Off-spinner Michael Morgan made his debut for Nottinghamshire in 1957, appeared in 61 matches over five seasons and was the County’s leading wicket-taker in 1959.
Born on 21 May 1936 in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, Morgan first played for the Notts Second Eleven in 1954. His senior debut came three years later, in June 1957 against Cambridge University at Trent Bridge, when he claimed five wickets in the match. He next played against Derbyshire at Ilkeston in late July and then remained in the side until the end of the season, finishing with 17 wickets from 11 starts. Opportunities were limited the following year, when he took seven wickets in his six starts, but he did record the only fifty of his career with 56no against Leicestershire.
If 1959 was the most successful season of Morgan’s career, it was a poor one for his team. For the second year running, Notts finished in last place in the County Championship and in his end of season report, the Club Chairman declared that ‘the bowling was again not up to standard.’ Morgan and John Cotton were the only two bowlers singled out for any praise. ‘Michael Morgan, called on to do a lot of work, really earned his 88 wickets’, concluded the Chairman. Morgan sent down 873 overs in 27 matches that season, was Notts’ leading wicket-taker and recorded his best First-Class analysis of 6-50 against Middlesex at Trent Bridge.
Ahead of the 1960 season, Nottinghamshire signed off-spinner Bryan ‘Bomber’ Wells from Gloucestershire and he took the role as the County’s premier spinner, thus reducing the opportunities for Morgan. He played a further 17 times over the next two seasons and took his career wicket tally to 146.
Mike Morgan played his final First XI game for Nottinghamshire in July 1961 against Lancashire at Southport. He was released at the end of the season, finishing his career with 146 wickets, more than 60 per cent of which were taken in his standout year of 1959. In his very last match, Morgan played for Notts Seconds against Warwickshire and signed off with a significant last-ditch victim, bowling Dennis Amiss in the Warwickshire first innings for 15.
Morgan moved with his parents to the West Midlands at an early age as his father got a job in the car industry. After he left the Notts staff in 1961 he returned to that area and moved to Coventry, worked for Jaguar and played cricket for their works team.
Michael died in Hinckley, Leicestershire, on 14 February 2023, aged 86.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 410