Success as a Corinthian
Morgan's amateur teams played against professionals at times. The Sheriff of London Shield (the forerunner of the Charity Shield) was a prestigious annual fixture which pitched Corinthians against the best British professional club, usually taken then to be the FA Cup winners. Corinthians won this trophy in 1900 by beating Aston Villa 2 – 1 and later, while Morgan was still playing were runners up to Aston Villa, to Tottenham Hotspur, to Sunderland, to Liverpool and to Newcastle United. In 1904 Corinthians faced a strong Bury side and were soon down 2-0. However, Morgan was captain of the Corinthians
that day and his firm shouts of
Play up Corinth and
Stick to it boys provoked a response so effective that by half-time Corinthians were leading 4-2. To the surprise of most pundits they eventually ran out 10-3 winners (MM Morgan Owen seated, centre, in the photo of the winning team, right). The following season they were once more runners up but they did give Manchester United their worst ever drubbing, defeating the famous club 11-3. (see
Morgan was described as
the greatest Corinthian of the Edwardian period and S.S. Harris, captain of England, described him as the best centre half-back, amateur or professional, of his time.
His most spectacular goal for Corinthians is said to be from a pass by his brother Hugh in a 4-3 victory over Stoke in 1903. He toured with both Oxford and Corinthians to Europe and to the Americas. During Corinthians all-conquering tour of Austria-Hungary in April 1904 the Emperor presented Morgan with a medal and a small red and gilt glass. Morgan gave a speech in Welsh at the official dinner to loud applause and encouragement for more. He then gabbled some additional silly phrases in welsh that led to a minor international incident when an Austrian who realised what was going on rose to his feet and demanded an apology, accusing him of insulting the Austrian nation. The Easter 1906 tour of Germany and Holland was uneventful but equally successful, culminating in a 2 – 1 victory over Holland.