Lions legend passes on

Thu, 29 Aug 2013 12:32
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Former Wales and British and Irish Lions flyhalf Cliff Morgan has died at the age of 83, the Welsh Rugby Union announced on Thursday.

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions flyhalf Cliff Morgan has died at the age of 83, the Welsh Rugby Union announced on Thursday.

The diminutive flyhalf from a mining family in the Rhondda Valley joined Cardiff straight from school in 1949 and he went on to win 29 caps for his country between 1951 and 1958 and also captained the Lions.

Morgan was notably one of the heroes of the British Lions tour of South Africa in 1955 which was drawn 2-2.

His touchdown in the first Test at Ellis Park, in front of a then world-record crowd of 100,000, helped secure a sensational 23-22 victory at the end of an epic match.

After retiring from rugby, he became well-known as a television broadcaster with the BBC and his commentary of the famous Barbarians victory over the mighty All Blacks in 1973 is still well-known around the rugby world.

Morgan suffered a life-threatening stroke at the age of 42 while more recently he was he was afflicted with cancer of the vocal cords and removal of his larynx, resulting in limited ability to speak.

In 2009 he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame for his contributions to broadcasting.

"I have lost a friend and we have all lost one of rugby's greats who was also a true gentleman," WRU President Dennis Gethin said.

"His exploits as a player for Cardiff, Wales, the Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions are legendary but he also achieved so much off the field of play.

"As a broadcaster he became one of the best known faces and voices of radio and television in the UK and as a producer and editorial executive he reached the top of his profession."

AFP

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