Bernard Moore

Bernard Moore Brighton & Hove Albion
Bernard Moore

Bernard Moore was born in 1923 in Brighton, where he attended Brighton Intermediate School and played football for Brighton Boys. According to that team’s secretary, “Moore was a lightweight and relied on brains rather than brawn. He was a very clever player and never averse to a shot at goal from the edge of the area.” When he left school, he began an apprenticeship as a toolmaker and joined Brighton & Hove Albion as a junior.

He turned professional in 1945, and made his senior debut in the 1945-46 FA Cup, but his progress was interrupted by service as a P.T. Instructor with the RAF in India and the Far East, and he finally made an appearance in the Third Division South in 1947–48. He scored twice from eight league matches before joining the newly formed Southern League club Hastings United in October 1948. The move was intended as a loan, but mistakes were made with the paperwork and Moore had signed a permanent contract.

Moore scored prolifically for Hastings, with 138 goals from 121 matches. According to the club’s 40th anniversary souvenir volume, he arrived to “add sparkle to the attack”, and “his skills helped to keep gates healthy”, but not healthy enough: in his third season, with Hastings in severe financial difficulty, Luton Town of the Football League Second Division paid “a much-needed £4,000”, which was then a Southern League record, for his services.

He scored on debut for Luton, and followed up with 6 goals from his next 12 appearances as the team avoided relegation from the second tier. He was injured early in the new season, and when he recovered he played more for the reserve team than the first team. In 1952–53, Moore was moved to inside right to accommodate the arrival of former England international centre-forward Jesse Pye and by the end of November, he had 10 goals. By March he was back in the reserves, as Luton went on to finish third in the table, and the following season, he was allowed to leave.

In March 1954, Brighton & Hove Albion paid £3,000 for Moore’s services. While not as prolific as in his youth, he still scored a goal in every three games. He fell out of favour with manager Billy Lane, and in November 1955, he returned to the Southern League with Bedford Town.

Moore was a regular in the Bedford side that reached the third round of the 1955-56 FA Cup in which they faced Arsenal at Highbury. Bedford came back from two goals down to draw the match: with six minutes to go, “Adey’s centre from the left was flicked by Yates over the groping hands of Sullivan and Moore drove the ball home.” He played in the replay which Bedford led for most of the second half before the First Division side equalised and then secured the win in extra time.

By the end of the season he had lost his place. He made two appearances in the early part of the next before moving on to Cambridge United where he again played alongside a former England player, this time Wilf Mannion. He spent time as player-manager of Potton United and also played for Dunstable Town.

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