Tributes from around the world have been paid to our former player and Scotland international, Willie Morton, who died suddenly at his home in Edinburgh on Friday July 19th. He was 58.
The left-arm spinner started out his cricket career at Williamfield as a junior in 1973 along with brother Donald and Bruce Russell in coach Raymond Bond’s first ever intake, and was a regular member of our first team by 1978. He went on to play at youth level for his country before reaching the pinnacle of a full cap for Scotland in 1982.
Trials followed at Northamptonshire and Warwickshire and it was the Edgbaston club which offered him a contract in 1984.
A serious back injury meant his full-time career ended prematurely but he returned to Scotland to play for Watsonians before returning to play at Stirling from 1993 to 2000.He then moved on to Penicuik, coaching at both club and international level.Willie worked as head groundsman at George Watson’s College, looking after both the cricket and rugby pitches as well as the school grounds.
Born in Drip Road, he was the youngest of seven children and attended Raploch Primary School before the family moved to Cameronian Street and he finished his primary education at the former Craigs Primary. He went on to Wallace High School, leaving school and working as a gravedigger with Stirling District Council before moving south to follow his cricketing dream.
Willie’s standing in the game has seen tributes come from cricketing colleagues and opponents from around the world, including West Indies legendary opening batsman Desmond Hayes and England opening bowler Gladstone Small, with whom he shared a flat during his Warwickshire days.
Former Stirling County captain Neil Tranter said in a message: “One incident from long ago summed up for me and my family his integrity and nobility of character. In his first game for County just after he had played his first game for Scotland, he wore his Stirling County sweater rather than his Scottish one. When asked why, he simply said that he was playing for Stirling County not Scotland.
“For all his achievements, he never considered himself better than any of his less talented colleagues, a true indication of his humility, thoughtfulness and warmth of character. I have never forgotten that.”
Willie’s son Keith (with his first wife Donna) is skipper of Heriot’s FP and he is survived by his second wife Katie. Our sympathies are with them and the rest of the family.
Willie's funeral will be held on Friday 9th August, 2.45pm at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh and afterwards at the Gorgie Suite, Tynecastle