Lionel Morgan (footballer)

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Lionel Morgan
Personal information
Full name Lionel Anthony Morgan[1]
Date of birth (1983-02-17) 17 February 1983 (age 36)
Place of birth London Borough of Enfield, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Playing position Winger
Youth career
1993–2000 Wimbledon
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2004 Wimbledon 30 (2)
National team
2001–2002 England U19 3 (1)
2002–2003 England U20 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Lionel Anthony Morgan (born 17 February 1983) is an English former footballer who played as a winger for Wimbledon before injury forced him to retire from the game at the age of just 21. His career was short but he was believed by those who regularly watched him to be among the most talented young players in the game, and perhaps the best from the prolific production line at Wimbledon. This impression was endorsed by a televised appearance for England under-19s in which he received the man of the match award[3] and was compared by studio analysts to a young John Barnes.[citation needed]

Playing career[edit]

Morgan was born in the London Borough of Enfield and grew up in Tottenham. As a youngster he played for Broadwater United F.C., a community club on the Broadwater Farm Estate.[4] He joined Wimbledon's youth system at the age of 10,[5] and went on to represent England at under-16 level.[6] He scored a goal on his full debut for Wimbledon's reserve team aged only 16, and impressed on his next appearance.[7]

His first-team debut came on 26 August 2000 in a goalless draw against Watford; the 17-year-old set up a chance from which John Hartson headed against the goalkeeper.[8] He played three more first-team games before breaking his ankle in an under-19 game.[9] He played twice more for the first team at the end of the 2000–01 Football League season, then surgery to knee cartilage damaged in a pre-season friendly caused him to miss the first two months of the 2001–02 season.[10] He made an impressive return to the reserves,[11] and in November 2001 played for England under-19s in a European Championship qualifier against their Georgian counterparts.[12] The match, a 4–1 win, was televised, and Morgan was named by Sky Sports' Nigel Spackman as man of the match.[3]

He returned to first-team action as a substitute at the end of January 2002.[13] In February, Tottenham Hotspur made an offer of £750,000 for Morgan's services. Manager Terry Burton was unwilling to sell, but the club's reported £20,000-a-day losses prompted chairman Charles Koppel to consider the offer.[14] Koppel was later insistent that Morgan would only leave "at the right price"[15] and the player confirmed he was happy at the club.[16] Meanwhile, Morgan scored for England under-19s in a friendly against Germany,[17] and speculation in the press was that Wimbledon would not reach the play-offs unless Morgan was part of the starting eleven.[18] In March he scored his first senior goal, the only goal of the game against Rotherham United, from a free kick described by assistant manager Stuart Murdoch as "Beckham-esque".[19] A few days later he damaged his cruciate ligament against Crewe Alexandra, an injury which required two operations and kept him out of first-team action for seven months.[20]

After scoring in his first league start of the season, he received a call-up to represent England under-20s, and played the whole of a 2–0 defeat to Switzerland.[21] In his third game back in first-team action after a knee cartilage operation in January 2003, he was forced out of the game with a bruised and lacerated ankle resulting from a foul tackle by Portsmouth's Tim Sherwood; manager Murdoch accused the player of singling Morgan out for rough treatment.[22] In April he underwent further surgery on his knee cartilage.[23]

In June 2003, Wimbledon F.C. went into administration; Morgan's proposed transfer to Tottenham, for a fee of £400,000, fell through when he failed the medical, although it was reported that the deal could proceed once the player proved his fitness.[24] His next first-team comeback, in September, lasted just three games before a training-ground knock aggravated the knee problem and two more operations ensued, though the prognosis was hopeful.[25] However, the player's contract was due to expire at the end of the 2003–04 season, and the club chose not to renew it. Manager Murdoch said Morgan was attempting to regain fitness in time for pre-season training so that he could find another club,[26] but he did not play professionally again.

After playing[edit]

Morgan was for a time reserve team manager of Wingate and Finchley F.C.,[27] and had a brief involvement with managing the first team in the Isthmian League.[28] In 2008, Morgan was coaching at the Broadwater United football project alongside former teammate Jude Stirling, son of the programme's founder Clasford Stirling.[4][29] Morgan and former teammate Jobi McAnuff formed a management company, Infinite Sports Management, in 2011.[30] The Company was dissolved in 2017 [31]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Wimbledon 2000–01[32] First Division 5 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
2001–02[13] First Division 11 1 0 0 0 0 11 1
2002–03[33] First Division 11 1 1 1 1 0 13 2
2003–04[34] First Division 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Career total 30 2 1 1 2 0 33 3


  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 437. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
  2. ^ "Player profile: Lionel Morgan". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Lionel shines in England victory". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 8 November 2001. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
  4. ^ a b Evans, Richard (10 October 2005). "From tragedy to talent flow". The Times. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  5. ^ Smith, Alison (24 June 2002). "Morgan eyes England berth". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
  6. ^ "Lionel Morgan". The Football Association. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  7. ^ "The Premiership today". The Times. 22 October 1999. p. 63. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
    "The Premiership today". The Times. 29 October 1999. p. 55. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  8. ^ Tennant, Ivo (27 August 2000). "Watford repel threat posed by lively Gayle". The Sunday Times. Sport p. 5. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  9. ^ Ladyman, Ian (5 October 2000). "I'm the victim, claims Vieira: dialling the world of soccer". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Morgan out for two months". Evening Standard. London. 31 July 2001. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Damien comes through reserves run-out". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 17 October 2001. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
  12. ^ "Chopra spree too much for Georgia". The Football Association. 5 November 2001. Archived from the original on 8 April 2005.
  13. ^ a b "Games played by Lionel Morgan in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  14. ^ Spellman, Damian (6 February 2002). "Newcastle defend Jenas transfer". The Independent. p. 23. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  15. ^ Bailey, Graeme (22 February 2002). "Dons in no hurry to sell Lionel". Sky Sports. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
  16. ^ Seery, Philip (14 March 2002). "Dons rebuff Spurs Morgan bid". Sky Sports. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
  17. ^ "Lionel on target against Germans". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 15 February 2002. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
  18. ^ "Dons need to unleash Morgan". The People. 3 March 2002. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Stuart salutes Beckham-like Lionel". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 30 March 2002. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
  20. ^ "Morgan on the comeback trail". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 23 May 2002. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
    "Focus on Lionel Morgan". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 8 November 2002. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Lionel gets an England call". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 1 December 2002. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
    Wright, James (13 December 2002). "U20s fall to Swiss". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 8 April 2005.
  22. ^ "Wimbledon v Grimsby: Preview". ESPN Soccernet. 10 January 2003. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
    Curtis, Adrian (5 March 2003). "Sherwood tackle has Murdoch fuming". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 15 September 2012 – via Highbeam Research.
  23. ^ "Injury woe continues". Milton Keynes Dons F.C. 17 April 2003. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012.
  24. ^ Banks, Tony (11 July 2003). "Anderton considers return to his roots". Daily Express. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  25. ^ Marshall, Adam (30 October 2003). "Morgan has another knee op". Sky Sports. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
    "Morgan boost". Milton Keynes Citizen. 5 February 2004. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
  26. ^ O'Rourke, Peter (4 May 2004). "Dons release Morgan". Sky Sports. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  27. ^ "Wingate & Finchley Res 3–1 Boreham Wood Res". Wingate & Finchley F.C. 21 August 2007. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008.
  28. ^ "Wingate & Finchley 0–0 Potters Bar Town". Wingate & Finchley F.C. 23 September 2007. Archived from the original on 7 May 2008.
  29. ^ Phillips, Martin (21 April 2008). "Footie reduces street violence". The Sun. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  30. ^ James, Stuart (12 March 2011). "Reading's Jobi McAnuff plots an FA Cup shock and an interesting future". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  31. ^ "INFINITE SPORTS MANAGEMENT LTD - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Games played by Lionel Morgan in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  33. ^ "Games played by Lionel Morgan in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  34. ^ "Games played by Lionel Morgan in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 December 2012.

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