FORMER Owl Chris Morris has helped to export Cornwall’s most famous product and now he’s attempting to put football on the map too.
Morris, aged 48, joined Jack Charlton’s Wednesday on schoolboy terms in the early 80s and played over 70 times for Howard Wilkinson’s side before moving on to Celtic in 1987 and latterly to Middlesbrough before returning to his hometown of Newquay in 1997.
It was then that he joined the family business of the highly-acclaimed Morris Cornish Pasties, based in Newquay. Now the business is in the hands of his son, he is turning his hand to helping fellow Cornish players to try and make a career out of football.
Morris told The Star: “I work at grassroots level at Bodmin College, running their football team and also after getting my badges, I’ve worked myself up the coaching system at Exeter City.
“This area of England has been overlooked but there is talent here and Manchester United are starting to scout Cornwall and Devon more.
“The business is now ran by my son Chris Junior and we’ve streamlined it. I suppose it is an unusual line for a footballer to go into when he retires, but it had good heritage to it and we’ve had good accolades in the past.
“The Daily Telegraph did a feature on us and so did Extreme Sports, the television channel, who listed us as one of the top five things about Newquay, as well as the surfing, which was an honour.
“It’d be great to get a link going with Wednesday because I’ve still got such a great affinity with them.”
Charlton departed soon after Morris began to get recognised at Hillsborough. Still, he must have left a decent impression because once at Celtic he was called up as an international player and thrust into Charlton’s successful Republic of Ireland squad and eventually earned 35 caps.
Morris, who qualified for Ireland through his mother, played in both the European Championships of 1988 and in the side that did so well in 1990 World Cup. Morris played right-back in their group stage 1-1 draw with England and their eventual quarter final defeat to hosts Italy.
Morris remains thankful to Wednesday for taking him on and setting him up for a great career. Naturally he still has a soft spot for them and enjoyed watching their promotion.
“I’ve got great memories from my time in Sheffield and I suppose you always will do at the club that gives you your break,” he continued.
“I was playing for England Schoolboys through the county side and I was one of only two who wasn’t attached to a club at the time. Dave Mossman, who later went on to play for Bradford, was at Wednesday and in the squad too and he recommended me to Wednesday’s scout and it went from there.
“I played in the Northern Intermediate league and worked with Frank Blunstone and can remember making my first team debut under Howard away to Swansea on the first game of the season. They were my formative years and Howard made me realise what it takes to be a footballer. He had a serious impact.
“It was difficult to establish myself as a right-back because Wednesday had Mel Sterland, who was of course a very good player, and the move to Celtic worked out for me.
“I still look for Wednesday’s results and it’s a shame they’re not in the Premier League because that’s where they deserve to be. Hopefully they’re on the right tracks again now.”