I was deeply saddened when I read the news on Facebook last month that Russell Moore had passed away at the age of 52. Russell worked for Cobham FC as a Ground Steward and the club reported his death on their website as follows:
‘It is with great sadness that we bring the news that our long serving Ground Steward, Russell Moore, passed away this week. The great man was loved and will be sorely missed by all of us at Cobham and by many visitors who will remember him.
A kind soul and always willing to help anyone around the club, we are so thankful for all of his dedication over the years. You could always hear him coming with his big bunch of keys and he was the only one who could work out which one was which. He was always there for working parties and looked after the ground, staff, officials and supporters on match days and even entertained the kids while everyone was out training or playing.
A great club man and someone who always came along to our far away trips to represent the club (and try their beers!), he was made up earlier this year when Matt Le Tissier spent a whole evening talking to him down at the Leg O’Mutton and the photo of them together will take pride of place in the club house.
We will be having a minute’s silence before our match against Banstead on Saturday to remember him.
Rest in Peace Russ.’
I had spoken to Russell before the Derby home game at his usual spot, on the wall next to the badge seller in South Africa Road. It turns out that he had been made redundant a couple of years ago and sadly he couldn’t afford to go to games, but he would still travel up from his home in Surrey!
Prior to that he would travel home and away with his good mate Colin and the first thing on the agenda before a home game was a mixed grill in Hammersmith.
Apparently Russ had been admitted to hospital in early November soon after that Derby game after medical complications had later turned fatally into pneumonia.
Apart from their terrible loss, word went round that Russell’s family had been hit very hard financially. I know that Gary was collecting and I saw Mo Fitz rattling a bucket around the Springbok. I also took along a cheque on behalf of the Indy R’s and I believe over ¬£700 was eventually raised.
The Service of Thanksgiving was held at St. Andrews Church, Cobham and there must have been well over 150 mourners including many R’s fans of course. Poignantly Russ’s coffin was brought into the church to the strains of ‘Pigbag’. The coffin was actually made up of blue and white hoops with various QPR scarves and a teddy bear sitting on top. Leanne reflected on his life and the Hollies song ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ followed.
After the Service we travelled to the Downside Social Club in Leatherhead to raise a glass in his memory. Topper was there as DJ and a big well done to him for trying to cheer everyone up. I would like to thank the Moore family for laying on such a wonderful spread.
A few drinks later, Steve Harper kindly offered me, Russell Heffernan and Big Ron a lift back to Cobham Station. The train happened to arrive as soon as we entered the platform and as we travelled back we spoke about Russ and the old days.
Russell was a true gent who will be sorely missed by many.
God Bless you mate.