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OBITUARY | Lawrence 'Lol' Morgan - 1931-2022

14 January 2022

Everyone connected with Rotherham United has been deeply saddened to hear of the death of one of the club’s legends, Lol Morgan.

Lol was one of the remaining members of the Millers team which played in the first ever Football League Cup Final in 1961. He was 90-years-old.

Even in his later years he maintained an interest in, and connection with, his home town club and would attend supporters meetings from time to time. Only recently, and suffering from dementia, he was a welcome guest at John Breckin’s Memory Club monthly meetings at the stadium.

 

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Never lost touch with the Millers: Lol is pictured at a recent Millers Memory Club meeting at AESSEAL New York Stadium

 

Born in Rotherham [as Lawrence], and at school at Spurley Hey, his family had a footballing connection where they lived in Thrybergh because his uncle was Albert Nightingale who played for Sheffield United in the old First Division after World War Two.

In fact, it was Albert who took Lol to Bramall Lane after he left school to play as an amateur and when Albert moved to Huddersfield Town, he took Lol there was well.

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A team for the ages: Lol is pictured on the front row, second from left among a team which will forever remain in the Millers history books

 

He made seven appearances for Town, including in the top flight, the First Division, before joining Rotherham. Although he is fondly remembered as left back, his debut in 1954 was at left half but he played only three times (all in that position) before establishing himself as the team’s left back at the start of the 1956/57 season.

He went on to make 326 appearances in all (including a spell as captain) and played all 50 games of the 1960/61 season which included the run to that first League Cup Final when the start of the team line-up rolled off the tongue for the fans... Ironside; Perry, Morgan; Lambert, Madden, Waterhouse...

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A League Cup great: Lol Morgan returned to AESSEAL New York Stadium alongside teammates from the 1960/61 team to commemorate their achievements with Chairman Tony Stewart

 

His Millmoor career ended in 1964 whereupon - at the age of only 33 - he became Player-Manager of Darlington leading them to promotion from the old Fourth Division as runners-up in 1966, the club’s first-ever promotion.

This led to him becoming manager of Norwich City a few months later, his greatest memory being when the Canaries, a mid-table Second Division side, had a stunning 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the FA Cup against a Manchester United side of Law, Best and Charlton and who were to become League champions a few months later.

He left Norwich in May 1969, turned down the chance to manage Bradford City and became Northern scout for Tottenham Hotspur, a role he did for six years.

During his spell as a part-timer with the Millers, he became an Advert Rep at the Rotherham Advertiser. After leaving football he worked at Arthur Lee’s Steel in Sheffield before became a rep for Bass Breweries, eventually being promoted to general sales manager.

An avid cricketer, he played many years for Thrybergh Park CC and after returning to Rotherham from Norfolk in 1969, he joined Rotherham Golf Club, becoming a major figure there as a Director of the club and also serving as Club Captain. He was a single handicap golfer.

The Millers have had three left backs particularly fondly remembered, Lol is one along with John Breckin and Paul Hurst. But Lol was the first to bring his own defensive ‘style’ to the team.

In an era when full backs were obliged to ‘get stuck in’ and go towards their opposing winger to make a challenge, Lol would retreat and retreat (ignoring the crowd’s pleas to ‘get at him’) and use intelligence and timing to win possession, stop the winger getting behind him or block the cross. It was a style ahead of its time!

Everyone at Rotherham United would like to extend their heartfelt condolences to Lol’s widow, Pauline, all of the family and his many friends.

 

Once a Miller, Always a Miller.


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