Former Liverpool captain and coach Ronnie Moran has died at the age of 83.
Moran made 379 appearances for Liverpool between 1952 and 1966 and was the club’s longest-serving employee when he retired in 1998.
He joined the coaching staff in 1966 and twice filled in as caretaker manager – after Kenny Dalglish’s resignation in 1991 and following Graeme Souness’ heart surgery in 1992.
His son confirmed he had passed away on Wednesday after a short illness.
Moran worked under nine different managers during his time in the dugout.
He famously led Liverpool out at Wembley in the 1992 FA Cup Final while caretaker manager while Souness was recovering from surgery.
Who was Ronnie Moran?
The Crosby-born defender won 44 trophies during nearly five decades with the club.
A left-back in his playing days, Moran signed for Liverpool as a schoolboy in 1949 before turning professional in 1952 and making his debut in November that year.
He won seven major honours as a player, including leading the club to the Football League First Division title in 1963-64 and 1965-66 and the FA Cup in 1964-65 as captain.
After being offered a role on the backroom staff by Bill Shankly in the pre-season of the 1966-67 season, Moran was involved as the Reds won 11 league titles and four European Cups.
Working under Shankly, Moran was known as one of the ‘Bootroom Boys’ alongside Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish and Reuben Bennett.
‘A great club servant’
Former Liverpool manager and player Kenny Dalglish – who arrived at Anfield in 1977 and worked alongside Moran for many years – spoke of his admiration for him.
“The success we enjoyed during that period is something that we are all able to look back on with immense fondness and pride,” he told the club website.
“But it should never be forgotten that without people like Ronnie it would not have been possible for us to achieve as much as we did.
“In fact, even after he left the club right up until the present day, the club have continued to feel the benefits of the groundwork he laid though his sheer talent and passion.
“My respect and my admiration for him are absolute and there are countless others who feel the same way.”
‘One of the greats of Liverpool’
Moran was assistant to Roy Evans during much of his spell as manager of the club.
Evans told BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast: “I joined in 1964 and he was playing in those days, then he became a coach. He was one of those guys, Mr Liverpool.
“Any player will tell you they’ve had a spat with Ronnie. He’d be the first to tell you off and the first to be on your side to become a better player. He will be remembered with great love and affection. Ronnie Moran is one of the greats of Liverpool.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton described Moran as “a key member” of successful coaching teams at the club.
“He would have done anything for the club,” Houghton told BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast.
“I learned so much from him and he nurtured so many good players. A very humble man and a very honest one.”
Ronnie Moran speaking on Grandstand in 1991, after becoming caretaker manager of his beloved Liverpool. He has died, aged 83. pic.twitter.com/m60WwWjpOi
— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) March 22, 2017
Peter Reid, who appeared in 13 Merseyside derbies for Everton during the 1980s, told the Everton website: “I’m devastated. Ronnie was a good football man who had a wicked sense of humour.
“One of my best memories of him were the derbies, which as we all know, are fiery affairs.
“One year, they beat us at Anfield and as I was walking off the pitch, Ronnie came over to me and said: ‘Hey lad, you played well’. Let’s just say I gave him an Anglo-Saxon response!
“The following year we beat them at Anfield and I couldn’t see Ronnie in the tunnel so I marched straight into the boot room, found him, and said: ‘Unlucky, you played well’.
“I got the same Anglo-Saxon response!
“Ronnie knew the game inside out. He was a warm man. The best compliment I can pay him is that he was a proper Scouser.”
Current Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said Moran was “as humble and down to earth as anyone”.
“The reason being captain of Liverpool Football Club is such a huge honour is because legendary figures like Ronnie Moran held it before I did,” Henderson wrote in a tribute on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t lucky enough to work with Ronnie but I had the great fortune of being in his company on the occasions when he came to Melwood to walk around the training pitch.
“And although we all regarded him as a true great, he was as humble and down to earth as anyone you could ever come across.
“I know I speak for all of the current players when I say that we are all deeply saddened by Ronnie’s passing.
“The greatest tribute we can pay to him is to give everything we’ve got for Liverpool Football Club just as he did each and every single day during the 49 years he spent here.”