Lives Remembered

Brian Morgan: Faith, family and football defined Crossmaglen man's life

Brian Morgan with his sister Margaret McConville, mother of Armagh All-Ireland winner Oisin

FAITH, family and football defined Brian Morgan's life.

Born in 1937, a son of James and Mary Morgan, Brian was one of 11 children in a family with a long association and affiliation with Crossmaglen Rangers GAC.

He was just 16 years old in 1953 when he lined out for Cross seniors for the first time.

The following year Brian won an Ulster medal with Armagh minors and in 1956 he joined the county senior panel, following in the footsteps of his brother Gene.

He made his debut when Armagh beat Tyrone by a point in the Ulster championship.

When St Oliver Plunkett Park was officially opened in Crossmaglen in 1959, Brian was also a member of the Armagh team who played Monaghan.

The 1960s were glorious years for the club and he featured strongly on theses teams, winning Armagh Senior Championship medals in 1960, '62, '65, '66 and '67.

Brian (front row, centre) won five Armagh Senior Championship medals with Crossmaglen

But as was the norm for a lot of Irish young men during that decade, Brian emigrated to England.

It was there he met his wife Ann, a nurse from Wales.

They returned to Ireland, bought a house in Cherryvale, Dundalk, and that is where they reared their three children, Damian, Geraldine and Annette, and is still the family home today.

Brian worked for the Catholic Book Club based in Greenbank, Newry until his job moved to Dundalk when it opened a base there.

A man of great faith, he was heavily involved in parish work in Dundalk.

However, as a lifelong member, supporter and friend of Cross Rangers, Brian never forgot his roots.

He travelled near and far to support the club and was exceptionally proud of all the Morgan family connections who played in the black and amber.

Brian was truly devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren and he visited his sisters in Cross religiously every Wednesday.

Last May, when the club hosted a gala evening honouring the victorious teams of the sixties, we were delighted that Brian, Ann and their daughter Annette's family joined us.

Brian Morgan (back row, fifth from left) at a reunion of Crossmaglen Rangers players from the 1960s

It was lovely to see old teammates reunited to reminisce about golden days. Memories were created on a special evening which will treasured by families forever.

Brian Morgan died aged 82 on March 18.

We send our sincere condolences to Ann, Damian, Geraldine and Annette, his grandchildren Rachel, Megan, Conor, Emma, Aaron and Aoibheann, brother John and sisters Margaret, Kathleen, Annie and Jeanette.

Roisin Murtagh, Crossmaglen Rangers

Brian Morgan (middle row, first from left) with his Crossmaglen teammates in the early 1960s

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Lives Remembered