Robert Morrison

The footballing story of Robert Morrison, indeed, his importance to Irish football, is one of what might have been. In 1891 he played twice for the national team at full-back. Born in 1869 he was just twenty-one. Both were heavy defeats to Wales and England. In the latter game he was one of three from the Linfield Club, which had just won the Irish Double. Three years later it would be five and could have been six. Indeed, he might even have for Ireland played alongside his brother, Tommy, known as Ching, who would win seven green caps between 1895 and 1902. But by then Bob Morrison was dead. In fact he had already passed away of pneumonia in July 1991 just short of his twenty-second birthday with otherwise a possible decade more in the game. 

Bob, Tommy, and brother, Alex, who also played top-flight, Irish football, were three of five boys born to Northern Irish parents, the father an itinerant ship's boilermaker/carpenter. But the three eldest sons, of whom Bob was the youngest, were actually born in Scotland, he in Greenock. 

However, with the family returning back to Northern Ireland soon after Bob's birth, Tommy being born in Dromore in Co. Down, the residency rule allowed qualification for Ireland for both brothers. Indeed, it would be in the North of Ireland that Bob Morrison would play out his much foreshortened football career and spend the rest of his sadly-curtailed life, being buried in Belfast's City Cemetery.

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