Clarke, Reg

Birth Date

4th September 1907


Heavitree, Exeter



Biographical Text

Reg Clarke - often known as ‘Nobby’ in the fashion of the times - was the pre-World War Two player who made the most Football League appearances for Exeter City. Growing up in Heavitree, and signed from local football, Reg made 338 league and FA cup appearances for the Grecians and was a member of the team that reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1931. A member too of the Exeter City team that defeated Torquay United to win the Division Three (South) Cup in May 1934, he was inducted into the Exeter City Hall of Fame in 2014.       

Born in Heavitree, Exeter - and the son of an engine driver - Reg attended the nearby Ladysmith School prior to playing for both Friernhay and Southern Railway. Working as a railway cleaner Reg then appeared for Exeter City’s reserve team as an amateur during the 1926/27 season before turning professional. His first-team debut came at Newport County in March 1928 deputising for regular left-half Harry Gee. 

Coming into the side as a twenty-year-old, Reg played nine league games in his first season followed by 38 in 1928/29. Now playing right-half, and taking a rather uncompromising approach to the game, Reg made another 55 league appearances in the two subsequent seasons and featured in all eight games during the Grecians’ run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1930/31 playing particularly well - according to contemporary reports - in the game at Sunderland. 

Hardly missing a game in 1931/32, 1932/33 (when City were runners-up in Division Three South) and 1933/34 (when he was captain of the side that beat Torquay to win the Division Three South Cup), Reg enjoyed the proceeds of a benefit match against Leicester City in September 1933. Cartilage problems restricted Reg’s appearances in 1934/35 before he made 35 and 31 appearances during the following two seasons to bring his tally to over 300 league games for the club.

Not retained at the end of the 1936/37 season, reportedly as a result of a dispute over his running of a pub in Ottery St Mary, Reg moved to Aldershot where he totted-up another 63 league games ahead of the intervention of war in 1939. He then turned out in wartime football for Torquay United whilst also guesting for Leeds United and Clapton Orient. 

Registered as living in a house named ‘Grecian’ on Eyewell Green, Seaton in 1939, Reg was to become landlord of the Kings Arms in the town as well as an official of Seaton Town Football Club. He remained a resident of Seaton until his death in 1981 and, as a locally-born mainstay of the club between the wars and a representative of City’s 1931 cup team, Reg Clarke was one of the original eight players inducted into the Exeter City Hall of Fame in 2014. 






Item Relations

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