Reginald Eustace Clarke also Known as Reggie Clarke was one of the few sportsmen in St. Lucia’s history who is widely respected. He was referred to as one of St. Lucia’s finest due to his outstanding achievements as a sportsman as well as his self deprecating attitude. Born in the Marchand area, son of notable businessman and philantrophist Robert ‘Pappy’ Clarke. Together with his brother Frederick ‘Jim’ Clarke (later Sir Frederick, St. Lucia’s first native Governor General) the siblings had their grounding at the Marchand field, the cradle of the island’s sports. both brothers were later to play prominent roles in the development of sports in St. Lucia.
Reggie was the holder of the record for the highest individual score in the Windward Islands Schools Cricket Tournament, national cricket and football captain, enduring lawn tennis player and an acknowledged master of billiards. he was a natural leader and a man whose fame on the field was equaled only by his benevolence and charitable nature.
Reggie was a team player never seeking to glorify his achievements. he also made it known that the double century was not the high point of his sporting career, it was when he took a slip to enable St. Lucia to win in a tight fought final against Dominica in 1930.
Reggie played as national cricket and football captain for over one decade. he was not a regular opener. he got most of his runs batting lower down in the order. An indication of his all-round talent as a batsman was shown in his ability to move to the top of the order and still perform creditably. At football, Reggie was one of the best defence men in the sub-region. He was described by fans as being cool and calculating with an innate grasp of the game.
In the late 1940’s, Reggie took to playing lawn tennis. He was not rated among the best in the land, but his natural athleticism and ball sense helped place him among the steadiest performers. However, his contribution to lawn tennis went further than his actual participation. Reggie had the courts at his Palm Beach Club available to all and Sundry even to the extent of providing balls to players who could not afford them.
Reggie was a fitness fanatic. St. Lucians often marvelled at the fact that years after he retired from active competition, he could be seen practising daily on the Palm Beach Courts. Even in his last days at age 75 Reggie was able to beat all his sons at lawn tennis. His eldest son, Leslie, emerged as one of the Island’s top footballers and Cricketers. Two other sons, Terry and Bobby, were among the leading local lawn tennis players.
Reginald Eustace Clarke one of St. Lucia’s sports icons died in the year 1988.