The oldest surviving cricketer to have played First Grade in the premier Sydney competition, Les Morgan, passed away on Wednesday six months after celebrating his 100th birthday.

Mr Morgan turned 100 on 23 December 2017 and was a distinguished First Grade player for both Western Suburbs (1937-43) and Balmain (1943-54).

He played five seasons with Western Suburbs in First Grade before making the move to Balmain (now Sydney) in 1943-44, where he captained the First Grade team for nine seasons.

Over an outstanding career that spanned 17 years at the highest level of Sydney Grade cricket, Mr Morgan played 224 matches, amassed 3,968 runs and claimed 402 wickets at 20.19 as a faster off-spinner.

He twice took 50 wickets in a season, with a best return of 56 scalps at 12.50 in 1941-42.

Mr Morgan collected five wickets in an innings on 24 occasions with best figures of 6-11. He scored one century during his First Grade career and 20 half-centuries.

His highest score and best figures came in the same match either side of his 29th birthday across the Christmas/New Year period of 1946-47. 

During day one on 21 December 1946, Mr Morgan scored 133 in 144 minutes. He then followed that up with figures of 6-11 and 5-44 on 4 January 1947 to help Balmain dismiss University for 22 and 73 and lead his team to a comprehensive victory by an innings and 247 runs.

Only two other players have achieved that feat of a century and 10 wickets in a match, former New South Wales player the late Charlie Kelleway, and Blues allrounder between 2002-2010, Grant Lambert.

Mr Morgan also played alongside some of the greats of the game like the late Stan McCabe, Sid Barnes, Keith Miller, Arthur Morris, Ian Craig and Ray Lindwall, as well as fellow New South Wales and Australian legendary left-arm fast bowler of the 1950s and early 1960s, Alan Davidson, who recently turned 89 years of age.

Les Morgan - First-Grade Career

Club N.O. H.S. Runs Ave. 100 50 Wkt Runs Ave. 5w
Western Suburbs 7 68 1276 15.95 0 4 176 2890 16.42 10
Balmain 19 133 2692 23.82 1 16 226 5229 23.13 14
Total 26 133 3968 20.55 1 20 402 8119 20.19 24

 

Funeral details for Mr. Les Morgan

South Chapel, Rookwood Gardens Crematorium on Wednesday 27 June at 12.30pm.