Tony Mowbray

I’ve always been a fan of Mogga, ever since I came to Middlesbrough back in 1984.

As a Redcar lad to fulfill his boyhood ambitions, playing for his hometown club and being captain for them and now their manager is unbelievable.

Mogga really blossomed as an individual when he was made captain by manager Bruce Rioch.

As a skipper he wasn’t the most vocal, but what he did do was lead by example.

As well as being a big strong, commanding, centre half, he scored some important goals from set pieces.

In fact he was so tough he would put his head in where I wouldn’t put my boot.

We used to train at the prison at Kirklevington. Mogga used to drive a black XR3I, with his name scrolled down the side.

On the way back from training one day he pulled into a garage for petrol, as he went to pay, I noticed he had left his keys in the ignition. I jumped out of Pallys car and jumped into Moggas and drove off.

When Mogga arrived back half an hour later, he was suspicious that it was me, by all accounts he had to jump in a taxi, Im glad he didn’t ask me to pay for it.

A week later he got revenge, he let my tyres down.

I suppose if you give it out you have to take it.

Mogga told me after my first season with Boro that if I scored goals, the fans would never forget me, I think he got that wrong. Ha ha.

I don’t know if the fans noticed  during the warm up before games for Middlesbrough, Mogga would never touch the ball.

If you passed it to him, he would let it run past him or go through his legs. He was superstitious I suppose.

When he signed autographs, he always signed ‘be lucky’. The rest of us just signed our names.

I will never forget after liquidation, our first game at Hartlepools ground against Port Vale, when Mogga led us out of the portacabin.

That vision will always last in my memory, as will his flying header against Aston Villa in the live TV game at Ayresome park and also when he lead us out at Wembley.

I remember when he joined Celtic, the first thing I did was to get him to get me a signed Celtic shirt. To this day I have still got it.

I also remember phoning Mogga after an old firm game which Celtic won, I had been told Mogga had scored. As I congratulated him on the result and his goal, he told me he didn’t score. I was embarrassed.

I have interviewed him over the years, while he was at Ipswich and Hibernian.

To his credit he has not changed one iota. He is still the lad from Redcar, he is charitable, likes a laugh, honest and ambitious.

There is no doubting that he did not enjoy his time in Glasgow with my boyhood hero’s Celtic. This was probably the darkest period of his managerial career  to date.

But now that he has returned to Teesside, he will be looking to put that behind him.

When he was at Hibernian, I asked him if he would like to manage Middlesbrough one day, to which he replied ‘If the timing is right for both myself and the club, of course.’

The full interview is in my Bernies About 2 book.

Well at this minute the timing is perfect, it suits both parties.

Hopefully results pick up, fans return and we start to climb the table.

I have put on some photos of Mogga when we all played together look in Gallery under Tony Mowbray.

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