Obituary by Nick Potter – President of Banstead Cricket Club
When I first joined Banstead at the behest of Mike Corcoran not far off fifty years ago Nod as he was always known to me was already an institution. He would never have claimed to be a natural athlete but was a classic example of someone who made the most of what he had been given. He was an occupier of the crease and an accumulator of runs-massive amounts during some seasons. He formed an interesting opening partnership with Roy Swetman who had a habit of turning his back in anticipation of the expected call of 'come one ' when non-striker as the fifth ball came down. He was also a very decent keeper and many a batter departed the crease having been dismissed ct Morton b Potter.
Nod was not just renowned as a player but played a significant part in the formation of the Surrey Championship and was responsible for ensuring that Banstead were founder members. He was totally dedicated to the cause of Banstead CC and recruited pretty much on his own the nucleus of the team that won the title in 1986. Not only was he Captain and Chairman of the club during his time but was also Chairman of the Surrey Championship in the mid-eighties. Cricket was in his blood and an enormous part of his life.
Nod continued his association once he had finished playing and formed part of the Banstead posse who supported the First XI home and away and could be seen picnicking together wherever the fixture took them. For a further period, he remained involved in the recruitment and organisation of the first team. Despite his illness, he followed the club as closely as ever even though he was unable to travel.
In terms of the overall development of Banstead CC Nod's legacy certainly lives on and we owe him a considerable debt of gratitude for what was a truly outstanding contribution to the health and welfare of our historic club. It was ironic that he passed away just before Rory Burns completed his maiden test century, how he would have loved to have seen that.
The thoughts of a few of Noddy’s team-mates:
Mike Corcoran -My first sight of G.B.E. Morton was when he made his debut for Temple Bar Second XI, aged 18, where he spent a couple of hours playing straight! This was the start of many enjoyable days of cricket with Brian playing for Temple Bar, Banstead, M.C. C. and several midweek sides.
Brian’s batting was legendary-always difficult to get out- and a player wanting 100% effort from his team-mates. Batting with Nod was easy, you knew what he was going to do, although, at the time, running was unpredictable but was never his fault.
The highlight of his cricketing career must have been when he was selected for the Club Cricket Conference Tour of Australia but, unfortunately, he broke his hand in the first game and his playing tour was over.
Banstead C.C. was always important to him and he forever looked to improve the team and results. He was certainly missed when he had a job move to Liverpool for a number of years.
The last couple of years were very difficult for him and he was ever thankful for the love and support of his wife Sally and daughters Lisa and Kelly.
Chris Pye - Brian Morton first came into my sights around 1970. He worked at the Legal and General as did I, and of course we both played cricket at Banstead.
At the time, he organised the L&G cricket team in competitions and we travelled all over, including playing in Bristol and Wales in the Valleys. Great fun and fantastic experiences.
Nod was an opening bat, more Boycott than Chris Gayle! He made the most of his ability and worked hard to be successful. Always remember when he opened for Banstead with Roy Swetman, whoever was facing always got a single off the last ball of the over.
Brian introduced me to my first wife, sold me an annuity mortgage which ended up being worth half what it should have been and dropping me from the first team for my great rival Clive Penwarden. I could never forgive him for the latter, but as fate would have it, the weekend that he dropped me he played for Banstead Sunday eleven and I played for the Gamecocks their opposition. I knocked his off stump over the first ball of the game and he was not happy – I was!
Brian moved up North with his job and when eventually he moved back, Banstead were a poor side. He did what he did best, went out and cajoled good players to join. He built the base of the 1986 championship winning side.
He always had the club at heart and probably is as responsible as anybody for the longstanding recent success of the club.
Brian had the ultimate common-sense and clarity of thought. Thinking back, I learnt a lot from him.
He will be sorely missed.
Steve (Worzel) Moore - Noddy was a big part of 1986 success. He had a big part in bringing a lot of us to Banstead. Sadly he wasn’t part of that team when it reaped success.
I was in Southport last week when Brighton Brunswick played the Northern Club (this was Noddy’s team when he was based in Liverpool before returning to Banstead) on the honours board in bold print was the man! Nick Potter and myself reflected and remembered that he dropped Les Smithers in that first season whilst Potts and I thought it was a good decision Les didn’t!!
Julian Downing - Just echoing Worzels kind words, I too owe a lot to Noddy. He plucked me from Banstead 3rds saving me from Mike Carver's captaincy skills (!) and put me straight into Banstead 1st team and I never looked back. My 1st game was at the Oval with Nod behind the stumps and if my memory serves me right my first wicket was down to a high catch taken by Pye at mid off.
Dave Sowe - Nod welcomed me to Banstead in my first season and he showed me a lot of faith in those early days. He made me drive back from touring on the Hampshire coast for the Decca cup quarter final against Purley which we won in the dark at Banstead!
Great days and a great Banstead man.