clayton-morrisA mainstay of Trinidad and Tobago football during the 1980s and 1990s, Clayton Morris represented some of the top of the local clubs of this period and was national squad captain during a late-80s revival that would involve this country being on the cusp qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.

That the Strike Squad went under 1-0 to the USA in its final CONCACAF final round qualifying games at national stadium is all part of local sport folklore. While it was indeed a sore point for Morris, it should not detract from the influence that he exuded from his position in the middle of defence.

Starting off with Rangers, the hometown club from the community of St Ann’s, Morris stood out at junior level for his team. After stints with Soul City and ECM Motown, he joined a notable ASL Sport outfit and won the National Football League title in 1983, the year after he had made his senior national team debut.

Further accolades followed for Morris after joining Trintoc: he led the club to NFL crowns in 1986 and 1988, as well as the National FA Trophy in that later year. At the same time he captained Trinidad and Tobago to the CFU Nations Cup in Martinique in 1988 – this country’s second capture of the regional championship. The following year saw Trinidad and Tobago adding a third title by winning the newly restructured Caribbean Cup in Barbados, thanks to a 2-1 triumph over Grenada in the final.

Following the 1990 World Cup-qualifying campaign, Morris remained in the national team for a few more years. He played his role during Trinidad and Tobago’s appearance in the inaugural CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA in 1991 and oversaw another Caribbean Cup victory at home in 1993.

He moved back and forth between United Petrotrin and the Charlotte Eagles of the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL) where he earned a Defender of the Year accolade and Team of the Year selection for the USISL Atlantic Division in 1994. Three years later, after returning to Petrotin, he guided his team to the national FA trophy. He then moved to San Juan Jabloteh to assume the role of player-coach in 1999 and he immediately led his team to the PFL Cup. He went to Joe Public the following year and helped the club to the Caribbean Club Championship title from the sidelines as well.

After serving as coach to Trinidad and Tobago’s under-20s, he assumed the role of national futsal team boss and achieved Caribbean crowns in 2004 and 2008. His time as head coach at Petrotin yielded a Southern Football Association First Division title and he later earned multiple T&T League under-18 and under-16 crowns at Rangers.

 

 

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