This season we have been reflecting on 10 Years at Oteley Road - to celebrate this we will be bringing you an exclusive interview with a player from the last decade. Today it is Marvin Morgan!
Not many figures in Shrewsbury Town history have divided opinion as much as Marvin Morgan.
On the pitch, the 6ft 4inch striker scored 18 goals in just under 100 games during a successful two-year spell, which included promotion to League One.
However, it was off the pitch that Morgan is most remembered. His big character and opinionated personality made him a favourite with many, but there were also some that questioned his love of the game.
Morgan joined Shrewsbury with a dark cloud over his head after an incident at his former club Aldershot, but for the player himself this was a big move and one he looks back on fondly.
“I thought I was at a professional club, a real professional club having been at other clubs when it wasn’t so professional”, Marvin told Town Talk.
“Everything was done right and that was new to me because I was obviously coming out of non-league and you get caught up with the whole non-league atmosphere. Whereas, here the training ground was nice, the staff were nice, there was food after training, so it was all good.
“I remember when I sat down with Graham Turner and after the first 10 minutes he said ‘I’m going to have to stop you’ and I was thinking ‘what have I done?’, but he said ‘Marv, you’re actually normal, you are alright’, so he offered me a contract, I went and had a little think about it, and the rest is history.”
Morgan joined the club and his first goals came in a 3-2 victory over Derby County in the First-Round of the League Cup. That night he bagged a brace as Town lit up Pride Park with an incredible display and it’s a night he remembers well.
“I remember we played Plymouth on the first day of the season and we drew 1-1”, said Marvin.
“Then we went to Derby on the Tuesday night and at that time we weren’t under pressure as such, but we wanted to get promoted and having drawn the first game of the season I think a few of the lads felt a bit of pressure, so it was nice to go 1-0 up, then 2-0 up, then 3-0 up.
“I’m still annoyed that I didn’t get a hat-trick in that game. I should have got a penalty when I got taken out by somebody in the last minute, but it wasn’t to be.”
Town progressed nicely in the League Cup that season and were drawn away to Arsenal in the Third-Round. Marvin recalls how he almost missed out on the game.
“I remember we played Port Vale on the Saturday and I scored a worldie, but I was a yellow card away from missing the Arsenal game, so with about 10 minutes to go I went over to the bench and I asked the Gaffer to take me off and he said no”, Morgan reminisced.
“I think I then made a challenge and my heart dropped because for me I thought it could have been a yellow card. I said to the referee ‘Please don’t book me, because if you book me I’m going to miss Arsenal’ and thankfully he said ‘One more tackle and I’m going to book you’, so I got away with it.
“Playing at the Emirates was unbelievable. I now play football just under the Emirates every Sunday with a few mates and I was talking about it recently with them. I’m still annoyed about it now because I still believe we should have beaten them.
“I remember talking to Collo and I said that one of us was going to score in the first 20 minutes. I had this weird feeling that we were going to go 1-0 up, I wish I’d put a bet down now, and when we actually went 1-0 up we didn’t know what to do, we went absolutely mental.”
Marvin had joined a Shrewsbury side that had missed out in the Play-Offs the previous season having been beaten by Torquay United. Play-Off defeats can sometimes lead to a hangover the following season, but Marvin believes that the dressing room bond was key in Town’s promotion bid in the 2011/12 season.
“When I first joined I didn’t really understand what had happened the previous season and how close we were to getting promoted”, Morgan said.
“I’d obviously played against Shrewsbury before and I remember having a couple of good games against them in the past, but I realised a week into pre-season that you have to be at it every day in training and there were no real days off.”
“It was one of the best dressing rooms that I’ve been in. I think what was so good about that dressing room was that everybody got on with each other. There wasn’t anyone that was like ‘he doesn’t like him and I’m not going out if he’s out’, everyone got on with each other.
“Everything was set for us to do well to be honest. We had the momentum from the previous season, where you just missed out, and then we added me, Matty (Richards), Terry (Gornell) and Joe (Jacobson), so we didn’t need a lot.
“We already had the best defence in the league with Sharpsy (Ian Sharps), Shane (Cansdell-Sherriff) and Rueben (Hazel), so we had a good mix of lads and personalities.
“I still think we should have won the league that season, but it was still a great season and when you look at the cup run and you look at being unbeaten at home all season - it goes down in history.”
Marvin remained an almost ever-present as Town managed to retain their League One status in the 2012/13 season. However, he was slowly moving away from football and into the world of business. Morgan had set up his own clothing brand called ‘Fresh Ego Kid’ that primarily sold snapbacks and T-Shirts. Today, the business which he started from his small apartment in Shrewsbury, has become a major brand and is now available in some high street stores. Marvin remembers fondly how the business took off and the support Shrewsbury fans gave him in the early days.
“Since I started Fresh Ego Kid my whole career with football went downhill”, said Morgan.
“With Shrewsbury we got promoted and stayed in League One, but people’s thought process was that I didn’t care anymore about football and that’s been people’s mentality for a long time now.
“It’s been mental how quickly it’s grown. It’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing because every day now I’m needing for something. Trade shows, meetings all over the place – I’m going to Barcelona in 10 days for a meeting – it sounds glamourous but it really isn’t.
“I’ve got a new business partner now who has bought a large chunk of the company because I have tapped into his resources and he has helped me understand retail, the market and manufacturing, so that has helped me move onto the next level.
“He’s a director at Tottenham Hotspur, so the benefits of him now is that I can go to the Tottenham games and meet all the players that wear Fresh Ego Kid and give them more stuff, so it has its benefits.
“Everyone asks how I got it off the ground and I tell them that as a footballer I was doing well at Shrewsbury and the fans bought into it, so that generated a little bit of turnover. Then I had the whole JLS fever and it went on from there really.
“It would be great to make millions and millions and then come back and buy Shrewsbury, that’s the plan.”