Clarke, Ben

Birth Date

6th August 1911


Ballymena, Antrim



Biographical Text

Irish amateur international Ben Clarke played for Exeter City between 1937 and 1939. He joined the club from Sheffield United and later played for Carlisle United at the start of the short-lived 1939/40 season. His grandson Darren Clarke became a well-known golfer.

After playing in his native Northern Ireland for Dungannon Town and Portadown, Ben gained his first chance in the Football League when he signed for Sheffield United in 1934 for whom he made ten league appearances. 

On his release from Bramall Lane, he signed for Exeter City in the summer of 1937 and made a goalscoring debut against Millwall as a centre-forward rather than in his more-accustomed left-back position. Having scored five times in a reserve match Ben was occasionally tried in attack again before reverting to defence and making 22 league appearances in 1937/38 and another 18 the following season.

Without scoring again for Exeter he joined Carlisle United in 1939 but, after featuring at the start of the soon-abandoned 1939/40 season, soon left the club and returned to Northern Ireland as player-manager of Coleraine. He was later involved in the formation of Dungannon Swifts. 

Ben died on 29 October 1981 in Dungannon where he had grown up.







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