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Cricketing legend meets Desmond Haynes
It is with deep regret I advise that former member Ian "Harry" Neill passed away in his sleep last week aged only 57.
Previously playing at Oxton, Harry joined Clifton in 1992, and quickly made his mark, helping the Club to win the South Notts Village League Premier Division in his first season.
Although more than useful with the bat (scoring 409 runs with a high score of 50*) it was his tenacious medium pace bowling that was renowned. In total "H" took 163 wickets at 19.20, including seven 5-wicket innings. In 1993 he topped the bowling averages with 42 wickets at 13.50 including his best figures of 6-36 v Stanton-by-Dale.
Normally playing in tracksuit trousers beneath his whites, he made an unmistakable rustling noise as he approached the stumps. Any batsman that mistook this as 'village' were soon sorely mistaken, as one game at Stoke Bardolph in 1993 aptly proved.
Batting first we only managed to score 128, and fielding with only 10 men due to an illness, Stoke Bardolph raced to 95 for 1 before Harry had even bowled a ball. Coming on fourth change Harry's competitiveness began to swing the game, but at 113-3 Stoke were in command. It was then that "H" kicked up a gear, and he blasted out 5 for 27 including the last two wickets with the scores level, as we snatched the most unlikeliest of ties.
Harry only played at the Club until 1997, but along with 1992, he also helped win the Championship in 1995 and 1996, proving himself to be integral in one of Clifton's most successful bowling attacks of all time.
Never shy of playing a dressing room prank or two, Harry was an extremely well liked and respected member who will be sorely missed by everyone who played with him. A true Clifton Competitor.
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
1996 Champions : Harry is seen here sat second from the left, having just given me a 'happy slap'