The son of Arsenal’s “singing policeman” Alex Morgan has reflected on his father’s life and passion for the Gunners.
Alex Morgan was a police officer who used to sing at Highbury before Arsenal games as part of the police band. He recently passed away at the age 88, but is still fondly remembered by Arsenal fans who used to see him perform.
In an interview with the Islington Gazette, Morgan’s son, Patrick, recalls his father and how he used to bring him to Highbury. “When Arsenal scored, fans would see this lunatic policeman jumping up and down. That was my dad,” he said.
“He would sneak me into the ground, almost under his coat. We would go to the band room before the games and play snooker. Dad would pull up a chair, fetch me from the crowd and sit me next to him to watch the games from the front row.
“It didn’t seem that strange to me, as dad sang everywhere. He sang at big venues, and at that age I just saw it as his job.”
Patrick goes on to describe an amusing image of his father being abused by away fans while he sung before chasing after skinhead hooligans.
“In all fairness, though, the Clock End was quite hooligan-based. It was partly where the away fans stood. They would be like: ‘What is that?’ Nowhere else in the country had a singing policeman!
“He would get serious abuse, especially as the band never performed music of the day. It would always be something like opera. Even Gooners, the hooligan types, would be saying: ‘What is this man making The Arsenal look like?’
“Sometimes the away fans would be stunned into silence. Other times they would clap ironically, or chant: ‘What the f****** hell was that?’ It must have looked really odd, but he didn’t care. He loved it. He would be singing one minute and dragging away a skinhead the next.”
Morgan and his band stopped performing at Highbury during the 1980s. However, he would return for one last song in 2006 when Arsenal said farewell to Highbury. The Gunners announced his death during the Leicester game at the start of the season.
Given that the Emirates is a modern stadium catering to all types of fans, we’re unlikely to see something as amazing and weird as a singing policeman and his band ever again.