Don Clarke

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For other people named Don Clarke, see Don Clarke (disambiguation).
Don Clarke
Full name Donald Barry Clarke
Date of birth (1933-11-10)10 November 1933
Place of birth Pihama, New Zealand
Date of death 29 December 2002(2002-12-29) (aged 69)
Place of death Johannesburg, South Africa
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 110 kg (240 lb)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fullback
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Waikato
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1956–64 New Zealand 31 (207)

Donald Barry Clarke (10 November 1933 – 29 December 2002) was a New Zealand rugby union player who played 89 times (31 of these were test matches) as a New Zealand international from 1956 until 1964. He was best known for his phenomenal goal kicking ability that earned him the nickname "The Boot".

Rugby career[edit]

Clarke was first selected to play rugby for the Waikato rugby team at the age of 17 in 1951. In 1956 he helped the Waikato side to a 14–10 victory over the touring South African Springbok side. This helped his cause in being selected to play in the third All Black test match of the Springbok tour. Over his entire All Black career Clarke scored 781 points, a record that stood for 24 years until it was broken by Grant Fox in 1988.

Clarke had four brothers, Ian, Douglas, Brian and Graeme all of whom also represented Waikato. Only once did they all appear for Waikato in the same match, at Te Aroha in 1961.

A highlight of his career was to play for the Eastwood Rugby Club (Sydney, Australia) in an exhibition match. "One of the best days of my life" Clarke commented at the after match function. In July 1965 Clarke also helped Hornsby Rugby beat Mosman at Waitara Oval by scoring a try and demonstrating his kicking skills by kicking two penalties and three conversions.

Clarke moved to South Africa in the 1970s and coached at King David Victory Park High School in Johannesburg.

Cricket career[edit]

Clarke also played 27 first-class cricket matches as a right-arm opening bowler, mostly for Auckland and Northern Districts, taking five or more wickets in an innings on four occasions. His best performance came for Northern Districts against Central Districts in January 1963, when he claimed 8/37 in the second innings.[1] At the time, this was a record innings return for Northern Districts in first-class cricket, although it was beaten by Gren Alabaster's 8/30 just two months later.[2]

Personal history[edit]

He was a younger brother of Ian Clarke, who captained the New Zealand Rugby Team.

In 1997, Clarke was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, when a 15-tonne truck hit his utility vehicle.

He was diagnosed with melanoma in March 2001, from which he died on 29 December 2002.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Central Districts v Northern Districts in 1962/63". CricketArchive. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Most Wickets in an Innings for Northern Districts". CricketArchive. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 

External links[edit]