Teddy Morgan

Image Credit – the Morgan Family.

Dr. Teddy Morgan played three times for Glamorgan in the Minor County Championship between 1903 and 1913, and would have played more frequently had it not been for his medical duties. He was also an outstanding rugby player and holds a very special place in Welsh sporting history as the man who not only scored the winning try for Wales in their first-ever victory over New Zealand in 1905, but was the person responsible for the singing of national anthems ahead of sporting events, having responded to the All Blacks ‘haka’ at the Arms Park by leading his team and the crowd in a rendition of ‘Mae Hen Wlad Fy’n Hadau’.

The tour in 1905 by the New Zealand rugby players to Europe and North America has gone down in sporting history as legendary. The Kiwis scored no less than 976 points and conceded just 59. They won 34 out of their 35 matches with their sole defeat coming in front of 47,000 jubilant Welsh supporters at the Arms Park. After the All Blacks had run onto the ground to much applause, they performed their legendary “haka” in front of a silent crowd before the home supporters, led by Dr Teddy, sang the Welsh National Anthem in an attempt to reduce the perceived psychological advantage of the Maori war-dance. It was the first time a national anthem had been sung before a sporting fixture and has become standard fare at any international sporting contest.

As far as the match was concerned, Dr. Teddy was soon in the action, sprinting some 25 yards down the wing to score a try at the Westgate Street End. Up in the air went hats, handkerchiefs and newspapers, whilst the roar of emotion and cheers of delight were so loud that a cart-horse bolted down Westgate Street and galloped off towards Cardiff General railway station! Wales duly went into half-time with a 3-0 advantage but the tourists were far from happy, believing that the refereeing of John Dallas was poor, especially in the scrums. Besides not keeping up with play, the Scot had also blown his whistle too early for the break.

Throughout the interval further Welsh hymns and anthems were sung as the crowd did their bit to maintain Welsh ascendancy. The second half proved to be tough and uncompromisingly physical as, fuelled by anger, a wave of All Black attacks took place, before with ten minutes remaining, Bob Deans almost reached the Welsh try-line before being tackled just short by Morgan and Rhys Gabe, though for years Kiwis have claimed Deans placed the ball over the try-line. After some heroic defense by the Welsh side during the closing minutes, the final whistle to signal a totemic victory for the men in red jerseys.

Educated at Christ College, Brecon, Teddy mixed his medical studies at Guy’s Hospital with sporting endeavors, playing cricket for Glamorgan and rugby for the London Welsh club. Indeed, it was whilst attached to the latter that Teddy won the first of sixteen Welsh rugby caps against England in 1902. His outstanding cricketing record at the Brecon school, plus decent performances for the Hospital’s team saw Teddy win a place in the Glamorgan side for their visit to Exeter for the match with Devon in August 1903.

The all-rounder had more success with the ball than the bat, claiming 3/18 but it was ten years before he appeared twice more for Glamorgan, each time during August 1913 in matches at St. Helen’s, against Kent and Wiltshire. By this time, Dr. Teddy had a practice in Sketty, and had played with much success for Swansea CC. However, he met with little success in these games for Glamorgan, scoring just four runs in as many innings.

After the Great War ,Teddy became a noted golfer with the Pennard club and played in the Glamorgan Amateur Championships. He subsequently moved in 1927 to a practice in east Anglia and lost the sight in his right eye during an accident at a partridge shoot in October 1938. His son Guy was a playwright, besides being a film critic for the Daily Express during the 1930s.

MORGAN, Dr. Edward (‘Teddy’).

Born – Abernant , 22 May 1880.
Died – North Walsham , 1 September 1949.

Batting and Fielding Record  

MC Championship 361 102.002

Bowling Record  

 BallsM RWAV5wI10wM
MC Championship 3621836.00

Career-best performances  

Minor County Championship – 5 and 3/18 v Devon at Exeter, 1903.