A man of many talents

John Moran was proud to be asked to be Chieftain of the Shotts Highland Games in 2008.
John Moran was proud to be asked to be Chieftain of the Shotts Highland Games in 2008.

Former councillor John Moran, who traded in his football boots for a career in politics, died at his home in Netherton last week at the age of 82.

John originally came from Cleland and played football for Coltness United, now Newmains United, before attracting the eye of English side Derby County.

He was one of three Moran brothers, along with Edward and James, to become a professional footballer when he joined the Rams in 1954.

There were no big signing fees or wages in those days and John would tell the story that his wages at that time were £6 a win, £4 a draw and £2 if the team lost. A year later he would return north of the border when he signed for St Mirren.

John worked with the Co-operative butcher’s and for a time had his own lorry, obtaining work in haulage.

He went on to work for Strathclyde Regional Council’s Water and Sewerage Department, based in Netherton, and latterly became area superintendent, based in Shotts.

He lived for some time in Pather and was heavily involved in helping to build St Thomas Church where his funeral will take place today (Wednesday) at 10am.

His Shotts connection continued as he played golf at Shotts Golf Club and was involved with Shotts Highland Games Association who honoured him as their choice of Chieftain in 2008.

John began his political career in 1980 when he was elected to Motherwell District Council to represent Netherton in 1980 and served on a number of committees.

As chairman of the council’s Direct Works Committee, he was very proud to have been instrumental in establishing a u-pvc window factory and was honoured to be the chairman of the Association of Direct Labour Organisation. He gained the affectionate title of Mr ADLO.

He was also a member of the Visiting Committee of Barlinnie Prison and a Justice of the Peace and was well known for his singing voice, teaming up former provost William Wilson to perform at old people’s homes and in charity concerts.

John’s service as a councillor continued into the new North Lanarkshire Councily, representing the Stewarton ward from which he retired in 2008.

John was also a great supporter of the twinning link between Motherwell (later North Lanarkshire) and Schweinfurt in Germany and visited there on a number of occasions as a councillor and also privately as he had made many friends there.

When a new housing development was created in Wishaw four years ago it was named Moran Court after him.

John is survived by his sons, James and Kevin, and daughter, Karen, five grandchildren - Tony, Christopher, Martin, Shannon and Jack - and five great-grandchildren - Kelsie, Channel, Aoife, Christoper and Laila.

North Lanarkshire Council chief exexutive Gavin Whitefield said: “John was a popular and hard working councillor who gave so much of his time to helping people in his own ward and beyond, and I enjoyed working alongside him.

“The esteem he was held in by the people of Wishaw was highlighted when a local housing development, Moran Court in East Mains Academy Street, was named in his honour in 2010.

“He will be sadly missed by those who worked beside him and the thoughts of all at North Lanarkshire Council are very much with his family and friends at this sad time.”

Motherwell lost another community stalwart last week when Felix Mulholland, long-time chairman of Motherwell Community Forum, passed away.

His funeral took place at St Luke’s Church on Monday.

Motherwell West councilor Michael Ross tweeted: “So sorry to hear about Felix Mulholland, a true champion for Forgewood and Motherwell, enjoyed our collaborations and occasional confrontations.”

Motherwell Youth Work team paid tribute on their Facebook page.

It read: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Felix Mulholland, who was a great supporter of young people and youth work in Motherwell.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”