Chester star Ian Moir has died after a long battle with
cancer. The popular Aberdeen born winger only played
25 league games for the club but made a huge impact
in this short period and will always be fondly remembered
by Blues fans. Ian continued to live in Vicar’s
Cross after his retirement from the game and remained
well-known in the area for his involvement in local
football and crown-green bowling.
As a youngster, Ian drew the attention
of Manchester United having represented Aberdeen Schoolboys
and the national team at junior level. He signed schoolboy
terms at Old Trafford at the age of 15 and after two
years was signed on professional terms by Matt Busby.
United were in the process of rebuilding after the Munich
disaster and the highly thought of 17 year old was quickly
given a break in the first team when he made his debut
against Bolton Wanderers in October 1960 at the same
time as Nobby Stiles. In 1961 he played against Chester
at Sealand Road, for the inauguration of the new floodlights,
when United won 6-0.
Ian went on to make 45 league appearances
for United over the following five seasons where he
played alongside Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. In the
end he lost out to the emerging George Best and in 1965
joined First Division Blackpool for £30,000.
Ian spent two years at Bloomfield
Road and when Peter Hauser brought him to Chester for
£10,000, in May 1967, he became the club’s
record signing. He held this record until the arrival
of Chris Dunleavy from Southport for £12,000 in
As a big money signing a great deal
was expected of Ian but he more than lived up to expectations
and his pace and natural ability soon made him a crowd
favourite. Although tall for a winger he was incredibly
skilful and it was perhaps unfortunate that he joined
a club on the decline after the successes of the preceding
seasons. Ian made his debut in the opening game of the
1967/68 campaign, against Notts County, and was the
shining light in a team struggling in the re-election
zone. One of the few bright spots in the season was
a 6-0 victory over Lincoln City, a game in which Ian
scored two of his three league goals for the club.
That game proved to be Ian’s
swansong at Sealand Road and the Scotsman was reluctantly
transferred to Wrexham in January 1968 with Chester
recouping their money and receiving centre half Graham
Turner in exchange. Such was Ian’s influence on
the team that only two points were picked up from the
next eight games.
After leaving Chester Ian spent the next seven and a
half seasons at Wrexham interspersed with a season at
Shrewsbury in 1971. He made 165 league appearances at
the Racecourse and helped the club to promotion in 1969/70.
At the end of the 1974/75 season he was released by
Wrexham and, after turning down the opportunity to play
for Chicago Sting in the USA, moved out to Pretoria
in South Africa where he played for Arcadia Shepherds.
After returning to this country Ian had spells with
Oswestry Town and Colwyn Bay and worked for British
Nuclear Fuels in Capenhurst.
It is impossible to find anyone who
didn’t warm to Ian’s infectious enthusiasm
and he was one of the most likeable people you could
hope to meet. Even when he was suffering with his illness
he remained cheerful and optimistic and an encounter
with Ian always raised the spirits. It was perhaps this
laid back approach that prevented Ian from reaching
the heights at Old Trafford that his natural, raw talent
probably deserved but in itself this was a strength
in his personality and he will be badly missed.
Chester FC sends out their condolences
to his family and friends.
Chas Sumner [30/3/15]