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PersonalFullname: Thomas Morrison
aka: Tommy Morrison, Ching, Sandy Row
Born: 16 Dec 1874
Died: 26 Mar 1940
Signed: 27 Apr 1895
Left: 20 Feb 1897 (to Burnley for £300)
Debut: Celtic 2-0 Clyde, League, 27 April 1895
International Caps: 7
International Goals: 1
BiogA cheeky outside-right Tommy Morrison signed for Celtic from Burnley in1895.
The Belfast-born player made his competitive first team debut for the Bhoys in a 2-0 home league win over Clyde on April 27th. That match saw Morrison appear as a trialist and it was not until after the game he officially signed for the club. He was later injured in a match v Newcastle, only to return in Dec 1895 in a 6-2 win over Rangers that clinched us the league title, he scored a goal in this wonderful win.
He played also for Celtic in the side that beat Aston Villa for the "Championship of the World" on 20th April 1896.
He was said to be difficult, and Celtic were asked to rein in "Sandy Row's" antics and to curb his tongue.
Season 1896-97 got off well with a 7-2 win over Clyde away, but when Celtic played Rangers in Dec, it was his first game for three months. Scoring our only goal in the 6-1 loss to Everton on Xmas day 1896, morale was sinking an in January we were out the cup to Arthurlie.
In a month, Tommy was gone back to Burnley for £300.
He helped Celtic win the 1895 championship but his appearances the following term were limited. After a total of 16 appearances and two goals he returned to Burnley in February 1897.
An important point about Tommy is that he is credited with being the first native Irishman to play for Celtic by manager Willie Maley meaning that, for Celtic which started within the Catholic Irish communities, the surprising point is that the first Irishman signed to play for the club was actually a Protestant from East Belfast (Willie Maley was at Celtic from the start and was born in Ireland but raised in Scotland). Tommy Morrision was an Ulster-Scot, his family having moved to Belfast before he was born (three of his elder brothers were born in Glasgow). Clearly shows that the club from it's early days was broad-minded and ecumenical. His "Sandy Row" nickname is derived from the Protestant working-class community in south Belfast (quite a Loyalist stronghold historically).
From "An Alphabet of the Celts":
On the "Ching" nickname: Ching is probably a corruption of Ah-sin from some racist doggerel by Bret Harte about a Chinese card-sharp cheating some Simon Pure white chaps! Tommy's game was supposed to resemble Ah-Sin's jugglery with the cards: That for ways that dark/And for tricks that are vain/The heathen Chinee is peculiar.
FromThe Dundee Courier & Argus, Thursday, March 04, 1897
' "Ching" Morrison, who was heralded as a great champion by the Celtic two years ago, has been bought over by the Burnley Club. Morrison belonged to that aristocratic Belfast combination the Lenfield, but after a superb display for Ireland against Scotland he was lured to Parkhead. Professional life never appeared to agree with the fine-looking Irishman, and latterly he was relegated to the reserves of the Celtic.'
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Honours with CelticScottish League Champion
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