Arthur Grenville Morris, better known by his second name, is Nottingham Forest’s all-time record goalscorer, having netted 219 times in 460 games between 1898 and 1913.

At the City Ground he was given the honour of Prince of Inside-Lefts, but he was just a raw teenage centre-forward when he joined Swindon Town during this week in February 1897. In the days long before numbered shirts came on the scene, players could be identified by their allotted position on the field, from which they seldom strayed. A few like Harold Fleming broke the mould by having the skill to meander through opposing defences almost at will, but he would not appear on the scene for a further 10 years.

A Welsh international, Morris collected 21 caps spread over 16 years, with his first and last both being staged at Wrexham. He scored on his debut – six weeks before his 19th birthday – in a 6-1 win over Ireland, with Billy Meredith netting a brace. And Meredith was still there for his last, a 0-2 defeat by England in March 1912.

The first three came while Grenville, the son of a chemist, was playing for Aberystwyth. There he is reported to have bagged over 100 goals in only 75 games. Such scoring prowess alerted Swindon and he was signed on amateur forms, making his debut in a 4-0 away win at Northfleet on February 6, 1897.

Morris contributed to the victory with a goal, as the Evening Swindon Advertiser reporter enthused “...he is slightly built, but possesses a marvellous turn of speed and passes with splendid judgement.” He was to hit another 40 for the club in only 48 appearances.

After failing to net in the opening two fixtures of 1897/98, Morris scored twice in a 3-3 draw at Bristol City – the first of seven braces that season. And a hat-trick in another victory over Northfleet, 7-2, was bettered by a four two weeks later in a 7-1 trouncing of Eastleigh.

Morris was taken on as a professional in the October and finished the campaign, which would be his only full season in Wiltshire, with impressive figures of 29 goals in 34 games.

After registering goals in the opening four fixtures of the following season, it was clear that Town would struggle to hold on to such a talent. Thirteen goals came in just 10 games before Forest offered £200 for the Welshman at the end of November.

It was an offer that the hard-up club simply could not refuse. The sum was not far short of a whole season’s home gate receipts in those days. Only two years earlier, the first stand had been erected at the County Ground for just over £300 – made possible only by a loan from Stratton brewer Thomas Arkell.

Morris scored twice on his home debut for his new club and totalled twenty or more for a season on four occasions. by Paul Plowman