Shropshire Star

Tributes fly in for Shrewsbury travel agent, charity stalwart and 'proud' Salopian Ron Morgan

Tributes have flown in for a popular travel agent, "wonderful husband" and "really great dad" whose life proved to be some journey.


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Ron Morgan, who ran Ron Morgan Travel in Shrewsbury town centre and was a tireless charity fundraiser, died on March 10 this year aged 69 after a nine-year "dance" with bowel cancer.

His wife Dianne described him as an "amazing man" who was "very proud of his town" and left "quite a legacy".

Among those paying their respects to the big Shrewsbury Town fan was Mickey Brown, who Ron sent on holiday to Mexico after the Salop legend scored the goal to keep the club in the Football League in 2000.

And current striker Daniel Udoh dedicated his winning goal to Ron after a recent match, something Ron's wife Dianne felt was "so special".

Thousands of Salopians booked their holidays with Ron over the years from his shop, which was first in Princess Street in the late 80s before moving to St Mary's Street in 1998... complete with a Sir Richard Branson lookalike to celebrate the occasion.

Ron and Dianne Morgan open the St Mary's Street shop with Sir Richard Branson lookalike Chris Smith in August 1998

He was known for his personal touch when sending people on their travels far and wide across the globe.

"He was meticulous with the holidays," Dianne said. "He would always phone people when they got back to find out how they got on and if there were any issues, he would always help resolve them."

Ron and Dianne also provided trips and experiences for thousands of sick children over the course of 28 years with their charity, The Dreamcatcher Charitable Fund.

Dianne and Ron Morgan

They launched in 1995, and only ended the endeavour towards the end of last year as Ron became more unwell.

Dianne said: "Our initial aim was to raise money to brighten the lives of children in Shropshire and Mid Wales who had been blighted by the misfortune of experiencing life-limiting and chronic illnesses. We invariably were able to include their families so they could make and share memories together.

"It all started one night when I worked in the hospital ward, I was sitting at a little girls' bed. She lived in Ellesmere. I asked her if she had a wish and she said to go and feed the ducks at the mere. It was such a simple request, I said to my husband lets start raising money."

The first trip Ron and Dianne arranged was for a young boy with leukaemia who they sent to Florida with his family.

"From that moment, he never looked back," she said. "They took his nasal tube out the day he left and they never put it back. He is now a Royal Marine."

Ron and Dianne were selected to be baton bearers for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 because of their charity work. He said they were "humbled" to be chosen.

Ron and Dianne Morgan were baton bearers for the Commonwealth Games

It was through Dreamcatcher that Ron and Dianne met Town forward Udoh, who joined them on one of their Santa Special steam train rides with his young family.

He stayed in touch with Ron during his health battle, and only found out about his death from Dianne shortly after netting Town's winner in the 1-0 victory over Carlisle United at the Montgomery Waters Meadow six days after Ron died.

In a post-match interview with the club's commercial manager and former defender Andrew Tretton, Udoh dedicated his goal to Ron and paid tribute to him, saying: "I just found out a big Shrewsbury Town fan passed away last Sunday, Ron from Dreamcatcher, which I did some charity stuff with. I'm gutted. May his soul rest in peace."

Ron was a dyed-in-the-wool Salop fan, as proved by the time he sent Mickey Brown on an all-expenses paid holiday after the Town legend bagged the goal to keep the club in the old Division Three on the last day of the season in 2000 in the famous "Great Escape" against Exeter City.

Ron and his sons Peter and Tom and grandson Benji meet Shrewsbury Town's Daniel Udoh
Ron with sons Tom and Peter in their Shrewsbury Town gear

As Chester City went down to the Football Conference, Mickey went off to Cancun, Mexico - all thanks to Ron.

The Salop Hall of Famer, now a personal trainer at The Shrewsbury Club, said: "He rang me up and thanked me very much for keeping the Town in the Football League, and he said 'do you fancy a holiday?'

"He literally said 'where do you want to go?' I fancied Mexico and he said 'I can sort that out'. Me and my partner at the time went and we had a lovely time.

"When he rang me I thought it was a wind up.

"I used his travel agents for a few other holidays. He was a lovely fellow."

Ron Morgan with pals in his younger days
Ron was a keen cricketer

Ron was born in Corndon Crescent, Sundorne, and grew up in Meole Brace. He went to Meole Brace Infants and Junior schools before going to the Wakeman School, next door to the Gay Meadow, the old home ground of his beloved Shrewsbury Town.

He went to college for his A-levels before becoming a qualified travel agent.

The trip that started his lifetime of globetrotting was to the US with pals in 1977. After that he explored America and Canada before coming home and setting up Ron Morgan Travel.

Ron had many globetrotting escapades. Here he is riding an ostrich
Ron and Dianne on one of their many travels

He first met Dianne when she tried to tap him up for contacts she could sell perfume to in Charlotte, North Carolina. They ended up linking up to organise group tours in America on multiple occasions, before romance eventually blossomed. They married The Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand in 1997.

Not many people live a life so interesting they can write a book about it, but Ron did. His memoir, Morgan the Travel, tells stories of his escapades across the globe. He also wrote two novels and two children's books.

Ron bravely put his writing talents to use by telling of his personal battle with cancer to raise awareness for the charity, Bowel Cancer UK.

Describing the moment he was diagnosed back in 2015, he said: "I felt like I was a peach being hit with a sledgehammer."

Santa (aka Ron Morgan) and Mrs Claus (his wife Dianne). Together they ran Santa Special steam train rides with their Dreamcatcher charity

Although the prognosis was not good and Ron was told to put his affairs in order, he and Dianne sought out private doctors and, after chemotherapy, he was able to have tumours removed to prolong his life significantly.

"He had such a positive attitude," Dianne said. "He always said he was 'dancing with cancer'.

"He wouldn't just give up. To think after all that we ended up travelling all over the world and climbing mountains."

Ron and Dianne enjoyed hiking together

Ron was also one of the founders of the Shropshire Shufflers running club, which is still going strong today. And he and Dianne took part in the Guinness World Record for the most people doing the Charleston dance at the same time in the Quarry, Shrewsbury in 2018.

As well as doing good for Dreamcatcher, Ron also raised money for Lingen Davies Cancer Fund and Severn Hospice.

"He was always thinking about someone else," Dianne said. "He was the loveliest person. A wonderful husband and a really great dad. He was very much loved."

Ron is survived by Dianne, sons Peter and Tom and grandson Benji, aged seven.

His funeral is it the Trinity Church in Meole Brace tomorrow at 1pm.