Tributes to Bryan Moore: a great Blackpool sporting all-rounder
The funeral takes place on Tuesdsay this week of an outstanding Blackpool sporting all-rounder, who was still teaching mathematics at the age of 100.
Batsman Moore captained Blackpool to their first Northern League titles in 1954 and ’55, while spending the winter months as captain of Thornton Cleveleys Rugby Union Club, where his prowess as a goalkicking fly-half became legendary.
Also a title-winning table tennis player, Bryan’s other great sporting passion was golf – he was a longstanding and much-admired member of the Blackpool North Shore Club.
On turning 100, Poulton-based Bryan told The Gazette: “I think it’s down to a great deal of luck, the right genes, the support of my family, keeping the brain active and keeping busy.”
Indeed, he refused to allow skin cancer to slow him down: still playing golf regularly in his late 90s, Bryan gave his final maths lesson online just six days before his death.
This indomitable great-grandfather continued to attend Blackpool CC matches until 2019 with his close friend and teammate Jim Andrew, a spin bowler in Bryan’s glorious Blackpool team of the mid-50s.
Blackpool CC chairman David Cresswell told The Gazette: “Having captained the first and second XIs as a player, Bryan then became one of the most highly-qualified coaches and was running coaching courses when I joined the club. He was very highly regarded and a super gentleman.”
Born Robert Bryan Moore in Rochdale, he married his wife of 64 years Eileen on the Wirral in 1943 and the couple moved to Blackpool shortly afterwards.
Bryan enjoyed a long and happy career in the Post Office, developing his sideline as a maths tutor while in his 20s.
After his playing days, Bryan continued his cricket career by gaining the status of senior staff coach with the NCA (National Coaching Association).
Those whose skills he helped to hone included his own son Michael, who captained St Annes CC.
Michael told The Gazette: “Dad was as sharp as a pin right to the end. He was competitive and loved winning.
“Sport certainly ran in the family: my son Michael also played for Blackpool CC and captained Thornton Cleveleys RUFC, just like his grandfather.”
The year before he turned 100 himself, Bryan kindly invited The Gazette to his home on Blackpool Old Road to celebrate another centenary.
Bryan assembled some friends to mark what would have been the hundredth birthday of Bill Alley, the Australian all-rounder Moore had the pleasure of captaining in that 1950s’ Blackpool side.
Alley scored 4,845 league runs in his four years as Blackpool’s professional at an average of 115, also taking 179 wickets before moving on to Somerset and performing even more prodigious feats.
Moore and Alley remained firm friends until Bill’s death, aged 85, and Bryan never tired of describing his amazing performances.
He told The Gazette: “Bill Alley was something else and we always kept in touch. Bill was a great player to captain and we got on really well.
“We worked things out together and never had a cross word. That was such a strong Blackpool team, full of personalities, and it made captaincy very pleasurable.”
One man who had the pleasure of captaining Bryan was Peter Riddle, a former captain of Blackpool North Shore GC and Moore’s next door neighbour.
Peter said: “Bryan really did not like to lose but he was always an absolute gentleman, and he and Eileen were very well respected social members.
“It was a pleasure to hear him talk about the great cricketers who had been club professionals when he played for Blackpool, like Hanif Mohammad, Rohan Kanhai and of course Bill Alley.
“Until the last couple of years he was still playing golf every Monday morning and still giving no quarter. Talk about bulldog spirit.”
The funeral of Bryan Moore takes place at St Chad’s Parish Church, Poulton, on Tuesdasy morning followed by cremation at Carleton Crematorium.
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