Moore bids to outdo brother

If Sammy Moore collects an FA Youth Cup winners' medal with Ipswich Town at Portman Road tomorrow night it will be a proud moment for his parents, family and friends, writes David Vincent.

If Sammy Moore collects an FA Youth Cup winners' medal with Ipswich Town at Portman Road tomorrow night it will be a proud moment for his parents, family and friends, writes David Vincent.

He will also have gone one better than his older brother, Jason, who played in the 1996 final for West Ham only to lose 4-1, over two legs, to Liverpool.

The Moore family will be driving up in their car-loads from their home town in Kent to support Sammy in his bid for glory tomorrow.

They are all hoping that Sammy can add a winner's medal to Jason's runner-up medal.

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Their dad, Henry, was himself a left-winger who played in the Southern League for Deal and for Folkestone.

Henry Moore said: "There has been a lot of interest in it.

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"The other doubles are the Neville brothers at Manchester United and the Moore brothers of Aston Villa.

"If Ipswich can win it will be tremendous for us.

"The Nevilles were in the same year, but Jason and Sammy are nine years apart. We have been told that is unique."

The family were there at St Mary's Stadium on Monday where Sammy played the whole 90 minutes, initially on the right side of midfield and then at right-back when Michael Synnott was substituted through injury.

His dad said: "Sammy really enjoyed it there. We are looking forward to Friday night."

Ipswich Town's youth captain of the mid-seventies is also a double winner.

Gary Russo, skipper of the Ipswich team both times they won the competition, believes he is the only captain to win the FA Youth Cup twice.

He played centre-half alongside John Peddelty in 1973 and had moved to right-back by 1975.

"I didn't grow," he said.

"I left school at 15 and my birthday was August 2nd so I qualified for four youth years.

"It was all very different then.

"That first team which won it was an outstanding side with a lot of players who went on to play at the top level. They were the better side.

"But when I was interviewed in 1975 I said that team was better, it was a bit of psychology really.

"Apart from myself and Keith Bertschin all the rest were first years. Some of the older players couldn't understand that but we won it again.

"My message to today's players is it is about time it came back to Portman Road. I wish them all the best for Friday."

After leaving Ipswich, Russo played for Bournemouth, before joining an exodus of English players, including Trevor Whymark, Mick Lambert, Jon Sammels and Bobby Moore, to play in Canada. He played at Vancouver Whitecaps and then Edmonton Black Gold (later the Oilers).

Returning to England, he played non-league football for teams like Maidstone United and Chelmsford City.

"I really enjoyed my playing career and since then I have fitted in well to outside life. Not all footballers do that," he added.

A big crowd is expected at Portman Road and the Cobbold Stand, North Stand (lower) and Greene King (lower) will be open.

Ticket prices tomorrow are £8 adults, £1 concessions and children.

Gates will open from 6.30pm and tickets can be bought in advance from the ticket office and club shops.

Ipswich Town's Darryl Knights has been included in John Peacock's 18-strong England Under-17 squad for the UEFA U17 championships next month.

Knights will be joined in the squad by Southampton winger Theo Walcott – they are on opposing sides in the FA Youth Cup final. England play Belarus, Turkey and hosts Italy.

Meanwhile Billy Clarke and Gerard Nash are on stand-by for the Republic of Ireland U19 squad for their UEFA Under 19 championship games in Serbia & Montenegro against the Poland, Albania and the hosts.

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