Lawrence Morgan

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For the former Speaker of the Navajo Nation Tribal Council, see Lawrence T. Morgan.
Lawrence Morgan
Personal information
Full name Lawrence Robert Morgan
Date of birth 5 February 1915
Date of death 19 August 1997(1997-08-19) (aged 82)
Original team(s) Yarrawonga[1]
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1937–39 Fitzroy 34 (14)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1939.
Sources: AFL Tables,
Olympic medal record
Gold medal – first place 1960 Rome Eventing
Gold medal – first place 1960 Rome Team eventing

Lawrence "Laurie" Morgan (5 February 1915 – 19 August 1997) was an Australian sportsman who is the only person to play VFL/AFL football and win an Olympic Gold Medal.[2] He played his Australian rules football with Fitzroy during the late 1930s and won two gold medals in equestrian at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Morgan was born in the country and, as a child, raced horses over tree branches with his friend, fellow Olympic equestrian competitor Bill Roycroft.[3] When he came to Fitzroy in 1937 he played in the same side as the great Haydn Bunton. He spent two further seasons at Fitzroy, both under coach Gordon Rattray, before leaving.

Morgan returned to the sporting scene in 1960, at the age of 45, when he competed for the Australian equestrian team at the Rome Olympics. Riding his horse 'Salad Days', Morgan won a Gold Medal ahead of countryman Neale Lavis in the Individual Three-Day Event to become the first Australian to win an equestrian gold medal. The former VFL player then teamed up with Lavis and Bill Roycroft to win Gold in the Team Event, best remembered for Roycroft's heroics in riding despite suffering concussion and severe injuries from a previous fall.

Although the Australian Olympic team consisted of big names like Herb Elliott, Dawn Fraser and Murray Rose, Morgan was the only dual Gold Medalist.

Morgan's biography, entitled Too Tough To Lose, was recently completed by his son Warwick Morgan, himself an accomplished horseman, and published in 2012 by Forty Degrees South Publishing (see External Links).


  1. ^ "Trouble in Two Senior League Football Clubs.". The Argus. Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia. 23 April 1937. p. 15. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Historial Vignette – "Lawrence Morgan dual gold medallist and AFL Champion", Australian Olympic Committee web site, accessed 10 December 2008
  3. ^ Veitch, Harriet (May 2011). "James William (Bill) Roycroft". Obituaries Australia. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 

External links[edit]