The Ex-Files

Friday 21 December 2012 14:45

Richard Money will always be a grateful to Fulham for taking a punt on him.

Despite impressing at Scunthorpe United, nobody was willing to take a risk on a centre-back plying his trade in the (old) Fourth Division.

Yes, there had been interest - and lots of it - but it never turned into anything concrete.

Then, in 1977, Fulham came calling and Money was soon swapping north Lincolnshire for South-West London.

"I will always be grateful to Bobby Campbell and Fulham for really giving me my first opportunity at a good level in the game," he told "I played a lot of games for Scunthorpe by the time I was 20 and a lot of clubs had looked. It seemed I would be moving somewhere on a number of occasions but it never came off.

"Eventually Bobby took a chance and I found myself at Fulham. They were an (old) Division Two team back then, so the equivalent of the Championship today.

"We had a decent team and a number of players went on to play at a higher level, like Tony Gale, John Lacy and myself obviously, so we had a pretty good team.

"It was a really friendly Club and we had a really good bond amongst the players and staff off the pitch. It was a really friendly Club and that continues until today."

Money impressed by the Thames, making more than 100 league appearances during a relatively short stay at Craven Cottage.

His performances attracted interest from higher up the pyramid and he made a dream move to the giants of the day, Liverpool.

"A number of the clubs that had been looking at me before I moved to Fulham checked on me while I was there," Money said of the decision to join Saturday's opponents.

"I had been in the England Under-21s squad, played for England B and I ended up being Captain at Fulham as well. There was quite a bit of interest from a number of clubs and eventually Liverpool came up with the money and I moved at the end of my second season.

"To have the opportunity to play for what was the best club in Europe bar none at the time was a dream that everyone would want to aspire to.

"I’m very fortunate to have spent two seasons at Liverpool. I played 14 times in the first season and I guess at the end of that campaign I thought to myself 'that's not too bad.'

"I played in the Semi-Final of the League Cup and we went on to win it and I played in the Semi-Final of the European Cup, which we went on to win as well.

"I played in some big games that year; away to Manchester United, and then against Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United.

"I was pretty pleased but the following summer, having played every game in pre-season, they bought Mark Lawrenson on the eve of the season.

"Pretty much what I did the year before, he did the following season and he went onto greater things so it became much more difficult for me to get into the team."

Money was farmed out on loan to Derby County and soon left permanently, joining up with Luton Town.

But while his time at Liverpool may have been frustrating, it’s a period of his career he looks back on with fondness.

"Listen, anyone who has touched that club in any way would say that it was a career highlight," Money said. "I played something like 250 league games before I went to Liverpool and had played week in, week out.

"In those days, players didn't sit on the bench or in squads. They didn't accept the pay packet at the end of each week or each month. We wanted to play and going to Liverpool and playing only 14 times in two seasons was difficult to take, really.

"I just wanted to play and I guess I look back now and there is a part of me that regrets leaving. But obviously there is a big part of me that knows that the type of person I am and was - I wanted to play so I didn't have a choice really."

After a spell with Luton Town, Money moved to Portsmouth before re-joining the club where it all began, Scunthorpe.

There he began his move into management, playing and coaching under Frank Barlow and then Mick Buxton.

Money eventually spent a year and a half at the Scunthorpe helm, before gong on to spend time in Sweden and Australia.

He returned to English football six years ago and, after spells with Walsall and Luton, is managing Cambridge United in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

"I’m enjoying it here," Money said. "It’s a good club and we're in a division we don't want to be in. We've been here too long after such a good spell that at one stage we almost got into the Championship and also the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup.

"That shows what the club is capable of so we're just trying to re-build it with a young team and try to get promoted at the right time, with the right players to push on. It’s not easy as everyone has the same aspirations today."