The long and rich history of Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Football Club

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Joe Morgan, Luke Morgan and Tom Morgan.

When Rovers became a senior club it was largely due to the depth and quality of the junior talent they had developed. Players such as Jim and Sid Denton, Jack Hirst and Jimmy Williams had helped the club sweep all before them in the years leading up to 1921. This continued as a senior club, and in their first season Rovers signed a resilient scrum-half called Joe Morgan. He made his debut on 7th December 1921 at Dewsbury and held the position for the rest of the season. Rovers had begun the campaign with star signing Joe Kirkham at scrum-half, but he was moved out to the wing to accommodate this impressive newcomer. The following year, Kirkham was back at scum-half, but the versatile Morgan slotted in at centre. In his third season Joe’s career was interrupted by an accident at the pit, and he faced a long layoff with a back injury. When he came back into the team, he was alternating between stand-off and loose forward, and by the time of the famous championship final in 1928, Joe Morgan was Featherstone’s established number thirteen. This was the position he would hold with distinction until he retired in 1932. He played a grand total of 247 games (and scored 19 tries) for Featherstone over twelve seasons, although unfortunately the records appear to show that he was never awarded the testimonial he obviously deserved.

In 1928, Rovers picked up Joe’s younger brother Tom, who made occasional first team appearances over three seasons (15 games in all), mostly deputising for his brother at loose forward. In 1929 youngest brother Luke also began his Featherstone career, making a name for himself as a tough scrummager in an uncompromising front row. And so it came to pass that all three brothers played together in the same Rovers line-up, the only brothers ever to achieve this feat. This happened for the first time on 8th of March 1930 at Huddersfield. Tommy Morgan was on the wing, Joe was at scrum-half filling in for the injured Charlie Annable, and Luke was at his preferred blindside prop position. They repeated this feat a few more times. After Joe had retired, Luke Morgan continued as a mainstay of the first team until injury forced his retirement in 1935 after 167 games in the Rovers engine room. This brought an end to a fourteen year contribution from the three brothers, which yielded 429 appearances.

In the 1960s Arnie Morgan and Dennis Morgan played for Featherstone. In the 1970s we had front rower Mick Morgan, and more recently Jon Morgan, Dale Morgan and Gavin Morgan have all appeared in the blue and white. If you could help me establish what, if any, relationship these players had to each other, I’d be grateful.

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