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Clifford Arthur Edghill was born in Barbados, May 22, 1897 and migrated to the United States in 1 922. He married Lillian Birkett in 1924. This marriage was blessed with five children, three of whom are still living. Clifford Edghill died February 12, 1982. His life story is filled with happiness and love of family, of community, and volumes could be filled about his love of cricket!
In 1929 the “Cammeroon Crickt Club” was formed by Mr. Edghill, better known among the cricketers as “PRO.” Cammeroon and its offspring are still playing cricket today. Melbourne, Queensland and Empire to name a few are still part of the Brooklyn Cricket League formed by Mr. Edghill in the 1930’s.
During the “Depression years” when money was scarce, Mr. Edghill would order gear from S.W. Wainwright Ltd. Of England and have it shipped directly to his house and pay for it himself. Rarely was he reimbursed for the expense. He would oil the bats with linseed oil and on Sunday mornings it was cricket preparation time. Prior to going to the park, he would buckle a pair of pads around a bat and give them to the players and to his children (even those who were still too young to carry the load). He’d then stand at the turnstile on the Flatbush Avenue trolley car and pay everybody’s carfare...just so the game of cricket could be played. On more than one occasion he was accused that his love of cricket came before the love of his family.
In the fifties when the West Indian team came to New York to play at Randall’s Island, the Joint Cricket League was short of money and did not have hotel reservations to accommodate the entire team. Mr. Edghill provided Hall, Smith and Valentine with room, board and transportation back and forth to the games.
Mr. Edghill went to every Joint League meeting in the Bronx and Manhattan traveling the subways at all hours of the night. He wrote numerous letters to the Park Department to obtain permits so that cricket could be played in Prospect Park, Betsy Head Park and later in Marine Park.
I could go on extolling all the good Mr. Edghill did for his love of the game, but to all the cricketers who knew him and of him, he was simply:
“PRO, THE FATHER OF CRICKET IN BROOKLYN.”