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

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

In their very first season in the NU Rovers signed a local scrum-half called Joe Morgan. He made his debut on 7th December 1921 at Dewsbury and held his place in the team 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 young 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 alternated between stand-off and loose forward, and by the time of our famous Championship final in 1928, Joe Morgan had found his best position and was firmly established as Featherstone’s loose forward. 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. Unfortunately, the club records appear to show that he was never awarded the testimonial he obviously deserved. Joe’s total of 134 matches as loose forward was the 4th highest in the club’s history, with only Cliff Lambert, Bill Sherwood and Keith Bell playing more games for Rovers at number thirteen. 

From 1928, Joe’s younger brother Tom Morgan made occasional first team appearances over three seasons (15 games in all), mostly deputising for his brother at loose forward. Then, their youngest brother Luke Morgan also began his Featherstone career, making a name for himself as a tough scrummager in an uncompromising front row. Before long, all three brothers played together in the same Rovers line-up, the only family ever to achieve this feat at Featherstone. After Joe had retired, Luke 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 between them.

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