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From washing dishes in a restaurant to serving a winning goal in a promotion, Kieffer Moore has come a long way.

Moore’s memorable midweek goal against Nottingham Forest secured AFC Bournemouth a return to the Premier League.

It was the latest chapter in a career that has taken many turns for the striker, with hometown club Torquay United dropping a first bombshell when he was just 12 years old.

The Gulls’ decision to disband their academy in 2004 badly dented Moore’s hopes of becoming a professional footballer, with the youngster eventually playing for Paignton Saints in the South Devon League.

While attending South Devon College, Moore held a number of part-time jobs, including working in a confectionery, washing dishes at a restaurant in Paignton and as a storekeeper at the Torquay branch of the rent-to-own chain BrightHouse. .

His prolific goalscoring exploits for Paignton Saints saw him snapped up by Conference South side Truro City, with Moore making his debut for the White Tigers ten days after turning 20.

He combined his semi-professional career with full-time work as a personal trainer and lifeguard at Devon Hills Holiday Park in Paignton.

After stints with Dorchester, Yeovil, Viking in Norway, Forest Green, Ipswich, Barnsley, Wigan and Cardiff, Moore joined the Cherries in January.

And despite another major setback when he broke his foot on his debut against Birmingham, Moore earned hero status when he fired the Cherries to the Premier League this week.

Charting his journey from the schoolboy ranks at Torquay to the top flight with the Cherries, Moore sat down with to discuss some of the milestones in his checkered career.

The leader, who will celebrate his 30th birthdayand anniversary in the first Premier League matchweek of next season, said: “I think this is the culmination of all the hard work and dedication I put into everything.

“Hopefully making my debut at this age will be amazing. It will be a testament to my resilience and work ethic.

“I’ll say it, age is just a number. I don’t feel like I’m 30 and I have many years left.

“I can’t wait for the games to come out. Maybe it could sink in then. I’m still trying to figure out what we’ve achieved. I haven’t had time to think since the final whistle of tuesday.

“It was just pure emotion. It was amazing to see all the guys, the supporters, my family and my partner.

“When the season officially ends, I will probably have time to recover and realize what happened. For me, it hasn’t happened yet.”

Moore, who is named after British and Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, wanted to thank dad Darren, mum Liza and partner Charlotte (pictured above) for their unwavering support when he said: ‘They’ve been there all along. I was with my partner when I was playing non-league at Truro City and she saw it all.

“It’s been a long journey with my mum, dad, brother, sister and niece and it was great to share it with them. I’m not going to water it down, they’ve all helped me tremendously along the way. .

“You need amazing people along the way and they’ve really inspired me to keep going and keep striving. I always knew what I wanted to achieve and ultimately winning promotion to the Premier League, I achieved another of my goals.

Seven days before scoring against Forest, Moore came to the Cherries’ rescue when he netted twice in the dramatic 3-3 draw with Swansea.

When asked if he’s ever had to put his lifesaving skills to good use at Devon Hills Holiday Park, Moore joked, “No…and I’m so grateful for that!”

“Luckily I never had anything like that to deal with, which was good. I had a few scares but it was just people falling in the pool. You think ‘oh no, what’s going on is he here?’ But I went and everything was fine.

“When I think about where I am today, it’s crazy to think of all the jobs I had when I was younger playing non-league.

“When I played for Truro, it was a two and a half hour drive or a train ride from where I worked. I did it on a game day and twice a week for practice.

“It was hard and there was a lot of work. You can only imagine having a full time job alongside that and it was very difficult but worth it.

“I’ve always been very focused. It may sound arrogant or overconfident, but I’ve always had 100% confidence in myself.

“I knew what I could do and I knew I was different as a footballer. I always thought I had something else in me that could take me there.

“In that sense, I always thought that if I worked hard to perfect what I knew was good, I would always have a chance. That was when, not if, I would play in the Premier League.

Moore, who hopes to help Wales reach the World Cup final, was asked if he realized the magnitude of his goal against Forest.

“No! I haven’t digested it yet,” he said. “Once the season is over, I’ll have a week to digest everything before joining Wales.”

And when asked if he was pinching the idea of ​​becoming a Premier League footballer at 30, he replied: “Yes, definitely!

“I’m almost at a loss for words about what I’ve achieved and how it turned out. No one would have predicted that I would break my foot within three minutes of my debut and then have to undergo a major operation.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve been through multiple setbacks in my career and I wouldn’t change any of my decisions for the world.”

Truro City photos courtesy of Truro City FC.

Edwin S. Wolfe