A COWDENBEATH-born footballer who went on to play for the Blue Brazil and for Jock Stein at Dunfermline Athletic has passed away.

George Moran, who died on September 21 at the age of 77 aftre an illness, represented his hometown team during the 1960s. 

He also spent three years with the Pars, for whom he was signed by the legendary former Celtic and Scotland manager.

Born at 23 Pit Rows, Kirkford, on April 10 1946, George came from a family well-steeped in local footballing circles, with Jock, Mick and Willie Moran on the committee of Kirkford Juniors in the 1930s, whilst his son, Hugh, represented Hearts of Beath, Cowdenbeath and Dumbarton.

A pupil at Foulford Primary School, where his football journey began, George played for Beath High School's team and, in the 1960s, helped them win the 'Times Cup' after defeating a Rosyth's Kings Road side that featured furture Dunfermline star, Alex Edwards.

David Allan, Cowdenbeath FC's historian, recalled: "George played right-half for the school team for three seasons and was chosen to play for Fife and District Schools in an international trial alongside Edwards, Mike Judge (Beath High) and Ian Porterfield (Lochgelly).

"He then showed up well in a successful spell with Cowdenbeath Royals, and was on the books of Lochore Welfare in the 1962/63 season, when they were Fife League champions – Welfare that season had well known players to be, Tommy Callaghan, Jim Moore and Jocky Richardson in their side.

"George joined Dunfermline Athletic in April 1964, signed by the legendary Jock Stein, and he was to spend three years with the Pars - understudying Willie Callaghan at right back at East End Park.

"He was released by the Pars in 1967 and joined his hometown team.

"At Central Park, he featured for a time in an all-local boy defence, with John Fyfe in goal, and a back four comprising Moran, Andy Kinnell, Denis Jack and Andy Rolland.

"He was a regular in the first half of season 1967/68 under Archie Robertson, but featured less often when Andy Matthew took over as boss.”

He continued: "George made 23 appearances for Cowden and scored one goal against Alloa.

"Subsequently, he played for a number of years in the Fife juniors - notably alongside his cousin Richard Moran, at Oakley United.

"To George’s family and friends, we offer sincere condolences on behalf of everyone connected with Cowdenbeath FC."

Outside of football, George worked at Rosyth Dockyard and at Elliots, in Cowdenbeath, before taking a job with Securicor.

He then set up a business called Venture Carpets, based in Dundee, and then had 26 years with coffin makers Brian Reid and Sons.

After retiring, George was the caretaker at St Matthew's Church in Perth.

Dunfermline Athletic commented: "Everyone at Dunfermline Athletic was saddened to learn of the passing of former player George Moran.

"George was one of several local lads brought to the club by Jock Stein.

"He attended Beath High School and played right half for the school team.

"He was chosen to play for Fife Schools in an international trial, and was a team mate of Alex Edwards.

"Young Moran played his juvenile football for Cowdenbeath Royals, a very successful two year stint saw the side win every trophy up for grabs.

"Still playing right half, George moved up to the junior ranks with Lochore Welfare.

"Jock Stein liked to have a good quota of local youngsters at the club and George was given a full contract.

"Now playing right back, he played in the powerful Pars reserve team, which included other young stars such as Eric Martin, Jim Fraser, Paddy Wilson, Ian Hunter and Mike Judge.

"These guys were good enough to play for the first teams of most other clubs but the brilliance and consistency of Willie Callaghan kept George in the reserves.

"In the end, realising that he would not displace Willie, he moved on briefly, to Cowdenbeath."