He was a lifeguard, played in the sixth series, had to stop: now he’s Bale’s sidekick

From the (refused) call from China to the serious injury: this is who Kieffer Moore is, the Welsh center forward expected to make his debut against the USA

After all, it’s a matter of fate. Kieffer Moore reiterates this in every interview. When they ask him where the climb that took him from the sixth English series to the World Cup with Wales started from, he follows the same script. He smiles, he takes his time, photographs the base camp in his mind and then replies: “It was fate”.

Understood a bit ‘Portuguese. Fate, fate, but also destination. Knowing where to go. Moore has always had professionalism in mind. He had it at Torquay, English fifth division, five rings in four games, and he also had it at Truro City, sixth division, around ten goals at the age of twenty. 

His story changed into a moonless night, half asleep. At one point the phone rings, on the other side there is a gentleman in his fifties with an oriental accent. “Hello, is it Mr. Moore?” “Yes, who is speaking?”. 

We are the Chinese national team. We know that his great grandfather was born in Guangdong. Would he like to play for us?”. Kieffer thinks about it. The offer is not bad. The present says that football that matters is a chimera, then he reflects and responds. “Thank you, but I have to refuse.”

Moore, born and raised in England, dreamed of representing his mum and dad’s Wales, so he waited for the right opportunity. In 2019, after twenty goals for Barnsley in League One and one presence with the Three Lions national team, Wales called. In 2021 he scored a goal at the European Championship.

Now play the World Cup. Here is the keystone of Robert Page’s tip, who tonight will rely on the almost two-metre bomber who until a few years worked as a lifeguard. Another chapter of life. Before becoming a footballer, in fact, Moore worked as a waiter, sold sweets and wore a red T-shirt with the words “lifeguard”, lifeguard. 

Everest Base Camp from where he has always watched the summit, from a beach in southern England to the Welsh national team. All after playing in Norway and risking quitting after a game clash. In 2019, after a head-to-head at Barnsley, Moore left the field on a stretcher with a head injury. Two months later he returns to the field without fear.

The first ball that reaches him is a high ball, he heads it and spits it out. “I thought ‘come on, what will it be? I can’t back down.’” In this scene there is all the philosophy of him. The boy who was a lifeguard turned striker for Wales, at the World Cup after 64 years, 9 goals in 28 games since 2019. “The beauty is that I was about to end up playing for China, I should have lived there for a year…”.