Merseyside derby football can be fierce, it can be brutal, it can be ugly but regardless of what happens on the pitch, there always remains to be a sense of respect between Liverpool and Everton, at least back in Ronnie Moran’s day.
Moran was hailed as a warrior, as Mr Liverpool and thereby a man perfectly suited to the local derby. Former Everton man Peter Reid, who played in 13 derbies against the Reds in the 1980s, has explained his memories of a classic exchange of words with Moran.
Whilst paying tribute to Moran after the news of his passing, Reid told Evertonfc.com: “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 well 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!”
It’s the kind of altercation and incident that made him such a popular and legendary figure at this club. He is the leader and the fighter that every player that puts on that Liverpool shirt must try to replicate.
He was key in driving the success of this club and allowing it to mould into one that would dominate for years and one that would be considered as giants of English and European football.
He will be dearly missed by all on Merseyside- not just the Liverpool fans.