The largest Morkel physically was Royal (Johannes Albertus) born in 1896. He was known for his steamroller tactics. In 1919 ships with Australian Armed Forces stopped over at Cape Town returning from the battlefields of Europe. A rugby team was formed and a match arranged against Somerset West who at that time was the strongest club team around. During the match Royal Morkel burst through and pushed the Australian full back out of the way to score behind the goal posts. Shortly thereafter it happened again. Royal had thrust his way through the forwards and was storming on to the Australian full-back. When the full-back saw him coming, he turned and ran to his own goal posts and sheltered behind one of them. Royal scored the try between the posts and stood amused with his
hands on his hips looking at his unfortunate opponent. By this time the Australian captain caught up and berated his team mate. “What made you run away” he asked. The full-back answered: “I can stop a German tank, but I can’t stop this damn Dutchman!”
Royal was 6ft 2inches tall and weighed 230 lbs. He was a good swimmer and boxer and ran 100 yard sprints and even participated in high jump. His team mates told about his love for fish and chips when they played in Cape Town which he drank with ginger beer. For all his strength and sporting prowess, he was also a bit of a hypochondriac and was regularly complaining about aches and pains in the train on the way to a match. Sadly one day his complaints were ignored and he died after a match from an inflamed appendix. He was 32 years old.