|Full name||Ian Stewart Clarkson|
|Date of birth||4 December 1970|
|Place of birth||Solihull, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|2003||Forest Green Rovers|
(player/assistant caretaker manager)
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Ian Stewart Clarkson (born 4 December 1970) is an English former professional footballer who made nearly 400 appearances in the Football League playing as a defender for Birmingham City, Stoke City, Northampton Town and Kidderminster Harriers.
Ian Clarkson was born in Solihull, West Midlands. He began his football career as a YTS trainee with Birmingham City, the club he had supported since childhood, in 1987. He made his first team debut as a 17-year-old in the League Cup against Aston Villa in September 1988, and his Football League debut a few days later. He signed his first professional contract in December 1988. In 1991, he played in Birmingham's winning side in the Associate Members Cup final at Wembley. The following season, he captained the side to promotion from the Third Division while still only 21, an achievement which he considers to be the highlight of his career.
Former Birmingham manager Lou Macari brought Clarkson to First Division side Stoke City in September 1993 for a fee of £40,000. He spent three seasons at Stoke, and played in the First Division play-offs, in which Stoke lost to Martin O'Neill's Leicester City side in the 1996 semi-final. When his contract expired he rejected Stoke's offer of renewal terms, and left for Third Division side Northampton Town.
At Northampton, he linked up with former Birmingham City teammates John Gayle, Dean Peer and manager Ian Atkins, soon to be joined by John Frain. In his first season, he helped them to promotion via the play-offs, and the next year played in the Second Division play-off final, but lost 1–0 to Grimsby Town. In August 1998, he suffered a badly-broken tibia in a match against Lincoln City. Though he made a couple of appearances for Northampton at the start of the 1999–2000 season, it appeared that he was no longer fit enough to compete at that level, and that his league career was over at the age of 28.
Clarkson went to train at Kidderminster Harriers, then in the Conference, and regained sufficient fitness to be able to play regularly at that level. Kidderminster made him club captain, and of his first 30 games for the club they lost only one; at the end of the season the club were promoted to the Football League as Conference champions. They repaid the insurance payout that Clarkson had received on his retirement due to injury, so that he was able to play for them in the Football League. When Jan Molby resigned as manager of Kidderminster in March 2002, Clarkson acted as assistant to caretaker manager Ian Britton. The club released him at the end of that season for financial reasons. He joined Nuneaton Borough of the Conference, and was released in December again on financial grounds. He then registered for short periods with Stafford Rangers, Leamington and, from March 2003, Forest Green Rovers, finally retiring at the end of the season.
Life after football
Clarkson qualified as a coach and coach educator, and worked for Birmingham City's Football in the Community programme. During the later years of his playing career he was keen to get involved in media work; from 2002 he was employed as a football reporter and journalist by the Birmingham Post and Sunday Mercury newspapers and by the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA)'s website. In 2006, he was appointed to manage a scheme designed to involve young people in sport and physical activity, as part of a wider programme of regeneration of the deprived areas of North Solihull.
- Sourced from Ian Clarkson profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Birmingham City||1988–89||Second Division||9||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||11||0|
|Stoke City||1993–94||Division One||14||0||1||0||2||0||2||0||19||0|
|Northampton Town||1996–97||Division Three||45||0||1||0||4||0||6||0||56||0|
|Kidderminster Harriers||1999–2000||Conference National||28||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||28||0|
|Nuneaton Borough||2002–03||Conference National||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||12||0|
- Birmingham City
- Northampton Town
- Kidderminster Harriers
- Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
- "Birmingham City : 1946/47–2008/09". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
- "Ian Clarkson". TrueGreats.com. Archived from the original on 9 May 2006.
- Matthews. Birmingham City: A Complete Record. p. 224.
- Bulman, Andy (2004). "Ian Clarkson". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
- Lloyd, Grahame (6 August 2000). "Jan the man hawkish on Harriers". The Independent. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "Clarkson aiming to finish on high note". Redditch Advertiser. 9 April 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
- "Britton wields the summer exit axe". Redditch Advertiser. 3 June 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
- Oliver, Pete (9 December 2002). "Borough looking for January windfall". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
- "Stafford switch for Clarkson". Worcester News. 18 December 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
- "Clarkson joins Brakes" (reprint). Coventry Evening Telegraph. The Free Library (Farlex). 18 February 2003. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "Addison lands Clarkson". BBC Sport. 12 March 2003. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
- "Alvechurch hit 'em for six as Clarkson makes bow". Redditch Standard. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Arnot, Chris (14 February 2007). "In a different league". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2010.