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Full name Phil Brittain Clift
Born September 3, 1918, Usk, Monmouthshire
Died May 22, 2005, Cardiff (aged 86 years 261 days)
Major teams Glamorgan
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
When the Australians touring England in 1948 were asked by the English press to name some of the uncapped batsmen who had impressed them most, Don Bradman put forward Phil Clift, the opener from Glamorgan, who died, aged 86, on May 22. Several bouts of illness prevented him from playing at international level but there was no doubting his rich promise in 1948 as he recorded a composed 30 against Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller at Swansea before, later in the summer, celebrating with the rest of Wilf Wooller's team as Glamorgan won the County Championship for the first time.
Clift made his county debut in 1936 as, under Maurice Turnbull's wise leadership, Glamorgan gave every encouragement to young, home-grown talent. After the war Clift's playing career was interrupted by spells of illness. The first came shortly after he returned home from National Service but he recovered enough to register a maiden hundred against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1947. Then, in June 1949, Clift enjoyed a purple patch with centuries in consecutive Championship games against Kent and Essex.
After retiring from playing in 1955, Clift had many different roles at Glamorgan, including secretary. Having given more than 50 years of loyal service to Glamorgan, Clift well deserved the tribute of the county`s chief executive Mike Fatkin: "He was a legendary figure within the club organisation and a very nice man who always had the best interests of the club at heart."
The Wisden Cricketer
CLIFT, PHIL BRITTAIN, who died on May 22, 2005, aged 86, was a stalwart of Glamorgan cricket for more than half a century. He made his debut in 1937, and opened the batting for much of the next two decades, though his career was interrupted not merely by the war but by frequent bouts of tuberculosis. In 1948, he impressed the Australians with his willingness to play shots, and was in the middle of the leg-side catching cordon (between his fellow Usk boy, Allan Watkins, and Wilf Wooller) that was crucial to Glamorgan's first Championship. After retiring from first-class cricket in 1955, he did just about every job the club could offer: second-team captain, coach, supporters' club organiser, assistant secretary, secretary (from 1978 to 1982) and, sometimes, scorer. He was a kindly soul but, as a coach, prone to get exasperated by bad cricket, and hurl his cap on the ground. "Phil was a very nice man," said Don Shepherd, "but there was an underlying steel to him. He did want the job done properly."
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack