ANZAC Cup Player Spotlight – Eddie Morgan
On ANZAC Day 2018, the 10th annual ANZAC Cup between the men’s and women’s Australian Spirit sides and their French national team counterparts will be played to mark the 100th anniversary of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. AFL Europe will be putting the spotlight on some of the players who will represent Australia each week in the lead-up to the game, highlighting their remarkable connections to the ANZAC’s and previewing an incredible event.
Eddie Morgan will have the honour of captaining his country this ANZAC Day when he steps out for the Australian Spirit side in Villers-Bretonneux, carrying with him one of the more remarkable connections to the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux of anyone in Australia, not only those featuring in the ANZAC Cup.
100 years ago to the day, his great-great grandfather General Thomas William Glasgow was tasked with the responsibility of commanding the Australian counter attack to reclaim Villers-Bretonnuex after German forces successfully broke through the allied lines to take the town which was of great tactical importance.
Glasgow’s leadership saw the attack from the 13th and 15th brigades postponed from 8pm until 10pm to enable his troops the added protection from the cover of darkness, and despite the 13th brigade at one stage being surrounded on three sides by enemy forces, Glasgow’s men prevailed. It was a feat that Sir John Monash later described at the turning point in the war, coming exactly three years after the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli.
The victory came at a significant cost to the Australians however, with 2,473 Australian lives lost fighting to protect the small French town.
General Glasgow had previously served Australia in the Boer war in 1897 and at Gallipoli prior to moving to the Western Front, later progressing into politics and serving as the first High Commissioner to Canada in a decorated career that now sees him immortalised in bronze on the junction of Turbot and Roma street in Brisbane.
Now, 100 years after arguably Glasgow’s finest hour, his great-great-grandson will set foot onto the field with his ancestor front of mind.
“He [Glasgow] has certainly left a legacy! A highly decorated and esteemed Australian who served his country with great distinction… his achievements are seemingly impossible to emulate but he certainly stood for values which I would hope have filtered down to our generation,” Morgan said.
“I am both excited and nervous at the prospect of representing the ANZAC’s at a place that holds so much history but I am very much looking forward to being in the exact place that it all happened… it will be emotional for all involved.”
As a day that is very important to the Morgan family, an occasion such as this will provide a very special and humbling experience for the Australian Spirit skipper.
“A typical ANZAC day for our family has always involved football. The Broken Hill Football league celebrates ANZAC day with the anthem, last post and after match presentations, Collingwood vs Essendon is also a highlight…,” he said.
“The aspect I am looking forward to the most is representing our family. Football has been a huge part of my life and to be involved in a historic event such as this is extremely humbling.”
“It is an extremely special connection to Villers-Brettoneux and one I am very proud of. I am both excited and nervous at the prospect of representing the ANZAC’s at a place that holds so much history. I am very much looking forward to being in the exact place that it all happened, I can imagine it will be emotional for all involved.”
Will Taylor & Riley Brettell – AFL Europe