Morris Stevenson, footballer: Gifted and stylish footballer whose magical dribbles and perceptive passing helped bring silverware to Morton

Stevenson: he was especially effective laying on chances for the rampaging Allan McGraw.

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The Independent Online

For connoisseurs of traditional Scottish ball-playing inside-forwards, Morris Stevenson was a delight to the eye.

Gifted and stylish footballer whose magical dribbles and perceptive passing helped bring silverware to Morton

With his magical shimmying dribbles and knack of picking a perceptive pass with either foot he was one of Morton’s most creative performers as the Greenock side won the Scottish Second Division championship in 1963-64, dropping a mere five points and losing only one game.

Stevenson was particularly effective as a prompter of the rampaging centre-forward Allan McGraw, who supplied 51 of the Cappielow club’s 135 league goals that season. Along the way the slender schemer soaked up punishment from unscrupulous markers, but such was his artistry that usually he would dance away from his would-be tormentors, leaving them toiling in his wake. Surprisingly for such a skilful operator, Stevenson failed to become established long-term at either of his first two clubs, Motherwell and Hibernian, although he proved hugely adaptable for Hibs, playing in four attacking positions and scoring four goals in five games in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

But it was with Morton, whom he joined in 1963, that he flowered so luxuriantly, shining in that title triumph and excelling as Hal Stewart’s side reached that season’s League Cup final, which they lost 5-0 to Rangers. In November 1968 Stevenson joined Luton Town, but didn’t settle at Kenilworth Road, recrossing the border for three seasons with Dundee United, then making a handful of appearances for Berwick Rangers.

Morris John Stevenson, footballer: born Tranent, East Lothian 16 April 1943; played for Motherwell 1960-62, Hibernian 1962-63, Morton 1963-68, Luton Town 1968-70, Dundee United 1970-72, Berwick Rangers 1972-73; died 22 July 2014.

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