Pacy striker Steve Moran was at the latter stages of a high profile career when he joined the Tigers in the 1993 close season. Adding experience to Terry Dolan’s squad, Moran was in and out of the first team during the first three months of the season due to a recurring back complaint but did score his first City goal in a September 4-3 win at Cardiff that took the Tigers to the top of the table. His season exploded briefly in early November 1993 when he came back into the first team and smote a hattrick past Rotherham United, then a fifth Tigers goal came a month later against Barnet. But by February 1994 he was out of the first team as his back problem continued to hamper him and retired from the game that summer.
Steven James Moran was born in Croydon but grew up in Fareham near Portsmouith on England’s south coast. Raised as a Southampton fan in a largely Portsmouth-supporting area, Steve came through the Saints’ youth system during the late 1970s and completed his A levels before turning professional in 1979 and making his first team debut in January 1980 when he came off the Saints bench to score a goal against Manchester City. By October 1980 Moran was an established first team player at The Dell – between 7 October 1980, the third senior appearance of his career, and 24 January 1981 he scored a remarkable sixteen goals in 18 matches, form that attracted the attention of international selectors. Moran ended that first full season with 21 goals and a stellar career looked to be before him.
After scoring 12 goals in the first half of the 1981/82 season including two goals in the UEFA Cup, Moran missed eight months of football to injury but was still elected PFA Young Player of the Year. He returned to the Saints’ first team in September 1982 and scored another twelve goals in the 1982/83 season including a March 1983 hattrick against Manchester City. The 1983/84 season was Moran’s most successful of his career as Southampton finished second in the First Division and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup with Moran netting 25 times – his second career hattrick came in an April 1984 8-2 destruction of Coventry City and in January 1984 Moran scored perhaps his most storied goal for Southampton, a late winner in an FA Cup tie at Fratton Park against bitter local rivals Portsmouth. He followed up with 18 goals in the 1984/85 season and 10 goals in the 1985/86 season, including hattricks against Ipswich Town in May 1985 and Watford in October 1985. His reputation as a productive striker was now undeniable – in six seasons in the Southampton first team Moran had struck 99 goals in 228 appearances.
In the 1986 close season Moran was sold to Leicester City for a £300,000 fee. Moran’s 12 goals, including a January 1987 hattrick against Sheffield Wednesday, were not sufficient to prevent Leicester from being relegated to the Second Division at the end of the 1986/87 season. After starting the following season with five goals he joined Second Division strugglers Reading in November 1987 having made 52 appearances and scored 17 goals for Leicester. Despite scoring seven goals for the Royals Moran suffered his second relegation in two seasons as Reading dropped into the Third Division. He spent three seasons playing for Reading in the third tier, often used as substitute striker, and when he left in the 1991 close season he had made 143 senior appearances and scored 38 goals. In August 1991 he joined Division Three side Exeter City and in his first season at St James’ Park he rediscovered his form in front of goal, netting 24 times in all competitions including all four goals in an October 1991 win against Darlington. Steve was used less regularly in the 1992/93 season as a back injury began to limit his ability to play regularly, though he still managed to score a popular hattrick against local rivals Torquay United in the Football League Trophy before leaving the Grecians in the 1993 close season having struck 34 times in 74 appearances.
When Steve retired from football in 1994 he had scored an impressive 193 goals in 518 appearances across a 15 year career. Despite his southern England roots he remained in the Hull area on retirement and worked for an internet company before becoming a lorry driver and living in the Yorkshire Wolds.
During his fecund goalscoring years at Soithampton Moran was twice selected to play for England’s under-21 side. His first game came in September 1981 against Norway in Drammen, his second game came over two years later in February 1984 against France at Hillsborough, a game that finished 6-1 with future Tigers player-manager Mark Hateley hitting four goals,
Date/Place of Birth: 10 January 1961, Croydon
Hull City First Game: 14 August 1993, Barnet A (League Division 2), 32 years, 216 days old
Hull City Final Game: 19 February 1994, Cambridge United H (League Division 2), 33 years, 40 days old
Southampton (1979-1986), Leicester City (1986-1987), Reading (1987-1991), Exeter City (1991-1993), Hull City (1993-1994)
Hull City Record
Career: 21 apps, 5 goalsSteve Moran
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