Neyland Cricket Club have lost a true massive character in Seymour Morris

Seymour MorrisThe cricketing fraternity of Neyland in particular and Pembrokeshire in general will have been saddened at the  untimely passing of Seymour Morris, one of sport’s natural characters alongside being a great competitor whose bowling ability was very much under-rated but he played a big part in a good time for the club.
He usually came on to bowl after the genuine pace of Tommy Jones and Russell James and was seen as a slow-medium pacer but that didn’t do justice – as I found to my cost on a number of occasions when it was dangerous to relax after they had taken a rest and I fell to his accuracy, great line and length and a touch of swing.
But it was also a pleasure to enjoy his company afterwards and again it was hard to judge, this time his wry wit and gentle leg pulling – and this was even more so in recent years when he was on his walks around the boundary and stopped for a chat.
I am proud to say that I could call Seymour, and his smashing Morris family, firm friends and I will miss him when the season starts.
A measure of the affection and respect he had earned at The Athletic Ground can be gauged by the superbly moving tribute we are honoured to feature below, written by some of his former playing colleagues and our thoughts go out to his family at this awful time for them.”
-Bill Carne

Harrison-Allen Bowl winners 1983


Neyland Cricket loses a great character in Seymour

It is with great sadness that Neyland Cricket Club recently lost one of their stalwarts, Seymour Morris, after a short illness. Seymour was a great character both on and off the field, always with a wry smile and his wicked sense of humour. But despite his mischievous character he was a really good and respected cricketer around the county.  He represented the club throughout his life as a top bowler, taking numerous wickets. As a youngster, Seymour first started to play in the Neyland Second team, and then went on to play predominantly throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s in the First Eleven.
Seymour was disappointed to miss out as 12th man in the Harrison-Allen Bowl victory over Carew in 1971, but he was to more than make up for this in 1983 when he played a major part in Neyland winning the Bowl that year. In the quarter-final he had several wickets to secure a surprise win against Carew who at that time were by far the best team in the county. In the final against Cresselly, seen by most as the favourite going into the final, things were even better for Seymour with a rare catch and 6 wickets, including his match winning spell of 5-22, including three batsmen bowled in one over, in the final innings. The post-match report by the Western Telegraph stated ‘Morris’s action is such that he couldn’t get a ball to bounce on a trampoline and the Cresselly batsmen - as the Carew batsmen in the quarter-finals - found no way to combat this.’ Seymour’s proudest moment and biggest highlight on the cricket field quite rightly secured his place in the history of Neyland Cricket.
As a cricketer no-one knew Seymour better than Andrew Smith, another stalwart for Neyland cricket. Not only were they classmates when in Neyland Primary School they were teammates for most of their respective long-playing careers. Andrew remembers Seymour initially as a more promising batsman than bowler, but this was to change overtime to a successful bowler, with Seymour having to wait patiently to take his opportunities as the long-standing county opening bowlers Tommy Jones and Russell James were also in the side.

Alec Colley Cup winners 1990

With ease Andrew can recall many funny incidents involving Seymour on the cricket field, which typified Seymour and his larger-than-life personality. Andrew recalls a Harrison Allen match in the early 1970s at Herbrandston on the old concrete wicket when Seymour called for a catch with no-one else within 30 yards. The ball went through his hands, hit him on the chest and floored him. He still had not moved by the time all the players had surrounded him, but then he looked up and said with a smile on his face 'did I catch it!'. Regularly Seymour would run round the boundary to field a ball, but in the wrong direction to which the ball was heading. His team-mates put it down to his poor eyesight but often he had that smile on his face.
During a home match, with Tommy Jones bowling flat out as normal, the batsman hit a full blooded drive, caught at silly mid-off by Andrew’s brother Roger. All the team ran to Roger for a tremendous catch, all but Seymour who was still running round the cover point boundary shouting, 'where's the ball? I can't see it!' 
Early in Seymour’s career he was involved in at least two away matches in the seconds, with one and then two team mates, of not only finishing all of Neyland's tea but also most of the home side’s teas. Unsurprisingly at that time the rest of his team mates, nor the Llanrhian or Esso clubs, saw the funny side but over time it added to Seymour’s ‘legacy’.
After another match at Llanrhian the Neyland team were in a local pub when a woman visitor came through the door looking for directions. The first person she spoke to was Seymour. He asked where she was going and immediately offered her directions ‘Carry on along the road for about three quarters of a mile, then first left and the second right. You can't miss it!' We were amazed at his knowledge of the Llanrhian area but wonder if she ever found it!

Seymour watching a Bowl Final in 2015
After his long stint in the first team Seymour stepped down to the seconds, where he was the opening bowler until he retired in the mid/late 1990s. Seymour played a huge part in the Seconds winning the Alec Colley Cup in 1990 and 1991 against Burton and Llangwm respectively. Rob Bellerby, who was second team captain at the time, reflects on the positive impact of Seymour in the seconds. ‘Week in, week out, Seymour always provided us with consistent quality bowling. Batsmen, no matter how good they were, struggled to score runs off him with Seymour always able to squeeze the opposition run rate. For example, in our cup final wins Seymour bowled a total of 20 overs for just 45 runs (3 wickets) which set us up to win on both occasions.’
Rob recalls they had to play Cardigan away in an early round on the 1990 cup run. He told Seymour that he might not be there on time, or the three other teammates travelling with him, whilst another teammate might also be delayed due to work. If we were late Seymour was to take charge, though hopefully the umpires would delay the start. Anyway, when Rob and co arrived late, Neyland were already fielding on a lovely summer evening with just the six fielders. By the time the stragglers got on the field, four overs had gone. Rob apologised to Seymour and said it was a pity he had lost the toss. Seymour smiled at Rob, told him he had actually won the toss but felt like a bowl first!
There is no-one involved with Neyland Cricket who has not been subjected to Seymour's 'have you heard the 1sts score?' wind-up. Invariably it was wrong but he was so convincing that most people believed him, repeatedly! Rob first remembered Seymour doing this after the 2nds played in Manorbier, well over 30 years ago. Neyland had just lost the match and as the team arrived back in the changing rooms Seymour announced, ‘at least the 1sts look like winning’ and instantly made up a score. Most of the side believed him even then, despite the fact this was before mobile phones, there was no landline at the ground and there were no supporters to pass any updates on. Seymour continued to do this for the rest of his life, but ironically during the final seconds match of last season he actually gave the correct first’s tea-time score but no-one would believe him when he said the 1sts were 416-3. He found it funny himself that no-one believed him.
After Seymour finished playing, he happily helped the 2nds out as umpire for several seasons. Even then he found time to have some fun. In one match he had miscounted the number of balls in the over on a few occasions much to the annoyance of the opposition scorer who loudly made this clear to Seymour.  The very next over Seymour signalled a wide on the 6th ball, and immediately called over. The scorer went ballistic but Seymour made his point in his typical fashion.
Seymour rarely missed a home match and was also happy to help out on the cricket field if needed. On many occasions he would use his painting skills on the fences, benches etc around the ground. His last task was to help grass seed the bare wicket ends after the close of last season.
Seymour was proud to see his nephew Phill Davies progress to be a first team regular and his nieces Kelly, Angela and Nicola all play with success for the Ladies’ team. His encouragement and back-garden training when young helped them all.
Seymour will be readily remembered for his cricket exploits but he was also a long-time supporter of Neyland Rugby Club. In the distant past he also occasionally turned out for the All Blacks second team over a couple of seasons. He did though describe his efforts as ‘I wasn’t much good’ but it cannot be taken away from him that he was also a ‘Black and Proud’ player.
As much fun as Seymour was on the cricket field, he was even more so off it. For example, away from the field Seymour enjoyed turning out for the cricket club in the Neyland Quiz League. Seymour was once asked What was the biscuit named after a revolutionary General? The answer was GARIBALDI, but Seymour's answer of ‘Custard Cream’ brought the house down in laughter.
Seymour brought the house down countless times like that and without any effort.
No more walks from Seymour around the cricket field; sadly the Athletic Ground will never be the same again.

Western Telegraph Harrison-Allen Bowl Final heading in 1983