Where Are They Now?: Chris Morris

 

THE NEWS-MAKERS: From football to Cornish pasties and back again

English-born Morris qualified to play for Ireland through his mother Evelyn, who comes from Co Monaghan.

He made his international debut on the day before Scotland beat Bulgaria in November 1987 to unexpectedly send Ireland through to the European Championship finals in West Germany in 1988.

His timing, he recounts, was “spectacular”. He had only six caps to his name when he played in Euro ’88.

“I felt like a bit of a fraud,” he jokes referencing some of the other players who had shed blood, sweat and tears for Ireland while he found himself as an international neophyte pitched into the greatest Irish football adventure.

Morris, with his trademark peroxide bouffant, became a regular at right-back and started every game of Euro ’88 and Italia ’90, when Ireland played in the World Cup finals for the first time.

told me at the beginning that I wouldnt be a regular. I played 25 or 26 games on the bounce after that,” he saidys.Having played for Celtic for many seasons, he joined Middlesborough in 1992 and remained there until he retired at the age of 33 in 1997.

He subsequently stayed around the northeast of England running a property portfolio until a family illness brought him back to his home town of Newquay in Cornwall.

His father Peter Morris was a local butcher who had set up a pie shop selling Cornish pasties from a local recipe.

He died in 2003 and Chris took over the business. He expanded it and at its height he had 11 franchises.

The recession has taken its toll and the franchises have been ended. Morris Cornish Pasties now consists of three pie shops. “I wanted to actively progress the business. We were caught between becoming very big or staying smaller and more manageable. We fell in the middle, but we still have a very successful local business. It is not all doom and gloom,” he says.

Morris is one of the few Irish ex-players of the Charlton era who did not stay in football after retirement. He was offered a job with Middlesborough but decided he needed a break from football.

Now 46, he was invited to take part in the Legends series – a televised indoor football tournament featuring former players – in the last couple of years and rediscovered his love of football.

He now has a coaching qualification and hopes to go on to get a pro-licence, the highest coaching badge in European football.