Obituary – by David Bull, Club Historian
KEVIN MOORE joined the Saints as a 29 year-old in 1987, after ten seasons – and 400 League games – for his home-town Grimsby. That club virtually ‘belonged’ to his family: his father, Roy, and uncle, Norman, had each played for the Mariners and Kevin’s younger brothers, David and Andy, would both do so.
Chris Nicholl, who had been among Kevin’s centre-back partners for Grimsby, became Southampton’s manager, soon after that. Before long, he brought Kevin to The Dell. Kevin proved that he could cut it in the top flight, being not only competent in the air, but able to play a bit on the ground, too. For a season-and-a-half, he was a regular, in a pairing first with Kevin Bond and then with Russell Osman. That arrangement was disturbed during the 1988-89 season by the signing of Neil Ruddock, but for the next two-and-a-half seasons, Kevin remained one of three centre-backs whom Nicholl was able to shuffle, as form and fitness dictated.
Then, in 1991-92, amid the upheaval of Ian Branfoot’s first season, Osman and Ruddock both finished, while Gittens, Hall and Wood were now challenging for a place in central defence. Yet Kevin was still there, scoring at Wembley in the 1992 ZDS Final. And subsequent to the rebranding, for the 1992-93 season, of top-flight football, Kevin still had 32 Premier League appearances left in him, bringing his total Southampton appearances to 185, with 13 goals. After which, he rejoined Branfoot, at the age of 36, at fourth-tier Fulham.
Following two seasons at that basement-level, Kevin, a qualified chartered surveyor, remained at Fulham, as their first-ever stadium safety-officer, doubling as their training-ground manager. After which, he returned to Hampshire as a scaffold-engineer at Fawley. But he soon began to show signs of a condition that would be identified as Pick’s disease, a form of dementia.
As the illness worsened, Kevin came to need constant nursing. Various fund-raising events were organised – principally by Ian Ritchie, of Otterbourne FC, Kevin’s final club – to help finance Kevin’s care: from golf-days to Q&A evenings, supported by former Southampton team-mates.
THOMAS KEVIN MOORE
29th April 1958 – 29th April 2013