Gifted with pace, guile and exuberance he was destined to reach the top. Also a talented musician, Morgan claimed his first Welsh cap against Ireland in 1951, playing opposite his own hero, and life-long friend, Jack Kyle.
Morgan was one of the heroes of the British Lions tour of South Africa in 1955 which was drawn 2-2.
On the hard fields he led the Springboks a merry dance where his touchdown in the first Test at Ellis Park, in front of a then world-record crowd of 100,000, helped secure a sensational 23-22 victory at the end of a match that some still consider the most exciting ever played.
Such was his influence on proceedings in South Africa, the newspapers dubbed him 'Morgan the Magnificent'.
Standing just 5ft 7in, Morgan gained 29 caps for Wales between 1951-58. During an illustrious career he also played in Ireland with Bective Rangers and the Barbarians.
After retiring from rugby, he carved out a successful broadcasting career where his commentary of the famous Barbarians victory over the mighty All Blacks in 1973 is still revered around the rugby world.
He had to battle back from hardship on more than one occasion. He suffered a life-threatening stroke at the age of 42 while more recently he was afflicted with cancer of the vocal cords and removal of his larynx, resulting in limited ability to speak.
In 2009 he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame while for his contributions to broadcasting, he was also honoured with an OBE and a CVO.
WRU President Dennis Gethin said: "I have lost a friend and we have all lost one of rugby's greats who was also a true gentleman.
"His exploits as a player for Cardiff, Wales, the Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions are legendary but he also achieved so much off the field of play.
"As a broadcaster he became one of the best known faces and voices of radio and television in the UK and as a producer and editorial executive he reached the top of his profession.
"Despite all that success he remained a true gentleman throughout his life and always remained a true son of the Rhondda.
"He was rightly honoured during his life and he will definitely be remembered for all his contributions in so many fields of excellence."
The Chairman of the WRU, David Pickering, said: "The world of rugby has lost one of its greats in the passing of Cliff Morgan.
"His incredible achievements both on and off the field are testimony to his skill, intelligence and integrity as a human being.
"The Rhondda Valley and Wales can be proud of Cliff who rose to prominence as a player before going on to achieve so much during his life off the field."
The Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis, said: "Cliff Morgan epitomised the values of Welsh rugby and throughout his life remained a great ambassador for our sport and for Wales.
"He possessed remarkable ability as an outside half whose flair was rightly recognised with the top honours rugby has to offer with Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
"His face was known to millions because of his successful career and perhaps that famous voice of his will live on forever particularly when we recall his magnificent commentary of the Gareth Edwards try against New Zealand for the Barbarians in 1973.
"He was a quintessential Welshman and in his company the sun always shone and Wales is a much darker place today."