Tribute have been pouring in for Ronnie Moran, a great man of Liverpool Football Club. Moran passed away yesterday at the age of 83. Moran spent almost 50 years at Liverpool, and was a cornerstone of the boot room culture which made the club the most successful in England.
Graeme Souness, who worked with Moran as both a player and a manager at Liverpool, spoke on Newstalk's Off the Ball last night in memory of the late Moran, and during the course of the interview, he confirmed a Kelly Cates story which showed just how remorseless Moran was about winning:
Souness added a postscript:
He'd then turn the corner of the home dressing room, and come back to add, 'Oh, and by the way, we'll get fuck all this year for what's in that box'.
Souness would be reticent to stride forward to take his, as he explains, he was "frightened" by Moran. He tells a remarkable story to illustrate exactly why:
I was frightened of him. I'll give you another story. We played a Romanian team and I ended up getting involved with one of their players, and I ended up doing something I shouldn't have done. I threw a punch at him, and he had to go off. At the end of the game - remember this is the Iron Curtain time - but at the end of the game at Anfield, I went off the pitch and started climbing the stairs. As I'm going up the stairs I can see guy.
He's broken his jaw, he's got ice packed into a towel and tied around his head, and I'm obviously... chuckling at him. These two big guys in big leather coats appear from nowhere, and start to approach me. Again, from nowhere, Ronnie appears. Ronnie had a massive chest: he was a great, big powerful man, Ronnie. He said to them 'Okay then, what are you going to do about it', with some blue language thrown in. They thought twice about confronting me.
We were pretty frightened of Ronnie Moran. He wasn't a bully, don't get me wrong, but when he kicked off he could be ferocious....he'll be sorely missed.
You can listen to the interview in full on Newstalk's website.