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Fred Morris RIP

Fred Morris

Angels mourn the passing of their oldest player

It is with deepest sadness that Tonbridge Angels Football Club announce the passing of Freddie Morris. Fred passed away yesterday (21st November) at the age of 89.

Whilst assembling the list of legends that attended the recent 75th anniversary dinner, it became apparent that Fred was the oldest living player to have represented the club and, when it was clear that he would not be able to attend the event, it was a great honour that we were able to visit him in his home and video a message that was replayed on the night to the delight of the assembled audience.

As a youngster, he spent his time as a competitive sportsman at Tonbridge Boys’ Club on Shipbourne Road, where he played football, table tennis and boxed to a high standard winning the Kent Boys Club title for four successive years.

In 1953 he joined the RAF but, as he had entered a boxing tournament, his father wrote to the Air Force asking if his call up could be deferred. They agreed and he duly won the tournament.

When he returned to Tonbridge in 1955, he played for Ramblers in the Tonbridge and District League alongside Paddy Leonard, who was also to represent Tonbridge Football Club.

Fred was asked to trial at the Angel Ground and played in a Probables v Possibles game that were a feature of pre-season in the 1950’s. He duly impressed and was asked to sign by then manager Douglas Hunt. 

His career at the Angel Ground spanned 1955 until 1960, making 24 first team appearances, scoring six goals but he made over 100 appearances for the Metropolitan League team, scoring plenty.

Away from football, cricket was a lasting passion. A slow, left arm spinner he played for Tunbridge Wells Cricket Club, but his lasting impression on the willow and leather game was with the Heffle Cuckoos, a touring cricket club that has toured Devon continuously since 1947. Fred was the prime organiser of the tour each year covering fixtures, hotel accommodation and secretarial work and remained as the President of the Club.

Fred worked at Hilden Grange for 35 years where he participated fully in every aspect of school life, often in a voluntary capacity. He was an inspiration to the staff, pupils, and parents alike. He was the kindest and most generous of souls and will be sorely missed by all at Hilden Grange.

All at Tonbridge Angels offer their sincere sympathies to Fred's family and his wide circle of friends. Prior to Saturday’s home fixture against Havant & Waterlooville a minute’s applause will be held to honour the life of this wonderful man.

For those that haven’t read the article that was published in the Tonbridge Angels match day magazine, it can be read by clicking here.

Published Wednesday 22nd November 2023