Chris eyes ideal 70th birthday present

Chris Clifford in action for Seamer
Chris Clifford in action for Seamer

One of the area’s top cricketers, Chris Clifford, is celebrating his 70th birthday today, and the off-spinner has a key game tonight at Ganton.

The match between AndyHire Evening League division B leaders Seamer A - Clifford’s team - and hosts Ganton, could be crucial to the visitors as they could take a step closer to the title and a return to the top flight if they win.

Chris Clifford with his grandchildren James and Charlotte

Chris Clifford with his grandchildren James and Charlotte

This means that former Scarborough CC, Yorkshire and Warwickshire off-spinner Clifford could help give himself the ideal birthday present if he can help steer the village team to victory.

Clifford’s daughter Elizabeth Briggs, who also lives in Seamer, is very proud of her sporting dad, who used to teach at Graham School.

She said: “He played from the age of 20 to 60 for Scarborough and since then he has been playing for Seamer in the Beckett League. He has done an awful lot for cricket in this area.”

Clifford also played for Yorkshire 11 times in 1972 and 36 matches for Warwickshire in 1979 and 1980, taking 126 wicketsd an average of 37.61 during these 47 first-class games.

Elizabeth continued: “He was born in Hovingham and played cricket on the village green as a child. He and his twin brother John worked the scoreboard at Hovingham from the age of seven, watching their father play the game.

“Dad also played for Malton Grammar School, he remembers getting 7-3 and 89 not out at the age of 15 against Ryedale’s senior team, he has a fantastic memory and very good records.

“He trained at Carnegie College and taught in Leeds for a while before moving to Newark which is where he met my mother.”

Elizabeth, who has an older sister Katie, added: “In 1962 he started to play for Scarborough CC, and by 1968 he was playing for Newark, Scarborough and Yorkshire 2nds.

“In August 1969, they married, and travelled to Scarborough on honeymoon so he could play for Scarborough that weekend and for Yorkshire 2nds.

“He has dedicated his life to the game and we are all exceptionally proud of his achievements. He has a wonderful relationship with his grandchildren Charlotte, nine, and James, six, and is often seen walking with them to games.”