Tony Lormor came through the ranks to sign pro with Newcastle United in 1988. These were the pre-Shearer times when the Magpies spent foolishly on anything that wore a number nine shirt (Mirandinha, anyone?) and, despite a promising start to his Newcastle career, Tony was largely ignored before dropping into the Fourth Division. He came to top the scoring charts in his first three seasons at Sincil Bank, but a severe knee injury caused him to miss all the '92-3 season, and it was felt that he would never quite recapture his form of old, so he was freed in the summer of '94.
Tony's move to Saltergate must constitute one of John Duncan's finest signings. Tall and lean, he was a centre-forward in the traditional mould, and used pace and, above all, persistence to upset defences. Tony became a key player in the direct style used by Duncan as a means to an end: he and Phil Robinson arrived within days of eachother and turned a fairly effective team into play-off winners. To emphasize Tony's impact, the team went twenty-one matches undefeated from his debut, losing a crucial end-of-season game to Carlisle only after Tony (of all people) missed a late penalty. Fans gave him credit for his willingness to take it under great pressure. The contribution made by Robinson and Lormor was stressed by their scoring the goals in the Wembley win over Bury.
In the higher division, Tony had a slightly leaner time of
it, an ankle injury slowing him and causing him to miss the run-in to the '95-6
season. The following term, tactical
changes saw him used in midfield, on occasions, while recognised midfielders
(such as Steve Gaughan) were played in attack.
Towards the end of the '96-7 season rumours surfaced of a move to
Mansfield. These intensified that
summer: the clubs agreed a fee at boardroom level but Duncan, to his credit,
was reluctant to let Tony speak to the Stags until the Spireites' own want of a
quality replacement was addressed.
Enthusiastic, hard-working and committed to the cause, Tony sought to solve Duncan's forward problem without the need to dip into the cup-run treasure chest and led the Spireites' scoring charts in '97-8 for long after his move, with seven goals from 15 starts. He was still being played in midfield and, on occasions, forced to sit out games on the bench, when frustration at this state of affairs overcame him, and he submitted a transfer request.
A deal with Preston that saw Tony and £130,000 go to
Deepdale in exchange for David Reeves was quickly concluded. Despite scoring within minutes of his Preston
debut, he dropped out of the first-team reckoning after a change of manager and
was reunited with Phil Robinson at Meadow Lane in February, 1998.
In the summer of '98 the Stags finally got their man and,
after a wretched '97-8, Tony was given the chance of a new start with Mansfield
Town. To his credit he managed to persuade many Stags fans to forget his
Chesterfield pedigree! After a move to Hartlepool, he qualified as a class one
referee, and retired from football in January of 2003 in order to concentrate
on his new career. Tony craved a greater involvement in the game, though, and returned to
this area to coach local sides before working at Chesterfield's academy. Away from the game Tony held a number of sales positions but he returned to the club in June 2013 to take up the role of Kit Man.
For Chesterfield: 97+16 League appearances, 35 goals.