Tributes to the man who nurtured Parker's Piece for 40 years

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UntitledArthur Morgan's extraordinary stewardship of Parker's Piece from just after the Second World War until the late 1980s, when he retired as its groundsman, is a Cambridge legend.

In the summertime, 12 hours a day, six days a week, he was out on his beloved sward - rolling, mowing, manicuring the turf to the height of perfection, so that cricketers, footballers and hockey players had a supreme surface on which to compete, and local people and visitors had a carpet on which to sit and picnic.

It is largely thanks to him that the Piece has become so famous as a cricket ground, often with several teams competing on overlapping pitches, and in 1984, his efforts won the ultimate accolade when the Queen awarded him the British Empire Medal.

A year ago Mr Morgan, of Garlic Row, was diagnosed with cancer, and despite a course of radiotherapy, he has now died, at the age of 85.

As a younger man, he kept goal for Cambridge United, and playing a part in the club's great FA Cup runs of the 1950s.

He was appointed custodian of Parker's Piece in the late 1940s, and remained its groundsman until 1989, when a long-standing knee injury picked up as a footballer forced him to retire.

His perfectionist attitude to his work on the Cambridge green prompted many plaudits. Members of the NCI cricket club, whose home ground was Parker's Piece, idolised him, and he actually played for the club. Hockey players described their pitch as the best in the East of England.

When he retired, Mr Morgan said: "If people came up after a game and said thank you very much, groundsman - win or lose - you had done your job and went home happy."

His wife Sylvia. to whom he was married for 62 years, said: "He absolutely loved his work, and when he retired, he devoted a lot of his energy to keeping his garden in good trim."

He leaves two children and three grandchildren.

Article sourced from :-Cambridge City News

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