Thursday 29 August 2013

Cliff Morgan, One Of The Best Of The Best

Among all the other bad news there was the report of the death at 83 of Cliff Morgan, the wonderful fly half of Cardiff and Wales, along with the Barbarians and British Lions.  Later he joined the BBC where he commented with his characteristic verve and wit.

I was lucky enough to see him play a few times, but sadly never managed to be on the park at the same time with him.  It is one of life's regrets that it is not possible to boast that I once played with Cliff.  Nor, if in opposition to claim, yes I played against him, but never saw much of him.

I hope the joke is appreciated, he was a hard man to mark and to keep track of.  At times his head and body and direction would be going one way, but then the legs would go another, leaving even the fastest and best floundering while he went on to give the pass for yet another try to be scored.

Cliff's biography gives the outline of his career and skills and more or less covers the ground.  For me the two main occasions are the Barbarian's games against Leicester at Welford Road in December 1951 and December 1956 when I was on the ash bank at one end and could only gasp at his handling and clinical kicking to touch.

Goodbye Cliff, you were and still are one of the greats.

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