One of Hastings’ finest ever cricketers has died suddenly aged 69.
Richard ‘Dick’ Morgan, a former England Schools captain, passed away on Saturday morning as a result of pneumonia just hours after being admitted to hospital.
He was the first Hastings Priory player to do the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season, and was still helping out with the first team on matchdays right up until his sad passing.
Graeme Mounsey, Priory’s treasurer and an honorary life member, played with Dick during the 1950s and early 1960s. He said: “He was an extremely good cricketer, probably one of the best that’s come out of the town.
“There’s no doubt in my mind he would’ve played for the county and possibly England if he had been so minded. He was like Harry Finch; he took cricket by the scruff of the neck and dominated the game.”
Dick was born in the town and attended Hastings Grammar School where he captained the cricket team from 1960-62. He played for English Schools in 1961 and 1962, captaining the side in the latter year. He represented Sussex seconds from 1962-1964.
Dick’s best season for Priory was in 1966 when he scored 1,204 runs at an average of 50.16 and took 112 wickets at 13.9. He skippered the side in 1965 and 1966, but retired from cricket aged 34 because of a knee injury.
Dick was colts co-ordinator at Crowhurst Park from 1990-94 when son John was developing as a cricketer. John moved on to Priory in 1995 and Dick went to virtually every Priory first team game from 1997 onwards.
As well as doing the administration jobs on matchdays, he was a Priory committee member for a decade, vice-president, honorary auditor and founder member of the supporters’ club. Dick was an accountant by profession, something which John followed him into.
Dick, who met wife Eileen at the old Central Ground, was also a decent footballer. He played for Sussex Schools and was part of the Bexhill Town side which won the Sussex County League in 1965/66.
Phil Wren, who played cricket and football with Dick, added: “Richard was a perfectionist. As a footballer he was excellent; he had good control, his passing was immaculate and he read the game. He was probably the best all-rounder I ever saw in club cricket; he had tremendous ability.”
Away from sport, Dick enjoyed going on long walks and dearly loved his young grandson Oliver. John says he has been overwhelmed by messages of support from a whole host of people.
Dick’s funeral will take place at Hastings Crematorium on Wednesday (July 10) from 2pm followed by a gathering at Horntye Park. All family and friends are welcome.