This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard are two contemporary high-profile examples of former players who went on to become managers at the clubs where they enjoyed their greatest success. Another man to add to that category is Darren Moore, who has answered West Brom’s call on more than one occasion.
The Jamaican centre-back, capped three times by his country, cost the Baggies just £750,000 from Portsmouth in September 2001 in a deal which at one stage looked like being abandoned (as per BBC). He made his debut for Albion only a day after signing for the club and a stellar first season at The Hawthorns ended with West Brom earning promotion to the Premier League for the first time, along with being named in the PFA Division One team of the year.
Moore was unable to prevent Gary Megson’s side from going straight back down in 2003 but he remained a valuable member of the team that instantly regained promotion back to the top flight a year later, maintaining his record of scoring two league goals in each season he had played for the Baggies. He was no longer a regular in the side when they returned to the Premier League but he still played 16 games in their improbable final day escape from relegation, which came courtesy of a win over his former club Portsmouth.
However, by the start of 2006, he was a bit-part figure at The Hawthorns and he left in January of that year to team up with Phil Brown at Derby. He won promotion to the Premier League for the fourth time in his career in May 2007, having already done so with West Brom (twice) and Bradford, but the Rams’ play-off triumph at Wembley was bittersweet for Moore as it came at the expense of the Baggies.
Eleven years after dashing Albion’s hopes of getting into the Premier League, he would be tasked with the incredibly tall order of trying to keep them there when he was named caretaker manager following Alan Pardew’s wretched reign in 2017/18 (as per BBC). Remarkably, he won three of his first five games in charge to take West Brom’s fight for survival to the final week of the season before the axe eventually fell on them.
Moore’s playing career at West Brom spanned 106 games, in which he scored six times, and saw him twice help the Baggies into the Premier League. He then had 48 matches as either caretaker or permanent manager in which, all told, he acquitted himself admirably.
Do you consider Darren Moore a genuine West Brom legend?
When West Brom host Derby on Wednesday evening, the 46-year-old can watch on knowing that he won’t need to dash the hopes of either of his former clubs 13 years after he broke Baggies hearts following his stellar career at The Hawthorns.
West Brom fans, how good a coup was the £750,000 signing of Moore? Have your say by commenting below!
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