Born on the 1st February 1977 to James William Joseph Turner and Rosemary Morris on the Isle of Sheppey, situated off the north coast of Kent.
Meningitis & Subsequent Coma
Left profoundly deaf and without the power of speech as a result of contracting meningitis aged three.
Emerging from a 5-day coma, Carl faced an uncertain future but no-one accounted for Carl’s determination, resilience and perseverance. Years of hard work with the support of his incredible parents along with invaluable advice from the National Deaf Children’s Society played a key role in developing the characteristics of Carl’s personality, helping enable him to overcome his disability and set him on the road to success.
Mary Hare Grammar School, Berkshire
Passed entrance exam to secure one of only thirty places to gain entry into the UK’s only grammar school for the deaf aged 10 in Newbury, Berkshire.
Magnificent and eloquent the school may have been, with vasts tracts of grounds and state of the art equipment but its failure to provide staff who lacked compassion and empathy meant after five short weeks, Carl’s parents decided to withdraw him from the school – a fine education was no substitute for the wellbeing of their son..
Child Actor on BBC Love Hurts
Successfully auditioned from a group of over 1,000 children to land the role of ‘Alex Friedman’ a deaf child in the immensely popular and successful BBC Series, Love Hurts starring Adam Faith and Zoe Wanamaker.
With a peak audience of 15 million viewers, Carl was often faced with requests for photos and autographs – even though he had not yet developed a signature! After two series and twenty episodes spanning two years, Carl declined partaking the third series in order to avoid a clash with his GCSE’s.
Youngest Ever World Pool Champion
Master against pupil, Carl ‘Houdini’ Morris emerged as the youngest ever world pool champion against the undisputed king of pool, Keith Brewer.
Trailing 0-3, ‘Houdini’ lived up to his nickname in producing a comeback, winning 11 out of 13 frames to emerge a victorious 11-5 winner and take the title of the youngest ever world pool champion, a record held to this day. ‘Houdini’ would retain the world #1 ranking for the next three years.
Lightning Strikes but Houdini Escapes Again
Perhaps ‘Houdini’s ultimate escape. Carl Morris lived up to his nickname when a lightning bolt tore through his Sheerness home, blasting him 10ft across the room.
The freak accident during the storm in June 2001, wrecked Carl’s newly refurbished home leaving a gaping hole in the roof and one bedroom and the loft gutted by fire. ‘Houdini’ escaped injury completely, but says that is no more than he has come to expect.
Seconds from Disaster
Had ‘Houdini’ fallen asleep, there would have been no escaping death.
Situated in his guest lodge in the adventure state of Clarens, South Africa during the winter months, Carl lit the wood-burner for warmth. Little did Carl know that the lodge had recently undergone a refurbishment and the asbestos protecting the thatch roof had not been replaced, resulting in the heat setting the thatch on fire. With seconds, the lodge was engulfed but ‘Houdini’ escaped through the window.
First Deaf person to Trek the North Pole
In undertaking the North Pole challenge, Carl Morris became the first deaf person to trek to the North Pole on foot, raising over £350,000.
Undeterred by the logistics brought on by his profound deafness, Carl’s resilience, determination and perseverance during the long days of trekking in silence paid dividends when he reached the geographical North Pole on Monday 21st April 2008
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People Fundraiser
£84,230.72 was raised as a thank you to the charity as a recipient of a hearing dog himself.
Although fiercely independent, Carl recognises that sometimes we all need help. As a frequent traveller, Carl depended on his hearing dogs for alerts ranging from fire and smoke alarms to door knocks and waking him up in the morning. The funds were raised through a series of exhibitions events held in the UK’s biggest shopping centres throughout the UK.
Carl’s daughter Olivia was born in August 2011, followed by his son, James in October 2013.
‘Houdini’ Retires from Professional Pool
Following a tumultuous four years with the death of his parents and the birth of his daughter, Carl retired from pool to focus on being a father.
‘Houdini’ made the decision to focus solely on bringing up his daughter – and eventually his son along with his property business.
43 Counties, 43 Exhibitions, 43 Days for Against Breast Cancer
When ‘Houdini’ sets himself a challenge, it is always out of the ordinary. Aiming to perform 43 pool exhibitions across 43 counties in 43 days, Carl achieved this feat albeit with a small interruption – the birth of his daughter! The challenge was a success and along with a few other events, raising a magnificent £140,747.11.
National Deaf Children’s Society – A Lifelong Supporter
There is absolutely no doubt that without this charity, Carl believes he would not have been in the fortunate position he finds himself in today.
With no knowledge of how to raise a deaf child, Carl’s parents turned to the National Deaf Children’s Society for help and advice and if was through this that they were able to create the environment in which Carl was given the opportunity to flourish. £132,073.56 was raised and donated as the latest instalment. The charity will always have a lifelong support in ‘Houdini’.
‘Houdini’s Spectacular Ultimate Pool Comeback
Despite a ten year hiatus having last played in 2011, “Houdini” showed that time and distance counts for nothing, finishing up with a season-ending ranking of #6.
Attracting the top talent from around the globe with the creation of the Ultimate Pool Group offering live television for the first time in pool’s history, even ‘Houdini’ admitted that he had slight doubts. As the season progressed, Morris got stringer, finishing runner up in Pro Event 4 to Shaun Storry and cementing his place as a top-eight seed.