Harry Morris (footballer, born 1897)

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Harry Morris
Personal information
Full name David Hyman Morris[1]
Date of birth (1897-11-25)25 November 1897
Place of birth Spitalfields, England
Date of death 1 December 1985(1985-12-01) (aged 88)
Place of death San Mateo, California, United States
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Vicar of Wakefield
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1919–1921 Fulham 6 (2)
1921–1923 Brentford 59 (29)
1923–1925 Millwall 74 (30)
1925–1926 Swansea Town
1926–1933 Swindon Town 260 (215)
Clapton Orient 13 (8)
Cheltenham Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:32, 2 November 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

David Hyman Morris, known as Harry Morris or Abe Morris, (25 November 1897 – 1985) was an English professional football striker and coach, best known for his seven-year spell in the Football League with Swindon Town.[2] Morris was voted Swindon Town's greatest-ever player by the club's supporters in 2013 and holds the club records for goals scored in a league match, season and career.[3][4][5] He also played for Fulham, Brentford, Millwall, Swansea Town and Clapton Orient.

Playing career[edit]

Fulham[edit]

After being spotted by Phil Kelso scoring prolifically for local Hackney Marshes side Vicar of Wakefield,[6][7] Morris signed for Football League Division Two side Fulham in 1919. He spent most of his time with the club in the reserve team, scoring heavily.[8] Morris managed seven first team appearances, scoring twice. He departed Craven Cottage in 1921.

Brentford[edit]

Morris joined Division Three South side Brentford in 1921.[2] With the Bees having finished second-from-bottom in their first season in the league, he helped inspire the side to a ninth-place finish in the 1921/22 season,[9] top-scoring with 17 goals in 39 appearances.[10] He top-scored again in the 1922/23 season (with 13 goals from 24 appearances),[10] but departed Griffin Park in February 1923.[2] Morris made 63 appearances and scored 30 goals during his 18 months with the Bees.[2]

Millwall[edit]

Morris signed for Division Three South side Millwall in February 1923 for a £750 fee.[2] Over the course of his time with the club, he scored 30 goals in 74 league appearances for the Lions as the club consistently challenged for promotion to Division Two.[2] He departed The Den in 1925.[11]

Swansea Town[edit]

Morris moved back up to Division Two to sign for Swansea Town in 1925.[2][11] He remained with the club for one season.

Swindon Town[edit]

Morris dropped back down to the Division Three South to sign for Swindon Town in June 1926 for a £110 fee.[6] He had a brilliant start to his career at the County Ground, netting hattricks in each of his first two matches.[6] He scored in the following two matches to set a club record of scoring in each of his first four games, which stood alone until it was matched in September 2014 by Jonathan Obika.[12] Flourishing under Sam Allen's management, Morris finished the 1926/27 season with 48 goals from 43 league games (a club record which still stands as of 2014), but problems with the defence meant the Robins could only manage a fifth-place finish.[6][13][14] He also became the first Swindon player to notch five goals in a single game, which came in a win over Queens Park Rangers.[6] He repeated the feat in a 5-1 demolition of Norwich City in April 1930.[6] He also went on a run of scoring in 11 consecutive games during the season, scoring 19 goals.[15]

Despite failing to win any silverware, Morris was top scorer in each of his seven seasons with Swindon and bagged 18 hattricks.[13] In addition, he was top scorer in the Division Three South in the 1926/27 and 1927/28 seasons and his record for the 1926/27 season stands at the eighth-highest single-season goal tally in Football League history.[16][17] Deemed too old by incoming manager Ted Vizard, Morris was released prior to the start of the 1933/34 season.[13] During his seven years with Swindon, Morris scored an incredible 229 goals in 279 games and as of 2014 is still the club's leading goalscorer.[13] His overall league goalscoring record is the 17th-highest in English football history.[18] In 1955, 22 years after leaving the County Ground, Morris applied for a coaching role with the club, but was rejected.[6] In a poll to celebrate the Football League's 125th anniversary, Morris was voted Swindon's greatest-ever player by the club's supporters.[3]

Clapton Orient[edit]

Morris signed for Division Three South side Clapton Orient in 1933 and scored eight goals in 13 appearances.[3]

Cheltenham Town[edit]

Morris rounded out his career in non-league football with Southern League side Cheltenham Town.[2]

International career[edit]

Morris was targeted by England for a trial match, but injury prevented him from taking part.[11]

Coaching career[edit]

Morris had a spell coaching in Gothenburg, Sweden in the late 1930s.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Morris was Jewish.[4] Though he was observant of the faith, he played on Saturdays during his football career and would only refuse to play on high holidays.[4] He was educated at the Jews' Free School in London and was a member of the Brady Street Boys' Club.[8][7] He served in the Middlesex Regiment during the First World War.[7] Morris was married to Edith and had a son, Jack and a daughter, Estelle, who died from polio in 1937 at the age of eight.[6] Morris, Edith and Jack emigrated shortly afterwards to Gothenburg, Sweden, where Morris worked at the British Consulate. The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and the invasion of Norway by the Germans the following year saw Morris and his family remain in neutral Sweden until the end of the war.[11] Through his job at the Consulate, Morris helped escaped POWs return to the UK.[11] The family emigrated to the United States after the war, with Harry and Edith working for the British Information Services in New York City.[11] They retired to San Mateo, California, where Edith died in 1984, followed a year later by Harry.[11]

Honours[edit]

As an individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Search 1837 to 2006 – Birth, Marriage and Death indexes". Findmypast.com. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920-2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 111. ISBN 978-0955294914. 
  3. ^ a b c The Football League. "Swindon Town - Football League 125". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "David Hyman (Harry) Morris was a professional footballer, born in the East". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "All Time Swindon Records & Achievements - Soccer Base". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Eighty years ago, this man was a goal machine". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Straits Times". 5 April 1936. p. 23. 
  8. ^ a b Rosenthal, Joanne (2014). Four Four Jew: Football, Fans and Faith. Shire Publications. ASIN B00IPH98ZI. 
  9. ^ "Football Club History Database - Brentford". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Brentford Football Club History". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Striker who had world at his feet". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "BBC Sport - Jon Obika: Swindon Town striker enjoying Swindon chance". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Profile". Swindon-Town-FC.co.uk. 
  14. ^ "Football Club History Database - Swindon Town". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Swindon's 160 greatest headline makers...part 7". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  16. ^ a b http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engtops.html#1921-3
  17. ^ "England - All-Time Topscorers". RSSSF. 
  18. ^ "The TLS blog". Retrieved 18 November 2014.