A Wonderful Life

This is a web site dedicated to the memory of our long time friend, cricketing champion and family man, Cliff Cox.

Cliff had friends throughout the world and this site is a way for everyone who knew him to express their thoughts on his full and wonderful life. Please use the comments section on this page to celebrate Cliff and his many contributions to our lives.

21 thoughts on “A Wonderful Life

  1. I first met Clifford through Vancouver AM and we immediately bonded through our English backgrounds. He assumed, me being English, that I played cricket, and when I said my last experience was when I was 12 and I was no good he asked me if I would come and watch a game.

    Of course I said yes, he then informed me that they were a man short and would I join the over 40`s team. That was 6 years ago and I have been playing ever since.

    Clifford was a truly wonderful, fun individual who always had a smile and a great word. He was an incredible hard worker with a huge passion for cricket and for life. We need more people like him and the world would be a better place.

    David Clark-Wilson

  2. Judi and I would like to add our thoughts and pay our tribute to Cliff. He was a big part of so many of our lives and his loss is impacting on us all.
    We remember with fondness the many Golden Oldies trips that we were privileged to enjoy with Cliff and the members of the BCCC. Not only did we meet many of Cliff’s friends but met so many cricketers from all over the world. Thanks to the Golden Oldies movement we have traveled to many places in the world that we may have never seen. That especially included South Africa and Sri Lanka. Not only was the cricket fun but also how could one forget the great singing and celebrations that followed the games.
    One memory that stands out was a bus trip back from a game outside Christchurch. Our opposition was traveling with us and Cliff started to sing. That triggered some wonderful NZ songs and the bus just rocked all the way back to Christchurch!
    Since we moved to the Island our friendship with Cliff deepened with the Thursday games at Shawnigan Lake. We would meet at the Black Swan Pub for lunch before the games and then go to Elford Rd. to play a game in the true spirit of cricket.
    The Beacon Hill Lunches were another wonderful venue that Cliff religiously attended and shared his many great stories of cricket and the latest happenings on the Cricket Canada scene.
    Wherever Cliff went he was a great ambassador for the game. We as friends and devotees of cricket have lost a dear friend, and cricket has lost a huge supporter. We sincerely hope that those of us who committed to go to Adelaide indeed do so that we may enjoy the last trip that Cliff organized!

    May he rest in peace.
    Mike and Judi

  3. If one person represented Canadian cricket it was Cliff. Player, administrator, ideas man, representative in B.C., in Toronto, at Golden Oldies, at Lords …..the red-headed lad from Oldham could not have done more for our game. He could also have graced Coronation Street, the music hall, D’Oyly Carte with his talent and showmanship. His humour and stand-up comedy acts always found an audience at any event he attended. Did he tell you the story about the pigeons from Trafalgar Square arranging a meeting with the pigeons in Fleet Street? My wife is still laughing.
    He was a legend, a tireless enthusiast who we cannot replace. But we can remember him and remind ourselves there is always more to do. None of this “retiring at the top” at the age of 40. You were brilliant, Cliff.

    Howard Martin (Cowichan Cricket Club)

  4. In all the years that I knew him I cannot think of a better person, a true gentleman, full of passion and fun. He was so dedicated in his life that I often wondered how he was able to balance so many things every day. Most people will no doubt remember his immense contribution to the game of Cricket from the Club, League, Province, National and International levels. His efforts to provide a means for older players brought about the over 40′s and he has the honour of one of the group with Air New Zealand in starting the Golden Oldies. Lest I forget, his contribution towards the Arts in Vancouver will never be forgotten. He was a true giant, a great friend who always had a smile, never had any enemies, and was always prepared to help solve problems no matter how difficult.
    God Bless you Cliff. I shall never forget the years that I have had in your Company and all the advice that I received and appreciated. May You rest in peace and may the Lord provide solace to Doreen and the rest of the family.

    Aziz

  5. Many fine true words and tributes have been said and written about Cliff.

    There is nothing more that I can add to all these truisms except to say I will personally miss his smile, his gravelly voice and the positive attitude he reflected at all times, even when he reluctantly, in recent years, watched other members of the team he brought annually to Cowichan, take the field at Shawnigan Lake.
    A sad farewell knowing that I will never again see the “Pirate of Penzance”.

    A real gentleman.

    Tony

  6. I was very sad to hear about Cliff. He was one of the true characters of cricket in Vancouver and someone who kept cricket going through his tireless efforts, not only provincially but nationally. Cliff was always very good to me especially on his first three BCCC tours to England when as a 15 year old, I was thrown into the fray in some games when injuries caused shortages. In 1972, as an 18 year old on tour by myself, he always looked out for me and ensured that I got opportunities to bat and bowl and was included in all the out of hours team activities. He was a very kind individual and always made people he ran into feel special. Although I haven’t seen much of Cliff in the last 20 years, now that I live in London, I was able to see him briefly when he came into London two years ago. He was just as enthusiatic as ever and obviously very proud of his grandchildren, two who were with him on the trip.

    Cliff loved the theatre and I did see him perform a couple of times in the 70′s, his Fagin in Oliver was exceptionally good.

    I always think some of my favourite people will live on forever but in this case, it was not to be.Cliff has left behind a legacy that will be hard to beat. Well done Cliff!!!

  7. If I were a betting man I’d hazard a guess that right now there are negotiations afoot between Cliff and St. Peter about establishing for future generations the opportunity to play the game of cricket. Already chosen and in place, under a bright blue cloudless sky where it never rains, there is an immaculate field of green closely cropped grass surrounded by a white picket fence with a magnificent pavilion. All that remains to be done is to prepare the pitch for play. You will know who will do that!

    Cliff is not negotiating for himself but, as always, for those of us who sooner or later will join him on yet another tour – so that we, his friends, will be able to continue enjoying the game we love.

    Although those of us that play may hope that we are not included in next week’s team list we nevertheless know that the future of cricket in many places is assured as a result of the undying efforts of one remarkable ambassador. We are fortunate indeed to have traveled with Cliff, to share his vision, his dedication, his talent, and his humour.

    Let him rest, Heaven blessed. Bring him home.
    Bring him peace, bring him joy. Bring him home.

  8. Rest in Peace Cliff.
    A really nice man with great stories and a wry smile and wit.
    I will always see you sitting at the Pavilion at Cowichan Cricket Club
    Dillon Carfoot
    Cowichan Cricket Club

    • I first met Cliff in Rotorua at The Golden Oldies. I had not met him before and I had the pleasure of making my debut for BCCC. with thanks to Cliff’s organising.
      In 2002 The Goolden Oldies was held in Vancouver.
      In one match I had the pleasure of being captain and duly appeared on the front page of The Vancouver Sun newspaper, thanks to a reporter namely Daphe Bramham. This lady arrived saying ‘I know nothing about cricket’ – the one and only Martin Saunders was enlightening her on the game of cricket. After the game she said ‘What I learned about cricket – the actual game of cricker – was not much’
      Thanks to Cliff I went to Australis,Sri Lanka, Queenstown and finally to Harrogate. I had retired after going to Harrogate and hope you guys in Vancouver can take a team to Adelaide, I am sure Cliff would be pleased.
      I hope Doreen and the family can be comforted, in the way, we cricketers hold him in such high esteem.

      Thank you – George & Pat.

  9. Euan and Dorothy Kirkwood
    I first met Cliff in 1959 on my arrival to Canada and before I knew what was happening I was chasing the cricket ball smacked soundly from Cliff’s bat,as I was then playing with Burrard.. Over the years since then, I joined Vancouver Rowing Club (before it became Meralomas) and fondly remember on many occasions opening the batting with “The Master”.During this time I thoroughly enjoyed Cliff’s fantastic organization on Golden Oldies and BCCA tours-even one to Scotland when Dorothy thought she was going on a world tour! Being involved on committees with the BCMCL and BCCA I learned of Cliff’s dedication to the game of cricket.He will be sadly and greatly missed by us all and Dorothy and I send our heartfelt condolences to Doreen and all other family members

  10. Dear Fellow Cricketers,

    I know we are all so saddened by this news of our friend Coxey. How do we begin to fill the void he leaves behind? I fear we never can. The things he was able to accomplish and the influence he wielded on all our behalves will soon become glaringly apparent as we mourn his passing. Let us not forget how generous of his time and spirit was cliff, husband, father, grandfather, businessman, thespian, sportsman, bon vivant, dear friend. We will never replace him and never forget him.

    How shall we live, now that summer’s ended,
    And bat and ball(too soon!) are put aside,
    And all our cricket deeds and dreams have blended-
    The hit for six, the champion bowled for none,
    The match we planned to win and never won?…
    Only in green-winged memory they abide.

    How shall we live, who love our loveliest game
    With such bright ardour that when stumps are drawn
    We talk into the twilight, always the same
    Old talk with laughter rounding off each tale-
    Laughter of old friends across a pint of ale
    In the blue shade of the pavilion.

    For the last time a batsmen’s out, the day
    Like the drained glass and the dear sundown field
    Is empty; what instead of summer’s play
    Can occupy these darkling months ere spring
    Hails willow once again the crowned king?
    How shall we live so life may not be chilled?

    Thomas Moult 1964

  11. Dear Friends:

    Thanks Fletch for the lovely poem. Cliff was Mr. Cricket in every aspect. In the past few days I have been thinking of the times, not in the distant past but just this last summer where I see in my mind Cliff walking across the field on a Sunday morning coming to the pavilion to watch the weekend cricket game at Connaught Park and he then takes the scorebook and goes on to keep the score for the home team. He was full of fun and inspirational, and was always encouraging fellow cricketers. I remember the little chats – sometimes he only had to share a few words of wisdom to boost the confidence where needed. Cliff carried a vast knowledge not just on cricket but on wide variety of subjects. And the jokes. The Cricket tours he organized on our behalf. He was full of life.

    He will be sadly missed but always will be remembered for the person he was and for the contributions he made to the game.

  12. Cliff was one of my oldest friends in B.C. and such a going concern right until the end. In fact, it was only last week that we were exchanging e-mails regarding arrangements for the forthcoming Golden Oldies cricket festival in Adelaide, for which Cliff, as usual, was bringing a BCCC team. I played cricket both with and against Cliff from 1960 onward when I first arrived at Vancouver, went on tour with him several times to all parts of the globe, and attended many of his theatrical performances. Wonderful memories.

    Cliff was a great character – an organiser and entertainer par excellence. Of course, all of us are aware of his strange eating habits – his achilles heel – a refusal to consume anything other than plain, down-to-earth food, and absolutely nothing with a hint of spice – which, of course, represented serious problems for those involved in catering arrangements. But Doreen could always be relied upon to ensure that Cliff was properly nourished with egg and chips, pie and chips, and other delicacies dating back to his Lancashire roots. However, at our get-together at the Palki last August, Cliff was somehow induced to come along, despite this being an Indian restaurant – and I have a photo of Cliff struggling through a plate of dahl and rice which Doreen had persuaded him to attempt !

    There will be hundreds of accolades paid to Cliff’s memory over the next few days. His contribution to cricket in B.C. and Canada was immense, and will never be forgotten. Cliff will live long in our hearts.

    Don Tanner – Adelaide, Australia

  13. Cliff will be deeply missed for his charm and smile, his ability to provide clarity in the confusing world of Cricket and for his perseverance towards improving the game he loved. He was a true gentleman and role model.

    Personally Cliff enabled me like many to realize my Cricketing aspirations. His assistance both financially and as a mentor has paved the way for Cricketer’s from the West and from all of Canada.

    Karl Whatham

    Meraloma 2007 – 2011

  14. Not Cliff! was my first reaction upon hearing the sad news.
    It was less than 6 weeks ago that Howard Martin, Peter Stead and myself had the enjoyable pleasure of sitting with Cliff at the Beacon Hill Pavillion Society Christmas Luncheon where Cliff was to receive an award. It was a memorable event for all 60 plus members in attendance. I joined the Vancouver Cricket Club in 1959 shortly after my arrival in Vancouver thanks to Harry Stead. It wasn’t long before I met Cliff at a Vancouver Rowing Club game. Upon learning I was from Essex he immediately nicknamed me “Barnacle” and that name stuck. Cliff loved Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park “Rain or shine” Cliff would be there in some capacity – “on” or “off” stage. I don’t believe I ever attended a “TUTS” concert without him being there. iYou could also be assured of seeing Cliff every year at “The Last Night of the Proms” concerts at the Orpheum Theatre. Every cricketer knew or has heard of Cliff – he was “a living legend” and I, as well as all of us associated with our great game will miss him. There was no more enjoyable experience than to sit with Cliff for an afternoon watching cricket and enjoying his wit,story tellingg and love of people. We will all genuinely miss him. Good Bye Cliff.

  15. Before Christ Cliff Cox(BCCC) an emblem and expression we have carried all over the world with pride and distinction due to coxies never ending energy and enthusiasm for the game of cricket.Come to think of it he was enthusiastic about everything he touched be it singing, acting,sports,business and friendships, the latter in my case over 40 years and he was always there with an ear, and advice or observations i shall sorely miss his monthly calls and e mails, and sad as his passing is i am sure that we all have great memories of Cliff that he will remain in our memory banks.
    I am sure coxie is having his second innings up there
    Martin Saunders

  16. ‘ WHEN YOU PART FROM YOUR FRIEND, GRIEVE NOT; FOR THAT WHICH YOU LOVE MOST IN HIM MAY BE CLEARER IN HIS ABSENCE, AS THE MOUNTAIN TO THE CLIMBER IS CLEARER FROM THE PLAIN …… ‘ Kahlil Gibran Goodnight Dear Cliff ……… I hope for their sakes there is a veritable supply of Pie and Chips in Heaven’s Kitchen ……. Rest in Peace Carolyne, Ollie and Teddy Fletcher xxxxxxxx

  17. Ron and Jean Waters, presently in Australlia, have learned wih great sadness of the death of Cliff. It was also a shock as it was so unexpected. We also met Cliff in the late 1950s and have been friends for over fifty years.

    Cliff has done so much for cricket in Canada and B.C. in particular. We have all enjoyed the cricket tours that he has organized and visited so many wonderful places in the world because of his planning and great enthusiasm for the game.

    Nearer to home, Cliff has prepared and marked out the cricket pitch on a Saturday morning, looked after the cricket bats and pads in the winter, with a little whitening on the pads to help keep the expenses down. These are jobs that are important in a club, which do not earn many kudos at the time. These are the things I will remember about Cliff; others will highlight his talents for the many other good things he has achieved.

    Cliff’s office is about 200 yards from mine and I regularly ran into him during lunch time, where I got my latest updtes on what is happening in the cricket world. These are the things that I will miss about Cliff, and when I return to work in April, his absence will be felt more deeply.

    Jean and I regret that we will not be in Vancouver to celebrate his Life.

  18. It is not so long ago that Cliff and I were in communication arranging our Annual Picnic Lunch at Lords on the Friday of the Lords Test and therefore his passing is such a great shock.

    A good friend and mentor over many years and please accept some thoughts from the heart’.

    ‘Now is not the time for tears or to mourn but to celebrate the Life of our dear friend Cliff, an extraordinary human being who filled the lives of the many people he met with love and hope

  19. Tim Savage – West Vancouver C.C. June 6th, 2012.

    Hi Cliff,
    Hope you are settling in well “up there” and enjoying the best seat in the house for all those Test Matches, One Day Games, Festival matches and Meraloma games.
    Did you enjoy the IPL Final? Quite a game wasn’t it !

    You’re not forgotten as we start another Over 40s Evening League campaign as all teams took a moment to remember and thank you again for all the work you did for us here in Vancouver, B.C., Canada and further afield, during your innings on earth. The same also happened at the first Cowichan game last week.

    I’ll personally also remember you calling me back in late 1998 to say I’d made it onto a B.C. Representitive side for a 5 nation Festival in San Fransisco and to call the list he would send me next day to re-confirm everyone. Within 3 days I had found “another“ 5 players to make up the team, organised the minibus, arranged insurance etc and driven the team down to meet the other minibus from Victoria, the process which Cliff coached over the phone and assured me would be good experience for a natural organiser like me! He was such a charmer and was all done over the phone, as he was away from home on a business trip at the time.

    Well Cliff, I always enjoyed your company, enthusiasm and sporting outlook as did many and we all thank you again. – God Bless.

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