Norman Morgan: Llanhilleth Rugby Star
Norman Morgan began his rugby career with Llanhilleth and played for them, as a 16-year-old, in their first Ben Francis Cup final in 1952. They beat Blackwood, at Newbridge, by 3 points to nil.
While doing his National Service he played for the British Army and was recommended for trial at Newport by Major Brian Dauncey.
A prestigious kicker, he played for Newport from 1955 to 1962 scoring 951 points, a club record until surpassed by Paul Turner in 1991. In his first season he beat Ben Edwards’ record with 159 points.
In 1960 he was selected to play for Wales against Scotland, and joined teammates Bryn Meredith, who captained the side, and back rowers Brian Cresswell, Glyn Davidge and Geoff Whitson. The game was won 8 points to nil, with Norman converting a try by Dewi Bebb and kicking a penalty. That year he went on to gain 2 more caps, against France and Ireland, totalling 14 points with 2 penalties and 4 conversions.
As well as Llanhilleth, the British Army, Wales and his 209 appearances for Newport, Norman also played 10 times for Monmouthshire and represented the Barbarians and Crawshays.
He once kicked 4 penalties in a 12 – 8 victory over Newport’s great rivals Cardiff and dropped a goal when Newport defeated the 1957 Wallabies by 11 points to Nil.
Injury forced him to miss the 1960 match against South Africa, lost by Nil points to 3, a match that would surely have been won had he played.
His rugby career was cut short by injury in 1962.
Born 26th March 1935, he lived at 8, Pleasant View until his marriage to Pat Rathbone.
We are grateful to the friends of Newport RFC for some on the details here and the image taken from a Newport team photograph.
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