Gwyn Morgans RIP

News has been received from North Wales of the passing of Morgan Gwyn Morgans on 23rd July at the age of 91. Gwyn, as he was known throughout his life, made fourteen appearances for Southport, chiefly at left-half in 1958-59 season.

Brought up in the Welsh slate- mining village of Blaenau Ffestiniog Gwyn was a late starter to playing football. He was not selected for his school team and on leaving school took up work as an apprentice slate dresser. It was whilst working in the slate mine that Gwyn began playing football for Blaenau Ffestiniog Reserve team after turning up to watch one day he volunteered to play after finding the team were a player short. He had two seasons with the Reserves before joining Llanberis then returned to played for Blaenau Ffestiniog’s first team.

Several football League Cubs showed an interest in signing him and he joined Northampton Town initially as an amateur in 1954 representing Wales against Scotland in an Amateur International in 1955. Subsequently he gave up his job in the slate quarry to sign professional terms for the “Cobblers” in August 1955 but failed to make any Football League appearances and joined Wrexham the following season.

Gwyn made 28 League appearances for Wrexham and played in 4 F.A. Cup ties He was injured in an FA Cup match against Reading and so missed playing against the pre-Munich “Busby Babes” in the next round.

A strong, well-built wing-half Gwyn impressed Trevor Hitchen when, as Manager of Wigan Athletic, he watched Southport against Wrexham to run the rule over Southport prior to the infamous cup tie with the Latics. Gwyn became Hitchen’s eighth pre-season signing in July 1958. He began the season well playing in the first 11 games but lost his place to Tommy Williams . Later he was tried at centre and inside forward but following the signing of Jackie Grant in January 1959 he had no more first team opportunities and became a utility player with the Reserves.

Gwyn lived in Ormskirk for nine years commuting to Wales to play his football for Blaenau Ffestiniog and he later had three seasons at Colwyn Bay before joining New Brighton in the Lancashire Combination in 1963-64. After finishing playing professional football, Gwyn worked as a fitter’s mate followed by a time as a mechanical fitter. Moving to Llandudno in 1972 he became a painter and decorator. While coaching the local RAF club he recommended 18 year old Neville Southall to Wrexham, but they failed to respond!

In later years Gwyn, who was married to Mo, enjoyed a game of snooker, and kept his hand in with do-it-yourself. More recently he has suffered with Alzheimer’s and latterly was in Bryn Marl Nursing Home at Llandudno Junction. His funeral will take place at noon on 8th August at St John’s Methodist Church, Llandudno followed by a committal at the Colwyn Bay Crematorium.

Michael Braham