Full Name: Remi Mark Moses Born: November 14, 1960 Height: 5'6" Weight: 11 st 3lb (157 lbs) Signed for United: 17 September, 1981 United Debut: 19 September, 1981 vs. Swansea City (H) Career Stats: WBA: (league only) 79-80 - Appearances: 18 Goals 1 80-81 - Appearances: 41 Goals: 4 81-82 - Appearances: 4 Goals: 0 Total: Appearances: 63 Goals 5 United: (all competitions) 81-82 - Appearances: 22 (1) Goals: 2 82-83 - Appearances: 43 Goals 2 83-84 - Appearances: 42 (6) Goals: 3 84-85 - Appearances: 38 Goals: 3 85-86 - Appearances: 4 (1) Goals: 0 86-87 - Appearances: 21 (1) Goals: 2 87-88 - Appearances: 18 (2) Goals: 0 Total for United: Appearances 188 (11) Goals: 12 International: England U21 - 8 caps Full: None Manchester born and childhood follower of United, Remi Moses began his career as an apprentice with West Bromwich Albion after being spotted playing schoolboy football. At the time of his discovery the West Midlands club were led by ex-United and Leeds midfielder Johnny Giles in a player-manager capacity - a role he simultaneously performed with the Irish national football team. Giles was to leave the club at around the same time that Moses put to pen to paper and after brief spells in charge for Ronnie Allen and John Wile, it was ultimately Ron Atkinson that the young midfielder would have to impress. Impress him he did and Moses made his breakthrough to the first team set-up at The Hawthorns on January 26th 1980 in a 2-2 draw away to Crystal Palace aged nineteen. Remi would go on to feature on a regular basis for the rest of the season, playing some part in eighteen of the twenty-two remaining league games and notching a solitary goal. It was during this period that team-mate Bryan Robson would win his first England cap. Building on his success in the previous campaign, Moses was an almost permanent fixture in the West Brom’ side during the 1980/81 season, playing in forty-one of forty-two league games and finding the back of the net four times along the way. His efforts helped the baggies to a 4th place finish, and it was this season that he would become part of the England U-21 scene, first when he was named as substitute in a 3-0 victory over Norway at The Dell followed by a belated birthday present of sorts, a start in a 5-0 victory over Switzerland at Portman Road, a few days after turning twenty. Ron Atkinson left for Old Trafford during the summer of 1981 and Moses and Robson would soon follow. Transfer negotiations for the duo were somewhat protracted, understandably, with West Brom not wanting to lose two of their most prized assets easily or cheaply. The exact fee paid for the combined services of Moses and Robson seems to be unclear with some sources quoting a figure of £500k and £1.5m respectively and others, £650k and £1.75m. One official United publication even lists them as a £2.4m double-signing including VAT and football league levy despite the fact that Moses actually ended up signing a fortnight before Robson. £500k seems to be the most often quoted number and whatever the case, the figure was around one-third of the cost to secure Robson, a British transfer record at the time. Remi would make his United bow as a substitute on September 19th 1981 in a 1-0 win over Swansea City. If Remi's transfer to United was overshadowed by Robson's, it would be fair to say that his career in a United shirt was to follow suit. That's the way it was always supposed to be though, with Moses doing much of the 'ugly stuff' well before playing short, simple passes to team-mates as United tried to extract and exploit the dynamism of Robbo. It's been said that United's midfield was somewhat lightweight before the signing of the pair, and even though Moses stood at just 5'6”, he helped out in that department through his aggression, positioning, tackling and ability to close space quickly. The more I write, the more difficulty I seem to be finding in mentioning Moses without mentioning Robson. Comparisons could be drawn to Nicky Butt, both in playing style and the way in which he was often overshadowed by more illustrious colleagues. Ashley Grimes once likened Remi, in terms of skill-set to Claude Makelele and more often than once his game was said to be similar to that of Norbert ‘Nobby’ Stiles. Maybe that's the type of player they breed in that part of town, as Stiles' birthplace, Collyhurst, is just across the railway tracks from Miles Platting, the area from which Moses hails. And Gorton, Butt's old stomping ground is not a million miles away either. Remi struggled to win the affection of the United faithful at first. Many of whom saw him as nothing but a make-weight in the deal to bring Robson to the club, others thinking he was simply one of Atkinson's favourites, and some not taking to the way he played the game. Still, Moses would make twenty-three first team appearances in a red shirt during the 1981-82 season, scoring twice. His first goal for United came against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford in October, making him the first black player to score for the club. Settling in a little more in 1982-83, Moses made 43 first team appearances and his competitiveness began to win some of the masses over. He would score twice more this season - once in the League (Milk) Cup, and once in the FA Cup campaign, as United went on to reach both finals. This season would mark the start of things not going quite right for him on the big occasion. United lost in the League Cup final to Liverpool and Remi missed the FA Cup final and subsequent replay through suspension after being sent off in a league game against Arsenal at Highbury towards the end of the season. 1983-84 saw Moses leave his mark on Europe. In the European Cup Winners' Cup 3rd round second leg against Barcelona, Bryan Robson would win most of the plaudits and rightly so as he scored twice and gave a real captain's performance, with United overturning a 0-2 deficit to win through to the next round with 3-0 home victory and a 3-2 aggregate. Moses really got stuck in that night and many reds fondly remember a few meaty challenges from that crazy night at Old Trafford. In the next round against Juventus, Remi would go on to put in what many regard one of his finest performances in a red shirt. Without Robson - who was missing through injury - he lived up to the nickname he was said to have had, “dog shit” (because he gets everywhere) and won tackle after tackle as he did a fine job in closing down Michel Platini and Co. The game ended in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. The second leg was somewhat of a different story with Platini feeding the ball through for Boniek to open the scoring. United equalised, but Juve eventually went through winning 2-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate. Moses was said to have admitted not being able to get close to Platini that night as the mercurial Frenchmen would lay the ball off first-time on a regular basis before Moses could get to him. During the summer of '84 United signed winger, Jesper Olsen, who was soon to be involved in a now infamous training ground bust up with Moses. Olsen made a hard challenge on him in a practice session, well a challenge as hard as someone weighing 9st 9lbs (135 lbs) can, which Remi took offence to. Moses lost his temper and laid in to Olsen with a few punches that left the Dane needing stitches, an incident that cost Remi two weeks' wages in the form of a fine. This wasn't the only time such a thing happened, albeit not to the same degree, as Clayton Blackmore once spoke of the time he got a smack after Moses had been kicked in training. An apology was soon the order of the day as it turned out that it was actually Graeme Hogg who had kicked him! Whilst researching this piece I find this side of his character fascinating as just about everyone talks of how quiet Remi was off the field. I can't help but draw comparisons to a certain Mark Hughes who was said to be a different character as soon as he stepped onto a football pitch. Any infighting was soon left behind him and at the start of the 1984/85 season Remi was playing some of the most consistently good football of his time at United. He started the first thirty-eight matches of the season in all competitions, one of the highlights being the goal he scored in a 5-0 rout of Newcastle at Old Trafford, when after some quick interplay at the edge of the box he was fed in and rounded the 'keeper before slotting home. His fine form had earned him a call-up to the full England squad of February 1985 for a World Cup qualifier away to Northern Ireland, but he was forced to pull out through injury, one that would see him miss the rest of the season including the 1-0 FA Cup final win over Everton. “Remi is back, Remi is back” was the chant of the crowd at Wembley as Moses warmed up as a substitute during the Charity Shield match against Everton at the start of the 1985/86 season. His popularity was perhaps at an all-time high during this period. This was the season that United would come flying out of the traps with ten straight wins in the league although he would actually only feature in the first and the last games of this streak. He made his fourth and final league appearance of the season against Liverpool on the 19th of October. According to Bryan Robson, what looked to be an innocuous twisted ankle whilst crossing the ball ended up being the beginning of the end for Remi as he'd actually suffered muscle damage that would keep him out for the next eleven months. Whilst not being pivotal to the great start that United had, he would certainly have been a useful figure to have around, especially if he could have re-captured his form of the previous season with United looking to win a first league title since 1967. His wasn't the only injury and they soon started to mount up as United's challenge faded. Moses was once again on the comeback trail during the 1986/87 season, a sight that had become all too familiar and would persist for him, first under Atkinson and then Alex Ferguson. Remi had two full seasons of being in and out of the team through injury. Because of this, he never really got a run in the team during his time under Ferguson and he eventually retired in the summer of '88 after a knee injury was added to his incessant ankle problems and rendered his attempts at a full recovery futile. Since retirement he's kept himself to himself and stayed away from professional football. In recent years he has helped out with his son's roller-hockey team and has also done a little coaching for Old Trafford FC as part of the “Unity in the Community” project which seeks to give inner-city kids something to do and somewhere to go. ------------------------- I was inspired to write this in part after reading Andy Mitten's book, “We're the famous Man United”, a collection of biographies of United players that wore the shirt in the 1980's. In the introduction he talks about some of the players from that era being a little forgotten forgotten as they came after successes in the 50's and 60's, the somewhat romantic era of the 70's and before the great triumphs of the 90's. Finding myself agreeing and not knowing perhaps as much as I'd like to about that era, I decided to have a stab at finding out all I could and have a go at writing up a player profile of someone not focussed on in there. Remi Moses was chosen because, well, I knew very little about him and he's a bit of a cult figure with the t-shirts depicting his afro. By the time I started going he was in and out of the team and childhood memories have faded so much that I don't actually remember if I ever saw him play in person. At primary school he was “Remi Moses, runny noses” to me and my mates and outside of that and references to his hair there wasn't much else. The impression I'm left with after writing this is that whilst he was a player who certainly had his limits he was a good competitor who usually gave his all and was fairly effective at what he did. I don't think he was everyone's cup of tea and believe that some never took to him whilst others will always put him up as a highly underrated player. I'm also left with a sense that his career was perhaps a tale of what could have been as me missed both FA Cup triumphs for one reason or another, missed out on what could have been a fair few international caps if injury hadn't got in his way and of course what was a somewhat premature retirement from the game. To back this up, and I don't know whether he's just being nice or what, in his autobiography Fergie states that he could have played an important role in his re-building process and in Mitten's book, Atkinson mentions that he would have gone on to win a number of caps. I quite enjoyed doing this, despite it taking a while as info on him wasn't that readily available to me and I learned a fair bit myself. Might do another in the future on another player from that era or perhaps another lesser celebrated player from a different time. Sources: Print: We're the famous Man United (Andy Mitten), Manchester United, Player by Player (Ivan Ponting), Managing my Life (Alex Ferguson) Red Devils in Europe Manchester United Official Yearbook 1987 United Review Web: www.stretfordend.co.uk www.sporting-heroes.net www.soccerbase.com www.englandfootballonline.com www.thefa.com www.redissue.co.uk www.redcafe.net www.wikipedia.org www.thesun.co.uk Video: Greavsie's six of the best from the 1980's - Manchester United Thanks to: DS for taking a look and correcting bad grammar/spelling mistakes and making it more concise. Comme and Gregoriak who's player profile threads I've shamelessly ripped off without them knowing.