Away From The Numbers

Henry Morris Interview

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East Fife goalscoring legend Henry Morris' story is quite a remarkable one, and on April 6th 1990, BBC Scotland's "Friday Sportscene" sent along Jim Craig to interview Henry about his brief Scotland career. Here's a transcription of that interview:

Intro:

Between 1946 and 1953, Henry Morris was a prolific goalscorer. The East Fife centre-forward starred in the sides that won the League Cup in 1947/48 and 1949/50, and scored an amazing 62 goals when the Methil men won the "B" Division title back in '48.

Henry Morris - East Fife Legend
HM: Well, we had a pretty decent side and to get all these honours in that short space of time just shows itself how good we were.

JC: I take it the centre-forward's role was a bit harder then. Bigger centre halfs, less mobile centre-halfs in some ways.

HM: Well there were what were called "stopper" centre-halfs just coming in at the time. Big George Young and people like that. These were the men that towered over you, but it was quite an exciting time in the football game.

JC: Now, you have a most unusual international record because you got one cap for Scotland, which was against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in 1949. It was also Scotland's first World Cup game in actual fact. The Home International Championship was to be the deciding factor on who was going to the World Cup at that time. Now Scotland won 8-2 and you got the first goal, but more than that happened.

HM: That's right, I got a hat-trick. Well what should I say?! Well we had a good team, put it that way, and they made it easy for me, well I think they did anyway! But I can remember the first goal. It came in the first two minutes -a header from Willie Waddell's cross.

JC: Which you could say was Scotland's first ever World Cup goal.

HM: Yes, the first World Cup goal.

JC: and the next two…

HM: The next two were close-in attempts, both in the second half and I can't remember much about them.

JC: But the almost fantastic thing that happened afterwards was that in spite of scoring a hat-trick in your first international, that was your only international appearance.

HM: Yes, that's correct. I was disappointed, naturally, not getting another game, but there was nothing much I could do about it, it was out of my hands. The amount of people that's asked me why I didn't get another game. I wish I had a tenner for everyone!

JC: What do you think of modern football?

HM: A lot of the games are "thou shalt not pass" sorts of thing. Defenders, they won't let them pass at any time. Fouls nowadays outside the penalty box, they don't mean much. The recovery's brilliant. The changes of scoring outside the penalty box are nil, so therefore, if you get passed one of the defenders, you're liable to be brought down. I think so anyway.