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Meredith, 1934: Alan Morton — "Little Blue Devil"
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-05-05 18:12:31
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SCOTLAND WILL NEVER FIND A BETTER OUTSIDE LEFT THAN ALAN MORTON
Billy Meredith | 16/12/1934
"The Little Blue Devil." That was the nickname for Alan Morton, the most famous outside left of my time. He was an amateur with Queen's Park, later professional for Glasgow Rangers, and is now a director of the latter club.
And he was a "little blue devil," though many a right half-back or full-back may have had occasion frequently to describe him in stronger terms!
Alan Morton will linger in football memory for all time. He played thirty times for Scotland, breaking the great record of the equally great Bobby Walker, who had twenty-nine caps, while Morton had also thirteen inter-League medals — one for each year he played in senior football.
He secured all the honours in football that a Scotsman could win.
Morton was a midget. He stood about 5ft. 5in., but was the most elusive wingman I can remember; his body-swerve was uncanny, and he gave on the impression of having the ball tied to his toes.
For a defender to try to charge him off the ball was practically impossible, for Alan was so diminutive. Yet I never heard of him once shirking a tackle. He was always in the thick of the fray.
I recall the last international match in which I played for Wales. It was in 1920 at Cardiff against Scotland, and Alan Morton was playing outside left for "the enemy."
PLEASING END TO CAREER
It was, I believe, Morton's first international. He played really well. At that time he was an amateur with Queen's Park, and I remember saying to certain Scottish officials after the match that Morton was Scotland's outside left for years to come.
I have always watched Morton's career with interest, and how pleasing it is to see that he has not gone out of football now that his playing days are over.
As a director of Glasgow Rangers he will be able to render good advice, and be able to utilise his knowledge of the game for the benefit of those young men who hope to uphold the traditions of the famous Rangers.
Morton, besides being a fine purveyor of the ball to his inside colleagues, could also be regarded as a potential goal-scorer at any time.
He was, of course, greatly assisted first by Tommy Cairns, a fine partner, and latterly by Bob McPhail, an equally famous figure.
HEADLINES WERE RIGHT
Memories of Alan Morton, the footballer, always conjure up visions of that famous Scottish international success against England at Wembley, a few years ago, when Scotland's forward line consisted of Jackson, Dunn, Gallacher, James and Morton.
>What a dance they led the England defenders that day! Scotland won 5-1.
"England's humiliation" ran the headlines. It was, too. James and Morton simply paralysed the England defence, and I don't think Morton ever played a better game.
He was “the little blue devil” with a vengeance—the supreme artist-and Scotland will never find a better, even though Dally Duncan, of Derby County, appears adequately to be filling the bill just now.
Alan Morton never threw up his civilian occupation. He was, and still is, I believe, a mining surveyor.
The greatest Englishman outside left was Georgie Wall (Barnsley and Manchester United). He cost Manchester United about £175 in transfer fees from Barnsley when he signed in 1906.
He played for England about nine times-it should have been many more-but the war interfered with his career. While in the Service he assisted Hamilton Academicals, and afterwards Oldham Athletic and Rochdale.
You will see him at practically every home match of Manchester United, and I often wonder what he, in his heyday, would be worth to Manchester United to-day.
Wall once beat Scotland himself at Crystal Palace, scoring two bonny goals, which the oldtimers still love to talk about. He was magnificent in cutting in on goal, and finishing with a terrific shot.
There were many other outstanding outside lefts of my time. I recall Billy Townley (Blackburn), who once scored three goals for the Rovers in a Cup Final against Notts County, and Ted Vizard (Bolton and now manager of Swindon).
Then there were Jack Cox (Liverpool) and the famous Bobby Templeton (Aston Villa), while others were Eddie Mosscrop (Burnley), a schoolmaster, and Mr. Harold P. Hardman, the amateur of Blackpool and Everton, who is now a director of Manchester United.
To-day, I regard C. Bastin, of the Arsenal, as the best outside left. He has secured all the honours that the game can offer, yet he is only in his early twenties.
Glasgow Rangers officials, to whom I was talking recently, declared Bastin to be the best outside-left they had played against.
And how useful he is as a utility player is shown in that he plays inside-left for England, with Brook, of Manchester City, on the wing.
J. Hillman; R. Crompton
, H. Burgess; B. Warren, C. Roberts, P. McWilliam; W. I. Bassett
, S. Bloomer
, J. Goodall
, G. Morris, A. Morton.
F. Moss; T. Cooper, E. Hapgood
; C. Britton, J. Barker, G. Brown; S. Crooks, G. Eastham, H. Gallacher
, A. James
, C. Bastin.
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