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H. T. Morgan – A fine innings

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Cricketer Howard Morgan: Passed away on Monday

THE LLANELLI cricket community has been saddened with the news of the sudden passing of Dafen Cricket Club’s Howard Morgan. Howard passed away at his home in Llanelli on Monday, January 16. He was a former captain, committeeman, chairman and life member who was actively involved in the club for more than 40 years.

Howard was captain of Dafen’s 1st X1 for a total of 11 seasons during his playing days. He was captain of championship sides in the 1964, 1967 and 1974 seasons. He was an inspirational leader and was chosen as captain of the South Wales League touring side during the league’s first tour of Australia in 1977-8.

He later became chairman of the club for seven years and was awarded the accolade of life membership of the club. Howard was also an umpire of the South Wales Cricket Association following his playing days.

Howard Thomas Morgan didn’t just play cricket, he lived and breathed cricket. The young boy born at 6 Christopher Street, Tyisha, Llanelli had a fine career ahead of him in football and for that matter any number of sports, such was his natural ability. He started school at St Paul’s Infants School, followed by Bigyn Junior School and then to what is affectionately known locally as ‘The Academy’ – Stebonheath Secondary Modern School for boys. Stebonheath was a place where boys became men quickly. The masters were all male teachers, many of whom were excellent sportsmen in their own right. A cold and bare gymnasium, cross country runs, rugby, football and cricket, played with gusto, were played competitively against the other secondary schools. This is where Howard would have honed his skills and his love of sport.

His daughter, Lisa, gave The Herald some background on Howard’s life. She said: “My father could have had a career in football but he injured his knee. He then opted to play cricket and he was spotted by Glamorgan but he chose to invest his time in his family.

“He was always interested in sport and went to see the Swans from age nine. He was the longest-serving captain of the Dafen first team. He worked at Thomas and Clement and Margam Steelworks. He was an only child but his home was always full of children. He moved to Dafen because his best friend, Peter Davies, was playing there. He met my mother through Peter and they married in the 1950s. Peter went on to play for Arsenal.”

Howard’s first experience of cricket at Dafen was when his father would take him to Dafen Park during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Clearly, watching the likes of Gwyn Treharne, Rhidwyn Daniel and Bernard James left a positive impression on the young man from Tyisha and he set his mind on playing cricket for Dafen.

Lisa said: “Dad was offered a contract with Glamorgan but he didn’t take it up because of having me as a baby and needing to earn a living. They soon had twin boys and his commitment to us outweighed his commitment to sport. As a family man he was kind, generous and would help anyone. He could talk to anyone and charm them. To Neil, David and myself he was our dad and we loved him dearly. He went as he wanted to go: not in any pain and not after a prolonged illness.”

The funeral took place at Llanelli Crematorium on Thursday (Jan 26).

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Community

Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages

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Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.


Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.


More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said:  “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.


“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.


“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”

Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative

Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.

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Sport

Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Sport

Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April  4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.  

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance. 

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate. 

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