Frank Clarke was a lively right-arm seam bowler who played for Glamorgan during the late 1950s, with many hoping that the Cardiff-born bowler might step into the shoes soon to be vacated by Wilf Wooller.
He impressed many good judges, including Wilf himself as a schoolboy cricketer for St. Fagan`s, with Frank playing for the county’s Colts and 2nd XI during his final year at school. He made his County Championship debut against Leicestershire at Llanelli in 1956 and having been coached by George Lavis and subsequently Phil Clift, there were great hopes that Frank would secure a regular spot in Glamorgan’s seam attack, especially with Don Shepherd having switched to a slower style of off-cutters.
But Frank’s career was interrupted by National Service with the Royal Engineers for whom he played during 1958. The following summer he regained his place in Glamorgan’s line-up and at Lord’s took a career-best 5/66 during the Championship match against Middlesex. But soon after Frank was beset by a series of niggling injuries, and with doubts over his fitness, these various ailments forced him into retirement at the end of the 1960 season.
Frank duly became a skilled carpenter and cabinet maker living in Sussex, with his skills being put to good effect during the redevelopment of the pavilion bars and committee rooms at the Hove ground, with Frank being rightly very proud of his outstanding work.
Born – Cardiff, 8th October 1936.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 31 v Indians at Swansea, 1959; 5/66 v Middlesex at Lord’s, 1959.