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Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:16

RIP Elfed Morris

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Elfed Morris309Everyone at Wrexham Football Club was saddened to learn of the passing away of yet another former Wrexham player, Elfed Morris on 4th November.

Elfed was the nephew of former Wrexham manager Billy Morris. He began playing football for Abergele Grammar School, from where he represented the North Wales Youth side. He joined Colwyn Bay upon leaving school, but it wasn't long before he began to attract the attention of Football League clubs. Crystal Palace were one of them, and he went to Selhurst Park for a three month trial period, though he failed to win a contract.

It was then that Wrexham secretary Cliff Lloyd invited him to the Racecourse for trials, and he obliged by scoring four goals in his first reserve team match. Not surprisingly, he was offered professional terms immediately afterwards. Elfed duly signed in May 1960, just a month after his 18th birthday, and he quickly went on to establish himself in the reserve side in the Cheshire County League.

In February 1961 he was selected to make his first team debut in a Football League Cup match against Aston Villa, following an injury to the regular outside-right, Gren Jones, although Wrexham lost the match 5-0! His Football League debut came the following month, in a 2-0 defeat at Millwall, but he went on to finish the season in style, scoring in the last three matches of the season: a 3-1 home win, over Aldershot, a 2-0 win at Oldham, and a 2-1 home win against Workington.

The club appointed a new manager in the summer, Ken Barnes, and Elfed found himself back in the reserves for the start of the 1961/62 campaign, one which saw him make just eight more senior appearances before he was transferred to neighbours Chester for £750 in the summer of 1962.

He again found himself playing reserve team football at Sealand Road, and it wasn't until April 1963 that he finally made his first team debut for Chester in a 1-0 home win over Rochdale. He went on to become a regular in the Chester side for the next five seasons, making almost 200 appearances, and scoring 84 goals. He was the club's top scorer in 1965/66, the same season that he collected a Welsh Cup runners'-up medal as Chester lost to Swansea Town in the Final.

His form for Chester saw Elfed earn a call-up to the Welsh Under-23 squad, but he failed to win a cap. He was to score 69 league goals for Chester over six years, making him the club’s fourth highest goalscorer in their history.

Elfed left Chester in March 1968, and joined Halifax Town for an undisclosed fee. He made just nine League appearances for the 'Shaymen' before moving on at the end of the season. He then returned to North Wales and joined Caernarvon Town where, on 22nd November 1968, he was appointed player/manager. However, he left the club at the end of the season, after reported differences between himself and the executive committee.

Elfed later played for Bethesda Athletic and Llandudno Borough before joining his home town team, Colwyn Bay, in March 1970. He spent two years with them before returning to Bethesda in the summer of 1972, though he was back at Colwyn Bay in December of the same year following his appointment as the club's player/manager. He remained in that position until 1974, whereupon he helped to run five junior teams, Min-Y-Dors.

Having finished playing professional football he began working as a milkman, later becoming an insurance agent. He’d settled in Colwyn Bay and opened his own entertainment agency, but remained a keen supporter of the Colwyn Bay team. He later became groundsman at Llanelian Road, and in recognition of his work in Sepember 2009 he was awarded as the Unibond League Groundsman of the Year.

The thoughts of everyone at Wrexham Football Club go out to Elfed’s family

John Mills