Former BBC and ITV sports presenter Des Lynam has issued a glowing tribute to rugby legend Cliff Morgan, who has died at the age of 83.
Cliff was one of the most charismatic men I ever met. I knew him as a brilliant rugby player for Wales and the British Lions only through those grainy black and white images from the Fifties but later he was my boss at BBC Radio, became my mentor and we formed a friendship that lasted for forty years.
A brilliant broadcaster himself, his advice to those of us trying to make our way in the business was wise and invaluable. But underlying it all was his great sense of fun. “Enjoy yourself”, he would say, “it’s not working down the mine, is it?” Many of his family had done precisely that.
– Des Lynam
His generosity of spirit was legendary. He would travel the length and breath of the country at his own expense for charitable causes until in recent years he suffered the tragic indignity of losing his voice to cancer and that wonderful, mellifluous instrument would be heard in public no more.
Cliff himself once wrote of the untimely passing of another old friend and colleague. “I won’t believe it if I don’t want to.” That’s exactly how I feel right now.
Cliff Morgan commentated on Gareth Edwards' legendary try during the Barbarians v New Zealand match in January 1973.
– Dennis Gethin, WRU President
I have lost a friend and we have all lost one of rugby's greats who was also a true gentleman. His exploits as a player for Cardiff, Wales, the Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions are legendary but he also achieved so much off the field of play.
As a broadcaster he became one of the best known faces and voices of radio and television in the UK and as a producer and editorial executive he reached the top of his profession.
Despite all that success he remained a true gentleman throughout his life and always remained a true son of the Rhondda.
Sad to hear that Cliff Morgan has died. A trailblazer for top sportsmen going into broadcasting. Eloquent, passionate, witty, Charming #RIP
We are all very sad to hear about the passing of Cliff Morgan, such a great man and dear friend of ours.
Cliff Morgan absolute legend and a true gent. He'll be sadly missed.
The former Welsh international fly-half and esteemed rugby commentator Cliff Morgan has passed away at the age of 83, the BBC has announced.
Morgan represented his country 29 times, while playing his club rugby for Cardiff, and captained the British Lions during the 1955 tour of South Africa.
Upon retirement, he wrote and commentated on the sport, most memorably in describing Gareth Edwards score what is often cited as the "greatest try of all time" against the All Blacks for the Barbarians in 1973.
Morgan later also served as the head of BBC outside broadcasts.