Football is the nation’s favourite sport, but on Merseyside it’s more than that, it’s a way of life, a religion. The further down the pyramid you go in Liverpool, the more people you find who dedicate their life to the game. Callum Gould sat down with Bootle’s club photographer, Paul Moran, who’s been involved in football since the day he was born.
Paul Moran was born and raised in Liverpool. As the son of Liverpool boot room legend Ronnie Moran, it was inevitable he would fall in love with the beautiful game.
From going to Melwood to watch the great Liverpool teams of the 70’s train, to playing in goal in the city’s non league system, to now spending most evenings at games around Merseyside, football has been a part of Paul’s life since before he can remember.
With his dad being an integral part in the Reds success for 49 years, Liverpool FC is in his blood. As a youngster he used to go with his dad to to watch the reserves and sit in the dugout. But when it came to first team training, the former print worker was not allowed near.
He said: “I’d go to first team games but I wouldn’t see my dad other than him being in the dugout, there was no contact. He was working at the time was how we looked at it.”
— Callum Gould (@CGjourno) November 25, 2022
Now 60, Moran has merged his love of football with another of his passions, photography. Working for Bootle means their games take precedence, but when he’s not at the Delta Taxis stadium Moran goes to as many games as he can.
He said: “I just like going to football, I went to three games the other day looking to get the perfect picture.
“Then once I’ve been to a game I record them in a book so if I ever need a picture I know where to look.”
After finishing playing football at 42, the Bootle resident started going to his sons’ games and was taking pictures of the different venues on a standard camera. After realising he was enjoying taking pictures his wife decided to get him a higher end camera.
Said Paul: “It was about 2013, and I got a Nikon camera off my wife for Christmas. So I just started taking more pictures of the players and the games.”
When taking a photo, Moran does not look for one thing. He said: “I look for emotion, action shots, anything that tell the story.”
— Paul Moran (@paulmoran62) November 19, 2022
His favourite photo though is one he holds close to his heart.
“It’s of my son playing for Queens Park against the Dock,” said Paul.
“The ball’s coming over, a Dock player’s headed it, and two other Dock players are off celebrating and my son’s gone back across the goal and saved it.”
Now his son has stopped playing football, Moran can attend a wider range of games.
“I pick the matches on ease of getting to them, it’s as simple as that,” he explains. “I look at the fixtures a couple days before to see who’s nearby.”
Whether it is non-league or in the professional ranks, the Moran name has a place in Merseyside football folklore.