Tributes have poured in for the late Cliff Morgan, the former Wales and Lions star and commentator so famous for his wonderful words on the great Barbarians try in 1973. Morgan passed away yesterday at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness.
Morgan, considered one of Wales’ best ever flyhalfs, was capped 29 times for his country, captained the British Lions in 1955 and went on to have a highly successful career in broadcasting. He is of course best remembered for that iconic piece of commentary on the Gareth Edwards try.
He was actually a late replacement for Bill McClaren on the day, who had fallen ill and couldn’t take up his usual post as lead commentator. Morgan slotted in and made a wonderful try all the more memorable for the poetic way in which he called it.
“He was an icon of the game, a great player and a great man of the media,” said JPR Williams.
“It is interesting really, because people always remember the commentary of that try the Baa-Baas scored against New Zealand in 1973. What many don’t know is that Cliff was actually a late replacement for Bill McClaren who was ill on the day.
“Cliff was a brilliant player, albeit a little before my time, and he was an even more brilliant commentator. He was also excellent value at the after match functions where he could play the piano. You would sing a song, any song, and he would accompany you. He was just a brilliant all-rounder and will be sadly missed.”
Jack Kyle, who Morgan played against in his first ever Test, later described him as “the best fly-half there can ever have been, thrusting, darting, always unexpected”.
“He was an exceptional player and one of the truly outstanding outside-halves Wales has produced over the years,” said former Wales centre Nigel Davies.
“But, more than that, he was an exceptional person, the voice of rugby for someone of my generation. He was remarkable yet humble.”
Below is a quick report on Morgan’s life in rugby and broadcasting. May he rest in peace.
Credit to Channel 4 news