Phil Clift gave a lifetime of service to Glamorgan as a player, coach and secretary. He made his first-class debut for the county in 1936 and retired as Secretary in 1982.
The Usk-born player emerged in the 1930`s as a free-scoring batsman and in 1948 he was rated by no less a judge than Don Bradman as amongst the best young players in the country. However, Clift suffered bouts of poor health which interrupted his playing career soon after his maiden hundred against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1947. He regained health and form in 1949 , and enjoyed a purple patch in mid-June with centuries in consecutive Championship games against Kent and Essex. His innings against Essex at Ebbw Vale was probably his finest for Glamorgan, as Clift single-handedly led the county to victory with an unbeaten 101 which included two sixes and fourteen fours.
As well as playing the role of dashing strokemaker, Clift could also bat for long periods, as shown in 1949 when he occupied the crease for almost five hours in compiling a career best 125* against Derbyshire at Cardiff Arms Park. Clift retired from playing county cricket in 1955 to become the captain of the 2nd XI and the county`s Assistant Coach. His duties included running the Indoor Schools in Neath and the Arms Park during the winter months, where he helped to groom many promising young players. In 1959 Clift took over the duties of Assistant Secretary and he succeeded Wilf Wooller as the county`s Secretary in 1978.
(Article: Copyright © 2000 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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