Legacy of Geraldton Buccaneer Jeremy ‘Jezza’ Morgan lives on

Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Virginia and Lloyd Morgan on the bench named after their son.
Camera IconVirginia and Lloyd Morgan on the bench named after their son. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Jeremy “Jezza” Morgan played a minute or two for the Geraldton Buccaneers but there is no bigger legend in the history of the club.

He was posthumously awarded life membership, while the player’s bench and the biggest annual charity fundraiser bear his name.

Nothing can fill the emptiness felt by the loss of their son, but Lloyd and Virginia Morgan take solace in what their lad meant to many — and how pockets are opened to assist youngsters battling cancer.

Jeremy Morgan was diagnosed with cancer when he was 13.

He was given the all-clear two years later, but the dreaded disease knocked on his door again a decade further on.

Mr Morgan died in 2003, aged 27.

He would have turned 43 recently.

Jeremy loved basketball — and he loved the Buccs. Some called him their water boy — the Buccs referred to him as a “water technician”.

Before he got sick, he wanted to play for the Buccs. He was christened the “11th man” in 2003.

One night — with the full support of their opposition, the Perry Lakes Hawks — the Buccs devised a plan.

Jeremy was to start the game and the ball was to come his way, he was to do a lay-up and score two points. Bingo. The best laid plan had come to fruition.

He left the court to a standing ovation — and the No.7 singlet he wore was retired.

Jeremy ‘Jezza’ Morgan pumps the air after scoring two points for the Buccs.
Camera IconJeremy ‘Jezza’ Morgan pumps the air after scoring two points for the Buccs. Credit: Supplied

In 2004, the year after Mr Morgan died, the Buccaneers held the first Jeremy Morgan golf day.

Last Sunday, hours after the Buccs played their last regular home game of the season, the 2019 edition was played at Spalding Park Golf Club.

When it comes to golf, Lloyd Morgan admits he’s a bushwalker and “no good”.

But it’s the most important day of the year for him and Virginia — and their three other children.

“His siblings make sure they are in town for Jezza’s day,” Mr Morgan said.

“And so does big Dan Hunt (Buccs playing legend and father of present player Liam), who Jeremy loved and who Dan took under his wing. He comes back from America.

“I was angry for a long time after Jezza’s death, but Virginia had a good talk to me. I then moved on and learnt to smile at things.

“I am so proud his memory lives on with people. The proceeds from the golf day go to Camp Quality, so other kids fighting cancer get to do things and have a holiday. I think this might have been the purpose of his life. Jezza felt normal when he was around the other kids at Camp Quality (CanTeen).”

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