Morris Harry Image 2 Brentford 1921

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Description

Having  served in the Middlesex Regiment during the First World War, Spitalfields, London born centre forward David Hyman “Harry” Morris began his football career in 1918 with local Hackney Marshes side Vicar of Wakefield before being spotted by Phil Kelso and joining Second Division Fulham in May 1919, making his Football League debut against Stockport County in August 1920, scoring in a 3-1 victory. It was a sign of things to come in a career that would see him score over 300 goals. However he wasn’t retained at Craven Cottage and moved to Brentford in June 1921 after 3 goals in 7 appearances.

Morris joined Division Three South side Brentford in 1921. With the Bees having finished second from bottom in their first season in the League, he helped inspire the side to a 9th-place finish in the 1921-22 season, top-scoring with 17 goals in 39 appearances. He top-scored again in the 1922-23 season with 13 goals from 24 appearances, but departed Griffin Park in February 1923 when signed by Millwall for £750. Morris made 63 appearances and scored 30 goals during his 18 months with The Bees.

Over the course of his 2 years with Millwall he scored 30 goals in 76 appearances for The Lions as the club consistently challenged for promotion to Division Two. He departed The Den in May 1925 to join Second Division Swansea Town, spending a single season in South Wales, scoring 5 goals in 9 appearances.

Morris dropped back down to the Division Three South to sign for Swindon Town in June 1926 for a £110 fee. He had a brilliant start to his career at the County Ground, netting hat-tricks in each of his first two matches against Southend United and Exeter City. He scored in the following two matches to set a club record of scoring in each of his first four games, which stood alone until it was matched in September 2014 by Jonathan Obika.

Flourishing under Sam Allen’s management, Morris finished the 1926=27 season with 47 goals from 43 games (a club record which still stands), but problems with the defence meant The Robins could only manage a fifth place finish. He also became the first Swindon player to notch five goals in a single game, which came in a win over Queens Park Rangers in December 1926. He repeated the feat in a 5-1 demolition of Norwich City in April 1930. He also went on a run of scoring in 11 consecutive games during the season, scoring 19 goals.

Despite failing to win any silverware, Morris was top scorer in each of his seven seasons with Swindon and bagged 18 hattricks. In addition, he was top scorer in the Division Three (South) in the 1926-27 and 1927-28 seasons and his record for the 1926-27 season stands at the eighth-highest single season goal tally in Football League history. Deemed too old by incoming manager Ted Vizard, Morris was released prior to the start of the 1933-34 season.

During his seven years with Swindon, Morris scored an incredible 228 goals in 279 games and is still the club’s leading goalscorer. His overall League goalscoring record is the 17th-highest in English football history. In 1955, 22 years after leaving the County Ground, Morris applied for a coaching role with the club, but was rejected. In a poll to celebrate the Football League’s 125th anniversary, Morris was voted Swindon’s greatest-ever player by the club’s supporters.

After leaving Swindon Morris signed for Division Three (South) Clapton Orient in July 1933 and scored 11 goals in 15 appearances during 1933-34. Morris finished his career in non-league football with Southern League side Cheltenham Town, joining them in 1934. Morris had a spell coaching in Gothenburg, Sweden in the late 1930’s.

Morris was a rare example of a Jewish footballer, two others being Luton Town’s Irish international Louis Bookman and Charlton’s Bert Goodman. Morris only refused to play on High Holidays.

 

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