'It could be his last': Eldest daughter of Chesterfield FC legend Ernie Moss tells of 70th birthday heartbreak

Chesterfield FC legend Ernie Moss.
Chesterfield FC legend Ernie Moss.

The eldest daughter of Spireites legend Ernie Moss, who has dementia, sadly believes her dad's 70th birthday could be his last.

Moss, who has a rare form of dementia called Pick’s Disease, is Chesterfield FC’s record goalscorer with 191 goals over three spells for the club.

Ernie Moss plundered 191 goals during three spells at the club.

Ernie Moss plundered 191 goals during three spells at the club.

His family strongly believe his dementia was caused by him repeatedly heading old heavy leather footballs during his career in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

This Saturday at Chesterfield’s home match against Notts County there will be a minute’s applause in the 70th minute for Ernie who celebrated his birthday at the weekend.

Legend Moss could not attend the Spireites’ FA Cup fourth qualifying clash with Wrexham on Saturday because his family held a party for him - but he will be attending the Proact this Saturday for the televised game against the Magpies.

As well as applause, the club will feature Moss on the front cover of the matchday programme, show his image on the big screen inside the stadium and fans will be able to buy commemorative team sheets for 50p, with all of the proceeds going to Dementia UK.

Speaking to the Derbyshire Times, Nikki Trueman, 44, said: "In the last six months his health has declined rapidly which is why for his 70th we had a family party and we really wanted to celebrate with him because he has got a lot worse.

"My mum is just an absolute angel, she just cares for him 24-7, it is just heartbreaking.

"We had the party and it was lovely but I did cry a lot as well.

"Dad had a great time and ate lots of chocolate cake.

"That is why dad was not at the match on Saturday so it was nice when it was suggested that something be done on this Saturday.

"It is not something that you want to think about but judging by his rapid decline I think it (70th birthday) maybe his last. It is just horrible.

"He loves going to the matches but he struggled to get up the stairs the last match we took him to.

"To take him on Saturday with all the family and to have the applause will be very emotional."

Moss and his family still attend the Proact regularly and they are grateful to the supporters and club staff for the way they look after him.

Clutching his traditional matchday cup of tea, Moss still heads and kicks every ball.

And if he can't make it to a match then you will find him sat at home on his sofa watching his favourite Chesterfield FC DVD.

"It all started when the drummer from the football, Yogi Oldfied, put on the fans page that we should do something for Ernie on Saturday for his 70th so he kicked it off so a great big thanks to Yogi," Nikki said.

"The club have been in touch - Nick Johnson (press officer) and Ashley Carson( company secretary) - about the applause, a picture on the big screen, matchday programme and the commemorative team sheet so it will be nice.

"As soon as he gets into the stand he watches play and sometimes he will go to head the ball. My little one was trying to talk to him at the match the other week and he was ignoring her because he was trying to watch the match.

"When we are at home he watches football on the television, in fact it is probably the only thing that catches his attention.

"We have watched the DVD of the last game at Saltergate I don't know how many times. That is one of his 'go to' DVDs to watch.

"As long as he is happy and having a nice time we will take him to the matches as long as we are able to."