28th September 1961 - 10th February 2020
I can remember the time and place I met Morgan. It was approximately 9.35am on 4th July 2009, on the finish line at Banstead Woods parkrun, when he handed me a round metal disc with a number on it, and said “Well done.” That was my first ever parkrun, and Morgan was the finish tokens volunteer. After that, Morgan was a regular part of my Saturday mornings, as he was part of BWp’s core-team, and we were regularly volunteering together.
Almost exactly two years after that first meeting, Riddlesdown parkrun began – in July 2011 – Morgan & Kaye were two thirds of the founding core-team. Of the three of us, Morgan was definitely the quietest, but he was often the voice of reason, and looking back, without his rocklike stability, Riddlesdown might not have gotten through the first six months.
Morgan volunteered on 143 occasions at Riddlesdown, and the vast majority of those occasions fell within the first three years, which is a huge achievement. His volunteer total of 222 occasions is also impressive.
Morgan didn’t like doing pre-run announcements – but he did them, on 14 occasions. His starring role, however, was that of Timekeeper - a task feared by many - which he fulfilled 110 times.
He also ran – 15 parkruns in total, 7 of those at Riddlesdown, and whilst he always looked as if he was enjoying himself, he also swore blind that he was never running again every time!
At Riddlesdown parkrun’s third anniversary, we presented collages of photographs to all those who had run or volunteered 100 times at Riddlesdown – Morgan was one of only 4 people to receive the latter. He was also presented with the ‘Skylark Award for Courage and Dedication above and beyond the Call of Duty’ in recognition of the fact that he had done 20+ of that year’s volunteering stints on crutches, following a fall and a broken leg whilst on holiday.
Morgan was a really special man – I’ve spent a lot of time in the last 10 days looking at photos and thinking about those early days at Riddlesdown. He was generous with his time and his compassion. Always willing to help out others – he regularly ended up with numerous children in his care whilst their parents were running, and there are photos of him looking a little like the Pied Piper.
He had a quietly wicked sense of humour – which would often result in me spluttering uncontrollably at inappropriate moments whilst he smiled angelically nearby – and he was amazingly loyal.
The last time we saw Morgan at Riddlesdown was on 13th April 2019, at Kaye’s 500th parkrun. His health wasn’t great, but he asked for a marshalling role, which he fulfilled, and he was overwhelmingly grateful for the fuss we’d made for Kaye that day. If I’d known then then what I know now I’d have made a huge fuss of him too.
Morgan didn’t grab attention, but he made life happier for those around him, and we are all better for having known him.
He will be missed.