working life in Aberdeenshire as vice president of human resources in global oil related businesses.

Kevin is still involved in the game playing walking football in both Grange-over-Sands and competitively for Fleetwood Town.

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