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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Stanley Martin Morgan
  • Born 16 May 1909 Belfast
  • Died 29 November 1980 Belfast
  • Educated Belfast Royal Academy
  • Occupation Civil Servant
  • Debut 24 July 1930 v Sir Julien Cahn's XI at Ormeau
  • Cap Number 375
  • Style Right hand bat
  • Teams Ulster; North Down; NICC

Stanley Morgan was a good right hand batsman, prominent in Ulster cricket for many years. Born in Belfast, the seventh of the eight sons and three daughters of Richard Morgan, a draper, and his Cork born wife Eileen, he followed his elder brothers to BRA, where like his immediate senior Henry, he showed particular talent on the cricket field. They were both seen in the ranks of the Ulster Club at Ballynafeigh while still at school, and - having left Academy - were in the side which won the NCU Challenge Cup at Ormeau in 1930, defeating Willie Andrews' North Down by 105 runs.

The teams met again the following summer, when the Co Down side gained ample revenge winning by 145 runs. It must be said that Stanley made little contribution to the victory in the first year or to the avoidance of defeat in the second, managing just 17 runs in four innings with a highest score of 9 in the 1930 match. He could take some consolation from his failures the following year in that he fell in both innings to the slow left arm of James MacDonald, one of the best practitioners of the art then playing in Ireland. However in both seasons, his batting had done much to take them to the Final, as had Henry's bowling.

When the Ulster Club disbanded, the Morgan brothers joined North Down. However, though Henry, in particular met with some success, both, together with their younger brother Reggie, soon followed the Jackson brothers and other former Ballynafeigh men into the ranks of NICC.

In 1938, under Henry's captaincy North met Donacloney in the NCU Cup Final at Cliftonville. They won by an innings and 17 runs, with Reggie having match figures of 10-84. Again Stanley's batting had done much to put them there, but he failed in the final as he did in 1946 when they lost by an innings to Lisburn, in a battle of the two master spinners Jack Bowden and John Hill, with the Lisburn man just shading the much travelled Dubliner.

Stanley's one Irish cap came against Sir Julien Cahn's XI at Ormeau in 1930, Henry was to gain twelve in the years that followed. Cahn, the cricket loving multi millionaire - whose cricket ability was in inverse proportion to his much vaunted wealth - had begun his short tour of Ireland with a match at Rathmines. For the Belfast fixture wide ranging changes were made, no doubt, as was not unusual at this time, in an effort to boost the gate at Ormeau. Cahn had won by 51 runs in Dublin, facing an Irish side that contained only one Northerner in Arthur Douglas.

However for the Belfast match, no fewer than ten changes were made which left the captain AP Kelly as the sole surviving Dublin representative unless Bill Loughery of NICC and Dublin University is so counted. Stanley made his debut together with five other team-mates, out of all of them only Tommy Martin ever played again.

The visitors were far too strong for their hosts, who no more represented the full strength of Ireland than the team which turned out at Rathmines had. Stanley found himself at No 9 in the first innings, while several of lesser ability was placed above him. He finished undefeated on 13, surviving the former England leg spinner Tom Richmond, now one of Cahn's troupe of professionals, who had 6-41. Having convinced Kelly - who tended to captain cricket teams in the manner in which he had commanded his machine gun corps in Flanders Fields - that he could bat, Stanley came in at 4 in the second innings and made a stylish 20 before Richmond, again running through the hosts' batting, had him caught. It was the best score among these played for their batting alone, though the tail, through Martin and, notably, Stanley Watson, wagged vigorously.

Stanley Martin Morgan continued to play for NICC with success until 1950. In his latter years he sometimes opened the batting with George Morrison, but though he helped his club to League titles in 1940 and 1946, and always batted consistently, he was not selected for Ireland again. He may not have been an outstanding batsman, but he was more than a "one cap wonder."

Always devoted to the Club, he was Assistant Secretary Cricket for several years from 1948, before, in 1956, becoming Secretary of the North of Ireland Cricket and Football Club. It was fitting that he should still have been in office for the famous Club's centenary year in 1960.