John "Cecil" McLean
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(Photo at right: courtesy of the Donohoe family)

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   John "Cecil" McLean, 48, long-time scoreboard operator at Father
Judge HS' basketball games and a constant at youth/CYO games in all
sports throughout Northeast Philadelphia, has died in his sleep.
   "Cecil" was a true character and kind-hearted soul and brightened the
lives of everyone who shared time with him.
   Arrangements: viewing, 9/28, 7 to 9 p.m., Aldworth Funeral Home,
4117 Decatur Street (near Frankford & Rhawn); funeral, 9/29, 10:30
a.m., St. Dominic RC Church, 8500 Frankford Ave.
   We welcome your thoughts about "Cecil." RIP, buddy.

  I have three boys -- Marc 19, Derek 13, Tim 12. All three went to (or are still going to) St. Matt's.
Marc went to Father Judge.  The two younger boys when they found out last night were very upset.
I coach the JV baseball team at Matt's. Cecil was always around. Giving out gum and just making
the kids have fun. It did not matter what the score was Cecil made sure the kids had a smile.
Maybe that is what Cecil did the best -- made sure everything was good for the kids. Maybe some
parents could learn from him.
  My younger boys even called Marc down in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he's going to school.
  He called me back around 10:30 last night. "Dad, let me know if i can do anything for Cecil. It
hurts, Dad. He was a great person."
  I guess heaven just got a little brighter.
-- Marc D. Ross

  I guess it was 3rd or 4th grade when my dad was still coaching at St. Matt's that I was introduced to this guy who always had gum! All through my years at St. Matts, I knew him as a fixture at St. Matt's and Father Judge events, always smiling, joking calling me and everyone else a "Turkey" and always having a never ending supply of gum. When my dad started football back up at St. Matt's Cecil was a fixture at all events even doing the chains at home games. One Xmas my dad came home with Cecil, and said "I found Santa" and it was none other than Cecil, I guess that was back in 1998-99 or something like that, ever since, Cecil was a fixture at our house for Xmas dinner. He loved every minute of it and was a joy to be around, always kind words, always a thanks Mrs. Donohoe.....Cecil was such a kind hearted man, and when we go to play at Judge this year, I will look over at the scorers table and smile, remembering Cecil and the impact that he had on so many of us from Northeast Philadelphia. May God bless his soul.
-- Bill Donohoe Jr.
La Salle College High School

Cecil was a nice kid. I say that lovingly even if he was 48 !
He would appear at a game out of nowhere and you'd be amazed at the people response he received ! Greeted like a celeb !
With him on the clock , it was tough to beat Judge at Judge ! Smile !
I will miss him and his local sports knowledge and humor !!
-- Bill Seybold

It was very disheartening to learn of the passing of "Cecil" today. He was a true sports figure in Northeast Philadelphia. When I was in grade school I played basketball for St. Bartholomew in a "B" league at Redeemer Lutheran, and that is when I first met "Cecil". Years later I became the coach of St. Bart's. At a game in St. Matt's gym he came up to me to get my roster and said playing around "you couldn't beat St. Matt's when you played, do you think you can beat them now"? I was taken back by this, that he remembered me years after I had played in the "B" league. I was very fortunate to work with Cecil in summer leagues and various tournaments in my time at St. Bart's. Basketball in the Northeast will not be the same this year. May He Rest In Peace.
-- Bill Sytsma
Neumann- Goretti Football

   I was thinking about Cecil last night and remember an incident that happened about 1997 or 98 or maybe a few years earlier . Region 1 High School Junior - Senior Basketball Championship game at St Matt's with Matt's vs St Williams . At the time , St Matt's was winning this thing most of the time but this one year , Williams had a very good team who was undefeated at the time.
  Cecil's on the clock , 2 mins left in the game with Williams up by 10 points and in total control when all of a sudden , there's a commotion at the scorers table , something is happening to Cecil where his finger is frozen on the off button on the clock and he's in like a trance !! It takes like 25 mins to get him out of the gym to a hospital.
   When the game is resumed , St Matt's proceeds to score the next 14 or 16 points and WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP !!!
   Although nothing was seriously wrong at that time with Cecil , I swear after witnessing that conclusion , God willed it because Cecil loved St Matt's !!!!
   To this day , I have dubbed that win " The Cecil Factor " !!
   Long Live His Memory !!!
-- Bill Seybold (again)

  I want to first start out by saying how much of legend Cecil truly was in
our neighborhood. I have known Cecil my whole life and have never heard
anybody say a bad word about him except for calling him a "turkey". God only
knows how many packs of gum he has bought and given away over the years to
so many different people. Cecil not only did the clock at St. Matts and
Judge but he also never missed a practice for either of the teams as he
would mostly take the bus everywhere. Not only was he a master at keeping
the clock but he also might possibly go down as the greatest thumb wrestler
of the world. Whenever asking Cecil for gum you always had to thumb wrestle
him and of course follow his rules of no sneak attacks. Although you would
never win he always still would give you the pack of gum and as a result
call you a turkey. There are so many stories that I have of Cecil over the
years which are all classics. Cecil will be missed and it will be wierd
going to St. Matts and Judge and not having him do the clock or just hanging
around the neighborhood.
---Ryan Haigh

  Cecil was a funny guy to be around. Some comical stuff came out of
that guy's mouth. I'm gonna miss talkin' basketball with him and seeing
run the clock at Judge games. Man, why'd this have to happen? Cecil.
He never bothered anyone.
-- Tom "Hockey Puck" McKenna

I played for St. Matt's and Father Judge and now am the Freshman coach at Judge and always remember seeing Cecil at every game.  Cecil was probably known by more people in the Northeast then any other person.  There are so many memories of Cecil thumb wrestling anyone who would want some gum and calling any coach, player, or any person a "turkey" immediately telling you "you better not tell them I said that".  Everyone knows Cecil's love of food and have seen him eat impressive amounts especially at tournaments.  Last year Cecil was doing the clock for our 8th grade tournament and half time came and Cec went out to get something to eat.  Half time was only about 3 minutes, to keep the games moving, and after about 5 minutes there was an announcement for Cecil to report to the scorer's table.  Out comes Cecil with 2 hot dogs, 2 sodas, 2 pretzels covered with mustard (Cecil and the scorer's table would also end up covered) and some candy.  Cecil was a great person and was definitely not appreciated enough for all he did.  It's going to be tough to not see him anymore and I wish his family the best. 
-- Joe Maguire