Wales rugby union legend Cliff Morgan dies after a long illness

Last Updated: 29/08/13 11:02am

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Cliff Morgan in action for the Lions back in 1956

Cliff Morgan in action for the Lions back in 1956

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Wales rugby union international and broadcaster Cliff Morgan has died at the age of 83 after a long illness.

Morgan won 29 caps for his country before becoming one of the sport's leading commentators, predominately for the BBC.

He was one of the leading fly-halves of his generation, joining Cardiff straight out of school and winning his first Wales cap at the age of 21 in 1951 against Ireland.

Morgan was part of the Welsh Grand Slam-winning team of 1952 and was then named captain in 1956 after a successful Lions tour of South Africa the previous year.

His retirement followed in 1958 and he soon moved into broadcasting, adding to his fame with the commentary of Gareth Edwards' incredible try for the Barbarians against the touring All Blacks in 1973.

Morgan was one of the first inductees into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997 alongside Edwards and JPR Williams.

A glittering broadcasting career continued through multiple football World Cups, Olympic and Commonwealth Games, as well as non-sporting broadcasts including royal weddings and other national ceremonies.

Welsh Rugby Union president Dennis Gethin said: "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. He was rightly honoured during his life and he will definitely be remembered for all his contributions in so many fields of excellence."

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