Phil Carling - a tribute

25 Nov 2023 | Cricket


The Club is saddened to learn of the recent passing of former Glamorgan County Cricket Club Secretary and Chief Executive Phil Carling.

Phil was in post from 1983 until 1990 during which time he oversaw some important improvements to the Club’s commercial operations. He was also present with other leading officials at Sophia Gardens in July 1987, when the Club hosted a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Princess of Wales to launch the club’s Centenary Year.

Born in Carshalton, Surrey in November 1946, Phil was educated at Kingston Grammar School and St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge.
During his days as an undergraduate at Cambridge, he enjoyed a brief career in first-class cricket from 1967 until 1970, with the left -handed batter starring in the Light Blues side of 1970, alongside Majid Khan and Roger Knight. That summer Phil posted his one and only first-class hundred, against Glamorgan at Fenner’s, during a second-wicket stand of 225 with Majid, which helped to see Cambridge to an eight-wicket win.

In addition to winning a Cricket Blue at Cambridge, Phil also won a Hockey Blue. He was also a talented squash player and golfer. He played club cricket for, amongst others, Malden Wanderers CC as well as occasionally for Surrey 2nd XI from 1966 and 1976.

After coming down from Cambridge he went into sports administration, initially at Nottinghamshire where he played a leading role in the creation of the squash facilities at Trent Bridge, before rising to the position of Club’s Secretary prior to moving to South Wales where he succeeded Phil Clift as the Secretary of Glamorgan County Cricket Club in 1983.

Phil brought a sharper commercial edge to the Welsh county’s administration and during his time with Glamorgan he helped the Club secure their first major sponsorship deal with Peter Llewellyn Ltd. Together with his team of young executives, Phil also clinched a lucrative deal with the Neath Development Partnership which resulted in Glamorgan’s matches against the Australians in 1985, 1989 and 1993 being staged at The Gnoll, Neath, rather than St Helen’s, Swansea, as had been the case in previous years.

During the Spring of 1986 Phil oversaw the move of the Club offices from their city-centre location at 6, High Street, to the Sophia Gardens ground, as well as overseeing several other improvements at both Cardiff and Swansea with new facilities for corporate hospitality. Phil was instrumental in securing a sponsorship deal with Cardiff-based Allied Steel and Wire whose partnership saw a number of initiatives in grassroots cricket in Wales.

After leaving Glamorgan, Phil worked in various roles with the Sports Council for Wales and in January 2004 he succeeded Gareth Davies as their Chair.

On hearing the news of Phil’s passing, current chief executive Hugh Morris said: “Everyone at Glamorgan is saddened to hear of the recent passing of Phil Carling. As the first of a new breed of First-Class County chief executives, he brought a more focused approach to our commercial operations which enabled additional investment into developing local talent. Phil made very significant contributions, not only to Glamorgan cricket, but also to wider sport and sporting organisations in Wales. Despite his health challenges, we were delighted to host Phil at the final Welsh Fire home game at the end of last season, which gave him plenty of time to reminisce of the huge changes the game had undergone since his involvement in the game.”