Kevin Morris (Steve Morris’s dad) quit Richmond in a letter addressed to then Tiger secretary Alan Schwab dated Tues. 23 November 1976 that was subsequently leaked to the press at the time to discredit his reason for wanting a transfer
!Here is the letter ‘I am advising you that I will not be available to play for the Richmond Football Club or take part in any training from this date. I intend to make myself available to the North Melbourne Football Club should they be interested in acquiring my services. My future is the Homebush hotel, and it is good business for me to seek a clearance to the North Melbourne Football Club.
I believe I have given loyal service for the full six years and trust that this service will justify the club giving me a clearance. I do not believe that it is in my best interests to continue playing with Richmond while conducting business in the North Melbourne area. I have been intensely loyal to Richmond.
I have loved my involvement with a wonderful group of players. It is the hard truth these days that football clubs lament that undying loyalty to the club guernsey is not the strong bind it was in the past. I argue that the clubs, including Richmond, cannot any longer demand this unquestioning loyalty because of their own hardline dealing with their own and opposing players and coaches’ Best Regards Kevin Morris.
He requested a trade to The Dirty Rotten Kangaroos but got a bigger offer from the Dirty Rotten Magpies and the rest is history. Oh and he still ran the pub in Nth Melb. So much for the reason for wanting a trade! Morris was just caught up in the bidding rivalry with Collingwood at the times which nearly sent both clubs broke! The Tigers were so cheesed off they leaked this letter to the press
Morris, who had been recruited from VFA club Waverley, made his first senior appearance for the Tigers in Round 11 of the 1971 season, against Geelong at Kardinia Park. He was 20 years and 298 days of age. Richmond won that match by 50 points and Morris clearly had done enough on debut to retain his place in the strong line-up.
He would go on to play every game with the Tigers for the rest of the season, including their first semi-final victory over Collingwood, and their preliminary final loss to St Kilda. From that point on, Morris was virtually an automatic selection in the Richmond side each week. And, we’re talking about a team that contained all-time Tiger greats such as Bartlett, Bourke, Clay, Hart, Sheedy and Stewart.
Morris became one of Richmond’s most consistent performers over the next few seasons, using his football talents in a variety of on-field roles, including half-forward, half-back, centre, ruck-rover, and even full-forward.
Wherever he played, Morris knew no other way than giving it everything he had. He was a strong, straight-ahead style of player, but mixed those physical attributes with a high skill level, coupled with a clever football brain. In essence, he was the quintessential utility player.
Morris played the last of his 110 games for Richmond in Round 22, 1976, when the Tigers, who missed the finals that year, defeated St Kilda at Waverley Park by 34 points. It brought his winning strike-rate in six seasons at Tigerland to just over 68%.He subsequently joined Collingwood, reuniting with his Richmond premiership coach Tommy Hafey but it’s at Richmond, however, where Morris is best remembered for his successful on-field deeds.
Five-time Tiger premiership hero and Club ‘Immortal’, Kevin Bartlett, in his recently-published book “KB: A Life In Football”, selected Morris on the interchange bench in his best line-up of Richmond players over the course of his 19-season league career.
“Kevin was a Best and Fairest winner and dual premiership player who could play as a half-forward flanker or across half-back and even as a ruck-rover. He was very strong, and a good mark and kick. He was always totally committed to his football and was a team-oriented player. His specialty was just getting things done and doing them properly. In that respect, his approach was similar to that of Francis Bourke,” wrote Bartlett.