The Elvis Presley of football... the one that got away

Torquay United's Kieffer Moore - Photo mandatory by-line: Steve Bond/Pinnacle - Tel: +44(0)1363 8810

For Torquay United, Kieffer Moore is ‘one that got away’ - Credit: Steve Bond/Pinnacle

If there's one player in the country who brings a smile to my face, when I look through the scores on a Saturday and see that he’s scored again, it’s Kieffer Moore.

I know he’s a favourite with the Yellow Army. He did very well during a loan spell here, and he’s a Paignton lad born and bred.

For Torquay United, he’s ‘one that got away’.

I took Kieffer from Dorchester Town and gave him his first opportunity in League football.

He had one of the hardest shots of anybody I’ve worked with, in both feet. He was big and strong and good in the air.

I always thought he was like a sort of Elvis Presley of football – good-looking, not really big-headed but with a bit of a swagger.

There were loads of people at Yeovil who didn’t rate him, and I got plenty of stick for keeping him in the side – he must have played at least half a season in the Championship and more than that in League One.

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I knew there was a player in there, the minute he got himself going and started making the most of himself.

I thought I’d earned his trust, so I started telling him a few home truths.

I thought he needed a kick up the backside, otherwise I was worried that he would just drift and end up being a big, good-looking feller walking up and down the High Street with nothing more to show for himself.

We never really fell out, but I don’t think Kieffer got what I was trying to tell him and I ended up letting him go.

There was always a bit of frustration and regret there.

Kieffer moved to Norway for a while, I think, and then Forest Green Rovers, and that’s when he had his spell here.

It seems like he turned a sort of corner at Plainmoor, because he scored a few goals, Ipswich Town came in for him and his story over the last four or five years has been nothing short of amazing.

Ipswich, Barnsley, Rotherham, Wigan and now Cardiff – clubs have paid millions of pounds for him, and he’s a regular in a good Wales side.

From what I hear, he’s made himself even bigger and more powerful, and works very hard on his game.

Unfortunately, I didn’t reap the rewards with him, but I always wondered whether he would realise his true potential.

Kieffer certainly has done that now, he’s earned it and I’m delighted that he has.

As I’ve watched his progress, I have said to myself ‘That’s the player I knew was in there back at Yeovil’, and I’ve been quietly proud that I was right about him.

With Kieffer back fit and scoring goals, Cardiff are on a bit of a roll with Mick McCarthy and I wouldn’t bet against them making a late run for the play-offs.

Who knows, we may see Kieffer in the Premier League yet...

Talking of centre-forwards, we’ve obviously been looking around to see who might be available with our own Danny Wright out injured for a while.

But I’m not sure some people realise how difficult it is to persuade any player with experience and a pedigree to come to Torquay in the current Covid ‘climate’.

The chances are that a player like that will have a wife or partner who works, and they may have kids, in school or not.

The player would have to return a ‘negative’ test, come down into our team ‘bubble’ and wave goodbye to his family for at least three months, maybe more.

Zoom is all very well, but I don’t think anyone pretends that it’s the same as seeing or holding your loved ones for real. It’s a big ask.

But it still isn’t stopping us asking...