Cornwall born Chris Morris arrived at Celtic from Sheffield Wednesday in July 18987 and left to re-join Middlesbrough in August 1992. In between that he had the most memorable season of his career playing for the Hoops. The right back was a mainstay in Billy McNeill’s Centenary side, in fact he was the only player to play in every game – all 55 of them – during that unforgettable, fairytale of a season for Celtic Football Club.
While the mob across the city were spending big on top rates stars from south of the border, Celtic just about beat Dundee United to this modest signing. Yet any grumblings soon disappeared as Morris hit the ground running and was soon being talked about as the bargain buy of the summer.
Chris Morris played the type of football suited to Celtic, with his thrusting, over-lapping runs were a potent force of attack for Celtic who were far from fancied for the title at the start of that season but slowly the Celtic support started to dream.
While Morris could attack like a winger he was also a tenacious defender and a chaser of lost causes, seldom if ever letting Celtic down at the back. While from Cornwall himself, his mum was from Ireland and his excellent form at Celtic soon attracted the attention of the astute Irish manager Jack Charlton and Morris was soon representing the Republic of Ireland at Euro’88.
The old Celtic Park was seldom as busy as on that day in 1988 when Dundee were the visitors, just like today,. Celtic needed a win to wrap up the title and it was Chris Morris who grabbed the opening goal to get the party started before our attentions turned to Hampden and the Scottish Cup Final against Dundee United.
16th September 1989, Dundee Utd 2:2 Celtic.
Chris Morris and Tommy Coyne. pic.twitter.com/7lAIgJWppc
— Li'l Ze (@LilZe_7) September 15, 2023
It’s fair to say that that glorious first season in the Hoops was the highlight of Chris Morris’ time at Celtic and also his career as a whole. Fo various reasons, he never reached those heights again playing for Celtic but he did find better form representing the Irish at the World Cup in Italy in 1990, helping Charlton’s side to the Quarter Finals, an unbelievable achievement.
That brilliant experience at Italia 90 helped Morris on his Celtic return where he enjoyed a better season with improved form but in truth Celtic were struggling. He signed a new contract in August 1992 but strangely moved on to join Middlesbrough shortly afterwards in an exchange for striker Andy Payton.
Chris Morris in total made 206 appearances for Celtic, scoring nine times. He won one league title and two Scottish Cups for Celtic and represented Ireland on 35 occasions. He will always be remembered for that outstanding season, when Celtic needed all the quality we could muster, to get the better of the big spenders across the city. Chris Morris was outstanding for Celtic in our centenary season and we’ll always remember him for that.