One of the features of Ernie Moss Day may have been less visible than many others, but it leaves a superb memory of the great man for thousands of future visitors to The Proact Stadium to enjoy. This was the unveiling of a stunning mosaic in the main foyer at the club.
The artwork, created by Salford based artist Robert Lally (@Lally1Robert), who also fashioned the Dave Blakey mosaic in the Chesterfield FC Memorial Garden, was commissioned by Phil & Sylvia Tooley and is on permanent loan from them so all Spireites can enjoy the work of art.
Unveiled by the Moss family and watched on by ex-Spireites and teammates Bob Newton, Colin Tartt & Andy Kowalski plus Ernie’s guests at the match against Port Vale, the mosaic, based on an image taken by then club photographer Alan Roe, drew much admiration.
The work shows All-Time Record Goalscorer Ernie scoring a trademark header past Colchester United keeper Mike Walker in a 3-0 win in September 1979, the image being one of the Moss family’s favourite from his long and distinguished career.
Phil Tooley said: “In the summer, me and Sylvia realised there was no permanent memory of local hero Ernie in the club’s main entrance. The Ernie Moss room in the East Stand is a great tribute to the man, who is everyone of a certain age’s Spireite Hero, but in the place where most visitors pass through, there was nothing.
“Having seen Rob Lally’s work at the Museum of Football in Manchester, and with fund-raising going well at the time, I commissioned him to create the Dave Blakey work for the Memorial Garden and that has been very well received, so we decided to ask him to create the Moss Mosaic, the image selected being because it’s so iconic and career defining plus it’s also a family favourite.
“As soon as we’d decided to go ahead and get the mosaic created, it was announced that Ernie Moss Day II was on, so Rob was immediately targeted with a deadline to complete the piece, which he achieved with a few days to spare, and thanks to the club, we were given permission to hang the work where it is and get it unveiled on the big day.
“It seems as though the family liked the work, there was plenty of emotion at the unveiling and we hope the mosaic is subsequently enjoyed by many more friends and fans in the future. I know I’m biased, but it’s well worth sticking your head round the front door to take a look.”
Notes about the day:
Chesterfield’s game on 19th August 2017 against Port Vale was designated ‘Ernie Moss Day’ to honour the Spireites legend and record goalscorer, who is suffering from a form of dementia. The events on the day, designed to raise Dementia Awareness and raise money for charity included:
– Matchday programme featuring tributes to Ernie and a montage of Ernie photos on the cover
– Limited edition t-shirt on sale in the Club Superstore, featuring a ‘Badly Drawn Spires’ image of Ernie on the front and ‘8’ on the back
– Limited edition wristbands featuring the inscription: ‘Ernie Moss Day 2017’
– Brampton Brewery’s special ‘Ernie 8’ ale was on sale in the concourses and lounges
– Ernie took the match ball to the centre circle before kick-off and was introduced to the crowd
– Supporters stood & applauded Ernie eight minutes into the game in recognition of his shirt number
– Bucket Collection
Funds raised are for the Alzheimer’s Society through the sale of the t-shirts and wristbands, together with a bucket collection on the day.
Now 67, Ernie is Chesterfield’s record goalscorer, scoring a total of 191 goals over three spells with the club. He netted 23 times for Port Vale in 74 appearances. He also played for Peterborough United, Mansfield Town, Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers, Stockport County, Rochdale & Scarborough before moving into non-league with Kettering Town, Matlock Town & Shepshed Charterhouse.
words Phil Tooley