Wayne Clarke (footballer)
|Date of birth||28 February 1961|
|Place of birth||Wolverhampton, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|1990||→ Shrewsbury Town (loan)||7||(6)|
|1991||→ Stoke City (loan)||9||(3)|
|1991||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||1||(0)|
|1995–1996||Telford United (player-manager)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Wayne Clarke (born 28 February 1961) is a former English professional footballer. During his career he made almost 450 appearances in the Football League, playing as a striker for several different clubs including Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Everton, Leicester City, Manchester City, Shrewsbury Town, Stoke City and Walsall. He scored nearly 150 goals. He was a member of the Everton team which finished as English league champions in 1987. He is the youngest of five brothers. His brothers Frank, Allan, Derek, and Kelvin all played league football.
Clarke was born in Wolverhampton. He joined home-town club Wolverhampton Wanderers as an associate schoolboy on his 15th birthday in 1976, despite competition from leading clubs, and became an apprentice when he left school the following year. He also represented England at schoolboy and youth level.
He signed his first professional contract in March 1978, and made his first team debut as a substitute on 9 May 1978 in a 2–1 win away to Ipswich Town. He was a member of the 16-man travelling squad when Wolves won the League Cup in 1980, but did not play. Competing for places with Andy Gray and John Richards, he was a member of the team that suffered relegation from the First Division in 1982 but reclaimed their top flight status the following season. He scored 33 goals in 170 appearances in all competitions before Ron Saunders took him to Second Division Birmingham City in 1984. The fee of £80,000 was set by tribunal and included a clause entitling Wolves to half of any profit made from a future sale of the player.
Clarke scored 19 goals in his first season at Birmingham, which made him their leading scorer. His 17 league goals made a major contribution to the club winning the 1984–85 Second Division title. His season in the top flight with Birmingham was interrupted by suspension and minor injuries, and he only managed five goals as the side were relegated, which included scoring twice in Birmingham's 3–0 win in the local derby away to Aston Villa. In 1986–87, Clarke again scored 19 goals, which again made him leading scorer. With Birmingham struggling to avoid further relegation to the Third Division and in financial difficulties, the club accepted an offer from Everton who were in need of an emergency replacement for the injured Graeme Sharp. Clarke joined Everton in March 1987 together with inexperienced reserve striker Stuart Storer, the pair jointly valued at £300,000. Former club Wolves complained to the Football League because they believed Birmingham were deliberately inflating the valuation placed on Storer to reduce the amount they would owe Wolves under the sell-on clause for Clarke. Birmingham's actions may have been an attempt to recoup money lost on the 1981 sale of Joe Gallagher to Wolves, when the club was declared bankrupt the following year still owing most of the £350,000 fee.
Clarke's five goals in ten games, notably the winning goal away at Arsenal not long after he joined, in the remainder of the 1986–87 season was enough to earn him a championship medal. The following year he began the season with the only goal in a 1–0 Charity Shield win over FA Cup winners Coventry City at Wembley, and later scored the only goal in the Merseyside derby that not only beat arch-rivals Liverpool, but also prevented them setting a new record of 30 games unbeaten from the start of a season. At the end of the 1988–89 season, during which he helped his club to reach the FA Cup final but did not play in it, Everton brought in Mike Newell from Leicester City in part exchange for Clarke and £500,000.
His return to the Second Division was brief. After just 11 league games and one goal, Clarke returned to the top flight with Manchester City, managed by Howard Kendall who had bought him for Everton three years earlier. He moved in a part-exchange deal valued at £650,000 which saw David Oldfield join Leicester.
He was unable to claim a regular place in the Manchester City side. While at Maine Road he was loaned to Shrewsbury Town, where he scored six goals in seven games, then to Stoke City (three goals in nine matches), and then back to Wolves, where he was viewed as a potential partner for Steve Bull. However his first appearance for the club lasted just 20 minutes before he punctured a lung, returned to Manchester City, and on his return to fitness was not allowed out on loan again.
Clarke's next move came in the summer of 1992 when he joined Walsall in Division Three. He was the fourth of the brothers to play for Walsall, and the move meant he had played in all four divisions of the Football League. He was the club's top scorer in the 1992–93 season with 21 goals in 39 games, helping them to a playoff position, but they were heavily defeated in the playoff semi-final by Crewe Alexandra and Clarke was sold to local rivals Shrewsbury Town, managed by former Wolves goalkeeper Fred Davies.
Clarke spent two seasons at Gay Meadow. The 1993–94 season brought the Division Three title and promotion to Division Two, and by the time the club released him at the end of the 1994–95 season, he had scored 22 goals in 59 games.
He was appointed player-manager of Telford United in the Conference in July 1995, and resigned 18 months later after a spell of poor results, though with the club in mid-table. In June 1997 he applied for the vacant manager's post at former club Walsall, but was unsuccessful.
- Sourced from The English National Football Archive
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||1977–78||First Division||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Birmingham City||1984–85||Second Division||40||17||4||0||3||2||0||0||47||19|
|Leicester City||1989–90||Second Division||11||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||11||1|
|Manchester City||1989–90||First Division||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||0|
|Shrewsbury Town||1990–91||Third Division||7||6||0||0||0||0||1||0||8||6|
|Stoke City||1990–91||Third Division||9||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||3|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||1991–92||Second Division||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Shrewsbury Town||1993–94||Third Division||28||11||2||0||3||0||1||0||34||11|
- with Wolverhampton Wanderers
- with Birmingham City
- with Everton
- with Shrewsbury Town
- "Wolves sign up Clarke No 5". The Times. 1 March 1976. p. 8.
His signature has been one of the most sought-after in English football, and Wolves have faced competition from nearly all the leading clubs in the country.
- Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
- "Wayne Clarke Wolverhampton Wanderers FC". sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
- "Lloyd must lose his place at Wembley". The Times. 14 March 1980. p. 14.
- "Shrewsbury & Wolves: A History". Shrewsbury Wolves Supporters Club. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
- Jones, Stuart (10 March 1987). "League to rule on Clarke move" (reprint). The Times. NewsBank. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
- Matthews. Birmingham City: A Complete Record. pp. 220–22, 244.
- Matthews. Birmingham City: A Complete Record. p. 44.
- "VII: Howard's first time (1981–87): A championship for the entire team in 1986–87". Toffeeweb (an Everton fansite). Retrieved 26 January 2008.
Still, perhaps the most important buy was Wayne Clark, bought from Birmingham to replace the injured Graeme Sharp.
- "A History of Wolves". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
- Matthews. Birmingham City: A Complete Record. pp. 89, 127.
- Moore, Glenn (4 May 1998). "The new Arsenal take the title in stirring style". The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
Eleven years ago on this ground a Wayne Clarke goal proved the decisive moment as Everton overhauled Liverpool to win their ninth league title.
- Shaw, Phil (2 December 1995). "Wayne enjoying his brave new world". The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "VIII: Top to bottom (1987–94): Big investments for a new team". Toffeeweb. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
- Ross, Ian; Taylor, Louise (9 January 1990). "Kendall admits that City's search for talent is incomplete" (reprint). The Times. NewsBank. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
- Edwards, Leigh. "Ultimate Saddlers A-Z 4". Walsall F.C. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
- "Sporting Digest: Football". The Independent. 4 July 1995. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- Metcalf, Rupert (22 November 1996). "King marks Telford's change". The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "Former striker wants Walsall manager's job". 4thegame.co.uk. 11 June 1997. Retrieved 26 January 2008.