Appeal to find family of Scottish football legend ahead of Hall of Fame induction

Leith-born David Morris, circled, captained Raith Rovers and Scotland.Leith-born David Morris, circled, captained Raith Rovers and Scotland.
Leith-born David Morris, circled, captained Raith Rovers and Scotland.
HE WAS the shipwrecked Scottish international captain who helped one of Fife’s most famous football clubs take on Europe.

And now, bosses at Raith Rovers have launched an appeal to find the descendants of one of their greatest ever players before his Hall of Fame induction later this year.

Leith-born David Morris became the first man to lead out the national side while playing for the Stark’s Park outfit when he captained Scotland to a 3-1 win over Wales in front of a 25,000-strong crowd at Tynecastle in 1925.

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The commanding centre-half, signed from Newtongrange Star, would go on to lift the British Home Championship with the Tartan Army the same year before departing for Preston North End.

Morris lifted the 1925 British Home Championship with Scotland.Morris lifted the 1925 British Home Championship with Scotland.
Morris lifted the 1925 British Home Championship with Scotland.

However, he was also involved in a bizarre incident when the ship the Rovers team was travelling on ran aground in Galicia during a pre-season tour to the Canary Islands.

It is now hoped the Club can track down the family of Morris, who passed away in 1971, to invite them to the ceremony.

Club historian Jim Greer told the Fife Free Press: “David Morris was signed from junior football to replace Willie Porter, who left to sign for Hearts. Not only did he replace him, but he went on to surpass him.”

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“Morris held his place in the side and,in February 1925, was appointed captain of Scotland. Scotland beat all three home nations in 1925 to win the title.

“He is the only Raith Rovers player to have captained Scotland. While with Rovers he made six appearances for the national side, five as captain, scoring one goal against Northern Ireland on March 1, 1924, at Celtic Park in front of a crowd of 30,000.”

Former shipbuilder Morris was one of the Rovers squad aboard the SS Highland Loch in the summer of 1923 - alongside a Buenos Aires-bound consignment of chilled meat - when it got into trouble near the port of Corrubedo.

The crew of players, management and directors were due to stop off in Vigo to take in a spot of bullfighting before continuing on to the Canaries.

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However, the team ended up being pulled to shore in lifeboats by a group of local fishermen.

Despite their escapades, Rovers recovered to make it to the Canary Islands unscathed, winning all three of their matches against local sides.

They also took on fellow travelling Scottish side Third Lanark, who stopped off on the Islands on their return from a tour of South America.

On returning to Kirkcaldy, manager Alan Logan even remarked the Spaniards “still had a lot to learn” about the game.

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Morris will join the likes of the legendary Jim Baxter, Joe Baker and Rovers’ 1994 Scottish League Cup winning side in the Hall of Fame following the ceremony in November.

He later captained Preston and represented Chester City and Dundee United before returning home to end his career with Leith Athletic.

Greer added: “We would love David’s family to represent him at the Hall of Fame; so if anyone can give us any help in that regard, please get in touch.”