Allan CLARKE

Allan Clarke - England - Biography of his football career for England.

Photo/Foto: E. D. Lacey (1922-1976)

Date: 22 May 1971

Click on image to enlarge

    • POSITION
      Forward
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Wednesday, 31 July 1946
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Willenhall, England.
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • England
  • CLUBS
  • Fulham FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1966-1968
    • League Debut
      Unknown
    • Club Career
      85 League apps (+1 as sub), 45 goals
  • Leeds United FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1969-1978
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 9th August 1969 scoring in a 3-1 win at home to Tottenham Hotspur (Aged: 23)
    • Club Career
      270 League apps (+3 as sub), 110 goals

Allan CLARKE - England - Biography of his football career for England.

 

                                                                    (Part 1) 1971-1972.

 

Leeds United forward Allan Clarke was one of the truly outstanding natural goalscorers of his generation, finding the net with regularity and confidence game after game, season after season, after joining up with Don Revie in the summer of 1969. Such was his impact as Leeds United chased a treble in his first season (though they won nothing), England coach Alf Ramsey took a chance and went entirely for the form book by putting the uncapped 23 year old into his squad for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, and risked further egg on his face by picking him for the last group game against Czechoslovakia. With defeat by Brazil in the second game meaning this next match was still crucial to EnglandÕs defence of the trophy, the media feared for Ramsey's recklessness in selecting an untried striker but they needn't have worried. Clarke vindicated Ramsey's faith in him by leading the line with aplomb and maturity, even having the nerve to slot away the penalty which proved to be the game's only goal. For all the headlines coach and player created, it proved nothing more than an exciting cameo, as England went out to West Germany in the quarter-finals with Clarke not getting on to the pitch. However, there would now follow a period where he was frequently topping the country's goalscoring charts and duly receiving his summons for England duty as a result.

 

England's first game after the World Cup saw them beat East Germany 3-1 and Clarke scored again. Tottenham's Martin Chivers and West Ham's Geoff Hurst were his chief rivals for the main goalgetter's role but Allan's confidence was never tainted. He put away a penalty in a 5-0 win over Malta in May 1971 and scored the only goal in a Home International win over Northern Ireland in Belfast three days later. He had therefore scored one goal in each of his first four games, but the impression was lost a little on Ramsey, who didn't start him again for the rest of the year, giving him merely two short sub appearances (the photo above is during the 3-1 Home Championship win against Scotland in May '71), and then proceeded to ignore him for the best part of two years. Clarke did suffer injuries during this period but whenever he played, he scored. His casting into the international wilderness did not seem to be for reasons of form. Chivers and Hurst formed England's main partnership until interest in the 1972 European Championships was ended by the West Germans, then the likes of Joe Royle, Mick Channon and Malcolm Macdonald were handed opportunities following the pensioning of Hurst. Clarke, however, was not considered. (Matthew Rudd)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allan Clarke playing for England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, September 26, 1973.

He scored two of the seven goals against the visitors, Austria.

Photograph by Ed Lacey. ©                                                                

 

(Part 2) 1973-1975.

 

In February 1973, Allan Clarke was finally recalled by Alf Ramsey for a friendly with Scotland at Hampden Park. England destroyed the enemy 5-0 and all three strikers on show scored - Clarke bagged a brace as Chivers and Channon also got on the scoresheet. Ramsey cut his losses and kept all three in place for the Home Internationals, though Clarke was the only one of the three not to score in England's three comprehensive victories. However, he put away England's goal in a friendly against Czechoslovakia in Prague, prior to a vital qualifier for the 1974 World Cup against Poland in Chorzow. Clarke was marked out of the game - or, more accurately, kicked out of the game - and England succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. The return game at Wembley was therefore invaluable to England and Allan went into it on form, with Leeds going on an unbeaten start to the season which would ultimately extend to 29 games, while also bagging two splendid goals in a fabulous 7-0 win over Austria at Wembley (the photo above is during the game) three weeks before the visit of the Poles. But he and every other England attacker were denied in open play by Polish keeper Jan Tomaszewski and some outrageous good fortune which came his way, keeping out headers and shots with most parts of his anatomy. A goal down thanks to a defensive error and a quick Polish breakaway, England got a penalty shortly afterwards and Clarke had the presence of mind to put it away and hold off the pressure on his shoulders. But a 1-1 draw couldn't take England to the World Cup.

 

Allan played once more for Ramsey before the England coach was sacked, then missed a year's worth of internationals. Don Revie's appointment unsurprisingly brought a recall for Clarke in November 1974 as England prepared to capitalise on their winning start to their qualifying campaign for the 1976 European Championships, having already beaten Czechoslovakia. However, they could only draw 0-0 with Portugal at Wembley and, although Clarke was still scoring goals in a Leeds side which would later reach the European Cup final, Revie ditched his former favourite straightaway, instead giving a number of chances to a Channon/Macdonald combination. Allan got a last hurrah at the end of 1975 - even though Leeds were now visibly ageing and declining - when Revie picked him for the return game in Czechoslovakia, with England's campaign to qualify on the rack. It got worse as England lost 2-1 and then only drew with Portugal in their last qualifier a month later. Clarke came on as a sub in the latter but after 19 caps, his international career was over. With the right coaching and service, along with a far more settled international base which England blatantly lacked in the 1970s, Clarke's potential as a great club striker itching for the chance to show it to the world could have borne fruit. However, his early scoring record for his country - and the circumstances of his debut - remain highly enviable. (Matthew Rudd)