WITH Arbroath winning their fourth consecutive League 2 game on Saturday it would be fair to say that manager Allan Moore has been good for the Red Lichties, but it would also be fair to say that the Red Lichties have been good for Moore.
Arbroath appointed Moore in the summer and they have recruited a manager who has experienced the harsh realities of life in the past year.
The 49-year-old had enjoyed success as manager of Stirling Albion and gave that up – as well as his job as a lecturer at Cumbernauld College – to become the manager of Morton in the summer of 2010.
Moore’s Morton pushed Partick Thistle hard in the Premiership race in season 2012-13, coming up just short. However, by the end of the year Morton were bottom of the Championship, Moore was out of work and struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of his older brother Steven.
Moore said: “From the time my brother died in September until I left Morton I had a difficult home life. I have to praise my wife for sticking by me and for my kids for being patient with me. I tried to keep being my usual bubbly self in public but I was taking problems home with me. I was always a grumpy wee guy when a team lost but this was worse as I would lock myself in a room.
“Kim and I have been together since we were 14 and that was our worst time together. However, I now realise that getting sacked from Morton probably saved my marriage. It gave us some relief and I had time to reflect on life.”
Moore went from elation to despair in the space of a few hours, after winning at Celtic in the Scottish League Cup, then finding out his sibling Steven died suddenly in Turkey.
He vowed to carry on and now realises he was pushing himself too hard. “I don’t think it affected my football that badly but I perhaps should not have gone to the Dundee game immediately afterwards and the Cowdenbeath game the following week,” Moore said. “I am not going to use that as an excuse for getting beat but at that time things in my life were difficult.”
Life moves on, though, with Moore saying: “My brother’s son got married recently and it would have been great for my brother to be there and do a top table speech and not me. I have also lost two sisters and my parents were at the wedding smiling away. They are both in their 70s and have lost three children so I did not have too far to go for inspiration.
“Life is life. Things are sent to test you. How you come out at the other end is what is important.”
Moore sometimes looks backwards though. “For three and a half years Morton was great but the way it ended disappointed me,” he said. “I now know that I should have left last summer as the budget was cut and we would not have been able to challenge for promotion.
“I made errors also as I brought in some foreign boys and it just never gelled. I said that I needed time and the chairman Douglas Rae said I would get time. However, it was only 13 games. Although I accept there were some bad results.
“The fans were shouting for my head and the chairman acted. We parted on good terms as it is a business and he is a businessman.”
Morton paid Moore for the remainder of the season and that allowed him some breathing space and a chance to refocus. “I have to work as I cannot afford not to. That is one of the differences between Steven and me. He put money away and had his place in Turkey whereas after losing our sisters I opted to live life and spend what I have. The way things have worked out I don’t think I will be changing that approach.”
One approach that has changed is Moore’s view of working in football full time. “I don’t think I would go back to full time,” he said. “You can be the top dog one week and then people wanting you out the next.”
Moore was recruited back to Cumbernauld College by Todd Lumsden, who is his assistant at Arbroath.
“Working at the college again was a godsend,” said Moore. “It is a bit of a shock to be working during the day and then going out to football and not coming home until 11pm again. However, I don’t think I could give up what I have now.”