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Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:53 pm

Ken Morgans
Image Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans was born in Swansea, Wales on 16 March 1939. He signed for Manchester United on leaving school in the summer of 1955 and played on the youth team's right wing.

During the 1957-58 season he won himself a fixed place in the first team, at the expense of the older and more experienced Johnny Berry, and suffered minor injuries in the Munich air disaster, when still only 18 years old. He was youngest player involved in the crash.

Although he made a full recovery following the crash, he never regained his form on the pitch, and left the club in 1961, having made 23 first-team appearances without scoring a goal. He later played in the lower divisions for Swansea City and Newport County before retiring from football in 1967.


Year Club Apps (goals)

1956-1961 Man United 17 (0)
1961 - 1964 Swansea City 54 (8)
1964-1967 Newport County 126 (44)

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Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:39 am

Yes :)

Funny enough though, I can't really remember dad or or dadcu talk about him much :?

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Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:04 pm

This si taken from the Beeb website

Busby Babe remembers
Kenny Morgans (third from right)
Morgans says the Busby Babes would have been world beaters
*Watch the full feature on "Sport Wales", BBC Two Wales & 2W, Thursday, 31 January (2200 GMT)

Former Manchester United player Kenny Morgans was just 18 when the plane carrying him and his fellow 'Busby Babes' home from a European Cup tie crashed in Munich.

Fifty years on, the Welshman has given the BBC's "Sport Wales" programme a moving account of how he survived the disaster, which claimed the lives of eight team-mates as well as 15 other passengers on 6 February, 1958.

United were on their way back from a match against Red Star Belgrade - where Matt Busby's young team had secured a place in the semi-finals of the European Cup with a 3-3 draw - when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take-off after stopping in Munich to refuel.

Mr Morgans, from Swansea, describes how the tragedy tore apart potentially "the best team in the world".

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Friends and colleagues such as Eddie Colman, Tommy Taylor and Roger Byrne were killed in the crash, while star player Duncan Edwards died from his injuries two weeks after the disaster.

"The memories are are always with me. I've got a picture of the last line-up in my lounge at home. I see that every day so I see the boys every day," said Mr Morgans, now 68.

"We would've been world beaters. If that team hadn't been through the crash, we would've been the best team in the world. We had another 14, 15 years in front of us."

Mr Morgans joined Busby's youth revolution at Old Trafford on leaving school in the summer of 1955 after being spotted playing for the Welsh Schoolboys side.

I don't know how any of us got out alive

Kenny Morgans

He worked his way up through the ranks at United and established himself in the first team in the months leading up to the Munich disaster.

"I went there straight from school," he said. "I never went on holiday, so I'd hardly been out of Swansea. Manchester was my first big city.

"In the three months before the crash, I played 13 or 15 games without losing. I'd been lucky enough to take the place of Johnny Berry, who was one of the best wingers in the country at the time.

"We were in the European Cup and after we drew in Belgrade, we were through to the semi-finals."

Recalling how the disaster unfolded, Mr Morgans said: "We came back from Belgrade into Munich to refuel. The weather was bad, it was snowing.

"Three times we tried to take off. The first and second times, we didn't get airborne so the plane started swerving and sliding.

"The third time, we were going along the runway and we were accelerating. I looked out of the window to see us going up the runway and we hit a fence. That was the last time I knew anything about it.

"I must've gone underneath the plane and ended up with all the cases. That's where I was found by two German reporters who had gone back to look for the film [of the game in Belgrade].

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"This was hours after the official search had been called off. It was hours after everyone was either in hospital or somewhere else.

"I was unconscious for three days. I lost some blood and had a few cuts and bruises. The crash was on the Thursday and I woke up on the Sunday in hospital.

"I was in a big room. There were five of us there. I looked round and I could see Bobby Charlton, Dennis Violet, Ray Wood and Albert Scanlon. I thought all the other boys must have been in the other rooms.

"After a while, a professor in the hospital came round, sat beside me and told me that people had died.

"I couldn't believe it until days after. It was so quiet. I used to speak to my fiancé from Swansea on the phone and that used to get me away from football. If it hadn't been for her, don't know what would've happened.

"I've since looked at pictures of the crash and I don't know how any of us got out alive. The photos were terrible."

I would've loved to have played for Wales in the 1958 World Cup

Kenny Morgans

Mr Morgans made a full recovery from his injuries after spending three weeks in hospital but was never able to regain the impressive form he had shown before the crash.

After making 23 first-team appearances for United, he left Old Trafford in 1961 to join hometown club Swansea City and later played for Newport County.

"I came back too soon," said Mr Morgans. "I was back playing about a month after the crash.

"I shouldn't have played until the following year. But there were no players at United. All the wingers were killed.

"I lost that extra yard [of pace], and if a winger loses that extra yard, he can't play well.

"I'd been picked to go to the World Cup in 1958 with the Welsh team. Of course Pele was only 18 at the time. I would've loved to have played for Wales in the World Cup. But I was too bad.

"I stayed on at Manchester United for two years, but that was enough. I then had the chance to join the Swans, which I did.

"Nothing could beat the feeling of playing for a club like United, although I have enjoyed my life and I like talking about the players I played with at Old Trafford. I'll never forget them."

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Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:47 pm

Another great post t.d. Thanks (Y)


Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:07 pm

From MEN

Man who could have won '58 final
Stuart Mathieson
5/ 2/2008

KENNY Morgans could have been a key figure in the emotional 1958 FA Cup final for United against Bolton.

But he was left out of the Wembley XI because it was thought the 18-year-old Munich survivor would have been overwhelmed by the occasion.

Welshman Morgans was the youngest player in the United squad involved in the accident and was last to be pulled out of the wreckage.

He was to return to the Reds first team in the April but missed the big Wembley final in which the makeshift team went down 2-0 to Bolton.

"I shouldn't really have played until the following year. But Jimmy Murphy came down to Swansea and said you have got to come back because I haven't got any wingers. So I went back," Kenny recalls.

"I played in the first team and played in the last game before the FA Cup Final.

"On the Saturday morning of the final when I was walking around Wembley, Jimmy came up to me and put his arm around me and said, `Dai, you are not playing today.'

"It upset me because I wanted to win the Cup for the boys that had died.

"Jimmy explained his reasons saying that he felt the atmosphere would be too much for me.

"But then we played AC Milan five days later in the semi-final of the European Cup. I was the best player on the park.


"Later Jimmy called me into his office and said he was sorry and that if I had played at Wembley he thinks I would have won the game for United."

But amid an unwritten silence surrounding the crash, the young Morgans, who had only made his debut in the December before the accident, found football after Munich tough.

"I found it very hard when I got back to training with United after the crash because they didn't talk about the players," the ex-winger says.

"It was if they had never played for United.

"Matt never talked about it. It would have been easier if we had been able to talk about the crash and the players afterwards.

"There was nothing like grief counsellors or anything like that. We didn't talk about it amongst ourselves. Nobody wanted to talk about it. We wanted to blank it out.

"You always wondered why you were alive but others were dead. But you just felt lucky to be alive.

"There was no fun at the club any more. Tommy Taylor and Jackie Blanchflower had a party piece where they used to fight each other. It used to be real!

"Tommy said he used to work down the mines so he would get under the table and show us what he did down the mine. It was a scream.

"But after the crash I didn't really care any more. I missed the boys. I stayed two years at Old Trafford after Munich and I was unhappy for those two years. I just didn't want to play football again.

"I was never the same player again. I went back to Swansea and played for them."

A initially highly promising United career ended with just 23 appearances on his Old Trafford record.

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Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:05 pm

Thanks for that Rob :)

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If you click on the listen link next to Kenny's name, well you can listen to him :o :P

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Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:33 pm

Kenny Morgans and Albert Scanlan are on MUTV live now.

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Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:54 pm

50 Years On – Kenny Morgans – The Likeable Welshman

At the time of the Munich tragedy, Kenny Morgans was the youngest of the “Busby Babes”. He was born in Swansea on March 16th 1939 and joined Manchester united shortly after his 15th birthday in 1954. Like many of the young boys who joined Manchester United at that time, he was initially taken on as a Ground Staff boy, and like many of his predecessors, worked around the stadium painting the stands, helping in the boot room, tending the laundry, and cleaning out the dressing rooms and baths. Far removed from what was perceived to be the life of a budding professional footballer.

Kenny was the quiet, self effacing Welsh boy. But he had an abundance of skill. This did not go unnoticed by the Manchester united Coaching staff. He was a right winger who possessed all the trickery needed to take on some of the tough uncompramising defenders that played in the game at all levels at that time. He had great feet, similar to a certain young Irishman who was to come to the fore a good few years later. Kenny had a great feel for the ball and was able to keep it close to either foot as he ran at full backs. Aligned to that, he had terrific pace and once he had turned them, there was no catching him and he would then deliver quality balls into the penalty box to the delight of the other forwards.

He progressed from the junior team through the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams and was also the star in two FA youth cup winning teams in 1955/56, and 1956/57. He was also playing in the Youth team that began its defence of the trophy in 1957/58. My own memories of him were seeing him initially in the Youth team during the 1955/56 season, particularly against Chesterfield in the Final first leg at Old Trafford. This young Welsh boy, with the frail physique, tormented the bigger Chesterfield defenders throughout the game and he was responsible for laying on two of the three goals that United’s young team scored that evening. I can recall that when the final whistle was blown, and United had won by 3-2, as the players left the pitch hordes of young kids ran on to the pitch and surrounded two players. One was Chesterfield’s young 17 years old goalkeeper who had put in an astonishing performance which kept the score line respectable (it was none other than Gordon Banks) and the other was young Morgans.
Kenny began to develop a reputation and fast became a favourite of those fans who went to watch the Reserve team on a regular basis. Towards the end of that 1955/56 season, he had started to appear as a regular name on the Reserve team sheet. At this time, United were blessed with some top class wingers; David Pegg, Johnny Berry, Albert Scanlon, Johnny Scott, Noel MacFarklane, and even fellow Welshman and international, Colin Webster. So progressing to the first team was going to be a challenge but it was one that he quietly got on with.

The following season, 1956/57, he was again appearing regularly at reserve team level and again starred in the Youth team which retained the FA Youth Cup beating West Ham united 8-2 on aggregate in the Final. His performances at both levels were beginning to make people to take notice. Johnny Berry though had been Mr. Consistency for the previous five seasons, and he was a delight to watch. In today’s modern game, Berry would have had people sitting on the edge of their seats! I think that it would also be truthful to say that Morgans, once he had broken into the first team, would have had the same effect.

I recall a Wednesday evening in November of 1957 when I went to watch the Manchester United Youth team play in a Youth Cup tie at Maine Road against arch rivals Manchester City. Over 25,000 fans turned up that evening to watch Morgans put on a dazzling display of wing play which if my memory is correct, was the biggest factor in United winning comfortably by 4-1. He was mesmeric that evening and the young City defence just could not cope with his dribbling skills and his pace… he simply tore them apart. He was certainly ready for first team football even though he was just 18 years of age.

His big day came on December 21st 1957 when Busby freshened up his team and left Berry out to introduce young Morgans. The match was against Leicester City at Old Trafford and was won by 4-1. He only missed 1 game, and that was against Luton Town on Boxing Day 1957, out of the next 11 which took them to the ill fated journey to Belgrade. He had become a fixture and first choice, and Berry would have a battle on his hands to regain his place. Big Tommy Taylor particularly, took a liking to the service that Morgans wing play provided for him and he told him;

“Dai, you hit those crosses as hard as you like, but remember this…make sure that they’re nine feet high!”
Once around his full back, Kenny would look up and put it exactly where the big Yorkshireman wanted it… on his head.

The horror of Munich could have been even greater because if it hadn’t been for the vigilance of two German journalists. Initially, as the horror of the accident unfolded, amongst all the chaos, Morgans was not on the survivors list, nor was he on the roll of people who had died. The reason for this was that he wasn’t found until five hours after the accident had happened, and it was the two German journalists who had returned to the broken tail section of the aircraft to look for two cans of film that they had put on the aircraft earlier. As they searched around they saw something move and found Morgans underneath one of the aircraft wheels and surrounded by a lot of the luggage. They had found that he was breathing, called for help, and got him to the hospital. In getting him out of the wreckage, they had to cut him out of his new Italian suit. The trip had been his first into Europe with the first team and he’d been fitted out for a suit just like the rest of the other players. It’s a miracle that he hadn’t frozen to death in the five hours that had elapsed since the time of impact until the time that the reporters found him. He was in a coma and did not wake up in the hospital until Sunday, February 9th, 1958.

Kenny suffered head injuries and he woke up in a room that was also occupied by Bobby Charlton, Albert Scanlon, and Ray Wood. Initially, he thought that a lot of players were upstairs on another floor in that hospital, but sadly, after a few days, the full stark reality of what had happened, was there before him. Upon leaving hospital in late march, the physicians advised him not to try and play competitive football again that season, but in his own words;

“I was desperate to get playing again because I wanted to play for Duncan, for Tommy, and all those boys who never came back. They’d played in the Cup Final the year before and lost and I was prepapred to play my heart out in the Final against Bolton.”

Sadly, that wasn’t to be. He’d returned to first team action On easter Saturday 1958, in a home game against Preston North End which ended 0-0. He was then virtually ever present until the end of the season. It was sad that Jimmy Murphy left him out of the Cup Final team in 1958. My own theory on this is that he was left out to accommodate the inclusion of Dennis Viollet. Alex Dawson who was a centre forward, was moved to outside right. According to Kenny, Jimmy’s reasoning for leaving him out was that he had lost weight and thought that the occasion would be too much for him emotionally. United lost that Final by 2-0 but on the following Thursday evening, he was selected for the team that defeated AC Milan 2-1 in the first leg of the European Cup Semi-Final at Old Trafford, and he was man of the match. Jimmy regretted leaving him out of the Final line up at Wembley the previous Saturday and admitted to Kenny the morning after the AC Milan game.

For the next two years he fought to re-establish himself as a top First Division performer but there were so many obstacles. As he recalls;
“I stayed for two more years but I wasn't really interested. I missed the boys so much. Because of what had happened to them, I just didn't seem to care. I tried, but the players were not the same and that upset me. We used to have two dressing rooms, one for the first team, and the other for the reserves.
"When I came back after the crash, all the reserves were in the first-team dressing room. Some of them were never good enough to be there. The Babes were the best team there'd ever been.
"The sadness is there - every time I look at that painting of the last line up. Had they all lived, they would have been the best team in the world. People laugh at me when I say it, but the Babes were so good, they never made mistakes. You know, I never lost a game with the old team."
Kenny left Manchester United for his home town club of Swansea in 1961 and he stayed there for three years making 54 appearances. He then moved on to Newport County where between 1964 and 1967 making 125 appearances before he retired from first class football. Today he lives quietly with his wife Stefanie in Swnasea.

Kenny Morgans made 24 first class appearances for Manchester United.

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Re: Kenneth 'Ken' Morgans

Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:14 am


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