Clarke was brought up in the town of Southend and was educated at Southend High School for Boys and was a prominent hockey player there. Many have followed in Jonty's footsteps and become great players, many representing Essex. SHSB said that they believed Jonty is the second pupil to ever represent Team GB at the Olympics after Mark Foster.
After his performance at the 2008 Olympics, Jonty Clarke became the first accountant to win the Echo's Southend Sports Personality of the Year. He attributed his success partly to his employer BDO, for which he works for on a part-time basis.