Cliff Morgan funeral: Rugby stars join hundreds for service

Rhondda-born Morgan won 29 caps for Wales from 1951 and captained the British Lions against South Africa in 1955.

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Legends of the world of rugby have joined family and former broadcasting colleagues for Cliff Morgan's funeral on the Isle of Wight.

The London Welsh choir sang as the coffin, draped in a Welsh flag, was carried into Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge by family members.

Morgan, who died aged 83, was one of Wales' most talented fly-halves before a successful BBC career.

Tributes were paid by rugby star Gareth Edwards and entertainer Max Boyce.

Mourners also included fellow rugby legend Barry John as well as senior Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) officials.

Leading figures from the world of broadcasting included Desmond Lynam.

As well as 300 mourners inside the church, the service was relayed outside via speakers.

The London Welsh choir sang Take Me Home as the coffin was carried into church.

The choir led the singing during the hour long service where mourners were encouraged to wear "a splash of red".

During the service, his son Nick, and grandson Jack, spoke about Cliff Morgan - the family man - before entertainer Max Boyce celebrated Morgan's love of Wales.

A montage of highlights from his broadcasting career was also played to the packed church.

Cliff Morgan (left) celebrating 21 years of Grandstand in 1979 Cliff Morgan (left) celebrating 21 years of Grandstand in 1979

Gareth Edwards, whose try for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1973 was famously described by Morgan in commentary, told the congregation about Morgan's playing career.

Rhondda-born Morgan won 29 caps for Wales from 1951 and captained the British Lions against South Africa in 1955.

Senior members of the Welsh Rugby Union including chief executive Roger Lewis and President Dennis Gethin had travelled from Cardiff to Bembridge to pay their respects.

The London Welsh Male Voice choir led the singing during the hour long service, which included hymns Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, Love Divine and Abide with Me, as well as the Welsh language hymn Gwahoddiad.

The committal, led by the vicar of Bembridge, Canon Andrew Menniss, closed with a rendition of We'll Keep A Welcome In The Hillside.

Well-wishers wearing red in honour of Cliff Morgan Well-wishers wearing red in honour of Cliff Morgan

Family members later attended a private cremation service on the island.

After the service, the mourners were invited to a wake at a local sailing club.

Tributes had flooded in from the rugby and broadcasting worlds and also public life following Morgan's death at the end of August.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said Morgan made a huge contribution to both Welsh and Lions rugby.

Morgan joined BBC Wales in 1958 after retiring from playing, becoming a respected commentator.

His on-screen career saw him as team captain in A Question of Sport in the 1970s, on opposite sides to boxer Henry Cooper.

Morgan came back from stroke he suffered at the age of 41, which he later wrote had not only affected his speech and movement but also led to financial problems.

In 1975, he was appointed as the BBC's head of outside broadcasts - a post he held for 12 years.

He then later presented the Sport on Four magazine programme for BBC Radio 4.

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