(d) = International debut, (c) = captain of international side.
Sir George Lockwood Morris made his debut for Swansea in 1878 and captained the club in the 1881/82 and 1882/83 seasons
The Cambrian weekly newspaper of 2nd September 1881 tells us of the Swansea Football Club AGM on 29th August where President Charlie Chambers announced that Swansea had lost just 2 of 10 matches in the previous campaign and won 7. Himself being re-elected, the honour of captaining the 1st XV was given to Sir George Lockwood Morris succeeding a founder member, Fred Meager who was to spend an increasing amount of time onthe committee and less playing. Tom Clark was elected to the Vice-captaincy and J C James to captain the fledgling 2nd XV.The 1st XV was changing as more of the early players retired and as has been a tradition ever since, moved to the administrative side of the Club thus ensuring continuity. At a game on 8th October against Newport at St Helens, we are told that Swansea struggled against a strong Gwent side and “From the 1st XV of the Swansea Club of last year, Richardson, Meager, Bath, Brown, Doggett, F C Jones and Carlisle did not play and will probably not take part in the forthcoming matches of this season.” (Cambrian 14th Oct 1881). This loss was despite the presence of David Gwynn and William Gwynn. Altogether, 7 new Swansea men were played that day. Newport were to continue to be the measure of Swansea’s success in this period and won the away fixture on 29th October in a violent encounter. In November, the newly formed Welsh Football Union encouraged the formation of County sides to further promote the game in Wales with the view to playing each other and English County sides. November 19th saw the first ever Welsh County game and the two first formed County sides of Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire played each other at St Helens. Many Swansea players were to gain Glamorgan caps against both County and International touring sides in the years ahead.
On 28th of January 1882 at Lansdowne Road Dublin, George Lockwood Morris, the Swansea forward and captain won his first cap for Wales who beat Ireland by 4 tries and 2 conversions to nil. The other significant news from Wales’ second full International match was that Morris became Swansea’s first ever capped player.
The Wales team that beat Ireland by 4 tries and 2 conversions (2 goals & 2 tries) to nil at Lansdowne Road, Dublin on 28th January 1882. This was Wales’s second ever international.
Back Row (L to R): C H Newman (Newport), H C Vincent (Bangor), G F Harding (Newport), R Mullock (Umpire – WFU), S S Clarke (Neath), W F Evans (Oxford Uni/Rhymney), T B Jones (Newport) .
2nd Row (L to R): F T Purdon (Newport), W D Phillips (Cardiff), T Williams (Pontypridd/Cardiff), C P Lewis (Llandovery), R Gould (Newport), W B Norton (Cardiff).
Front Row (L to R): T J S Clapp (Nantyglo), G L Morris (Swansea), R Bridie (Newport).
(Courtesy: John Griffiths collection).