Inside the Region & WICB News
Date Published: 2019-09-26
Region & WICB News
Former match referee, umpire, cricketer and Fire Chief Clifford Clarke dies just short of 77th birthday
Bridgetown, Barbados, September 26 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Former long-standing Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) as well as regional match referee, umpire, solid all-round cricketer for St. Catherine Club and retired Chief Fire Officer, Clifford Adelbert Clarke, has died after battling an illness for several months.
Clarke, who once performed a unique feat of taking six wickets in six balls in a Barbados Cricket League (BCL) match, passed away at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Tuesday, September 24, just 11 days short of his 77th birthday and three days shy of his 55th wedding anniversary.
Trevor Clarke, a former successful St. Catherine First division (rebranded Elite division in 2012) and a distant cousin, paid glowing tribute to Clifford Clarke, who bowled both seam and off-spin, opened the batting and also stood out as a close-to-the-wicket fielder.
“Clifford was the sort of bowler, who would have six different balls in an over. He was very steady. You had to play every ball,” Trevor Clarke, himself an outstanding swing bowler told BCAcricket.org.
“He bowled medium-pace and off-spin. You couldn’t leave your crease and come down the pitch to him. He was also a very solid opening batsman, who made a lot of runs in the BCL competition before playing in the BCA Second division Championship.
“Clifford was one of the main cricketers, along with Michael Barrow and Eugene Mapp (both now deceased) who helped St. Catherine to make strides into the BCA Competition.”
“He was very quiet and soft-spoken but you could be certain that he would tell you what he had to tell you,” added Trevor Clarke, who skippered St. Catherine to their first ever BCA top division title in 1981 (shared with Carlton) after they had gained promotion three years earlier.
In the 2018 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, Clifford Clarke had bestowed on him the Member of The Order of the British Empire for his sterling contribution to firefighting and the public service.
Also commonly known as “Glyne” Clarke, he was an ordinary member of the BCA and unquestionably one of the longest serving match referees for BCA competitions. He also served as a match referee in regional first-class and 50-over Championships.
The BCA said in a tribute: “Our entire cricket community is poorer after hearing of the recent passing of Mr. Clifford Clarke. His outstanding contribution made within the Barbados cricketing landscape will forever be valued and greatly appreciated.
“In recent years Clifford continued to serve as a match referee on the domestic cricket scene and was our trusted Safety Officer during regional and international matches hosted at Kensington Oval. We extend condolences to his entire family. May he rest in Peace.”
Clifford Clarke, who lived at Merricks, St. Philip, leaves to mourn his wife, Eileen, children Pedro Clarke and Shelly-ann Boyce and three grandchildren.
He was also the brother of the late, well-known jockey, Byron Clarke.
The funeral will be on Saturday, October 12 at the Beulah Methodist Church, Beulah, St. Philip at 10 a.m.