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.