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I’m a former Man City star who scored 340 goals in ONE season, now I own a chippy after retiring at 29

IMAGINE scoring 289 goals in 40 league matches — an average of 7.2 goals per game — and 340 in all competitions in just a single season!

Incredibly, those were the astonishing goal figures from former Manchester City frontman Paul Moulden when he played for the all-conquering Bolton Lads Club at the age of just 14 in the 1981-82 season.

Ex-Man City ace Paul Moulden now runs a chippy in Bolton

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Ex-Man City ace Paul Moulden now runs a chippy in Bolton
Moulden played for City in the 1980s

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Moulden played for City in the 1980s

The feat earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
They are the sort of goal tallies that would leave even current City striker Erling Haaland in the shade.

Then when Moulden joined “his” club Manchester City in 1984 he played in the side that won the FA Youth Cup in 1986, scoring nine goals en route to their success.

Now 56, he recalled: “Before I joined City, I had Blackburn, Bolton, Manchester United, Leeds, Everton and Arsenal all desperately trying to sign me. It was very flattering.”

He was even invited to Old Trafford when Dave Sexton was manager and had Sir Matt Busby meet him to clearly impress and lure the teenager.

Moulden said: “There was something about United I didn’t like. My dad, an ex-pro, told me I should only join a club where I felt comfortable.”

He chose his boyhood club instead and said: “As soon as I walked into City I knew that was it.

“I had three heroes growing up, Bolton striker Neil Whatmore and City idols Peter Barnes and Trevor Francis.”

He made his senior first-team debut for the club on New Year’s Day 1986 aged 18 under Billy McNeill. Moulden said: “You never forget your debut. It was great getting those first minutes. It was at Aston Villa — a fantastic ground.”

He only played one more league game in the 1985-86 season as a sub.
But the teenager started to make an impact in the following campaign — scoring four in four games to quickly earn the nickname from City fans . . . Golden Moulden.

He said: “I was awestruck when my hero Barnsey returned for a second spell at City, so I was able to play in the same side. He was still a stunning player in the latter stages of his career.”

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Moulden’s best season was his last at Maine Road when he netted 17 goals in the 1988-89 campaign to help City get promoted back to the top flight, by which time he had fallen out with boss Mel Machin.

Yet even today he has no idea why Machin did not like him.

He said: “For whatever reason I was in and out of the team which was difficult for me mentally.

“Then I was sold to Bournemouth in a deal that saw Ian Bishop join City.”

Sadly, what should have been a pro career glittered in gold and goals was wrecked through injuries including FOUR broken legs and a broken back.

He played for eight clubs over 12 years but was forced to quit in 1995 at the ridiculously young age of 29.

Moulden added: “It’s a sad tale of suffering a catalogue of injuries and being misdiagnosed. The medical side of the game is chalk and cheese compared to when I was playing.

“I broke my leg three times BEFORE making my first-team debut.
“Of course I have regrets that I didn’t go on to fulfil my potential. But looking back I never had a long enough spell without injury.

“I count myself lucky to have had a football career at all. After moving back from Bournemouth to Oldham in 1990, the artificial pitch at Boundary Park caused huge problems for my ankle, so it was just another problem for me.

“I played for five other clubs after Oldham — including a spell in Norway for Molde — but I knew my time in the game was going to be cut short.

“It would be an excuse to say I was out drinking and gambling but that is simply not the case. I was just desperately unlucky.”

Moulden turned out for Oldham from 1990-1993

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Moulden turned out for Oldham from 1990-1993Credit: PA

He remained involved in the game, coaching at City’s academy and also made a few appearances for Accrington during their non-league days.

But he then went on to open his own fish and chip shop in Bolton, just a stone’s throw from the Bolton Lads Club where his goal-blitz and football journey had begun.

He ran Paul’s Chippy for 23 years — a thriving business — before selling the franchise two years ago.

He said: “I loved every moment of the business. Unfortunately I suffered a brain haemorrhage a few years ago. I’m pleased to report I am fine now but it was important to step back from the day-to-day involvement.”

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Paul’s youngest son Louie (below) played for City’s Under-18s and is now at Wolves but on loan at Northampton as a keeper. He made his Cobblers league debut in their 1-1 home draw against Bolton last weekend and played in yesterday’s 3-1 win against Bristol Rovers.

Moulden has two elder sons — Joe is coaching at a US university and Ted is a kitman at Bolton.

And Paul said: “I would like to think I have always been there for the boys.

“Louie is the last one still playing but football has always been in the family blood and the gene has passed down to the lads.”

LETHAL – The Extraordinary Life of Paul Moulden with David Clayton (Pitch Publishing, £22.99)

Moulden's life story is featured in a new book

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Moulden’s life story is featured in a new book

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