Former Blue Clarke begins coaching career after announcing retirement

Former Ipswich Town player Billy Clarke has retired from the game and begun his career in coaching

Former Ipswich Town player Billy Clarke has retired from the game and begun his career in coaching - Credit: Archant/Hull City

Former Ipswich Town forward Billy Clarke is beginning his journey into coaching after announcing his retirement from the game. 

Clarke, 33, had been without a club since leaving Bradford City at the end of last season, before ultimately announcing his retirement in August. 

He wasn’t out of the game long, though, and has already secured his first coaching job after being named assistant manager of Hull City’s Under 18s. He is working under former Blue Richard Naylor, the Tigers' academy manager.

Clarke wrote on social media: “Delighted to be joining Hull City as U18s assistant coach. A great opportunity for me to learn from some fantastic coaches and people and help the players develop.” 

The former striker, a member of the young Ipswich squad which won the FA Youth Cup in 2005, was hit by injury throughout much of a career which also saw him represent Blackpool, Crawley, Charlton and Plymouth, while spending three spells at Bradford. 

Despite his injury troubles, he still managed to make 456 appearances, scoring 83 goals. A total of 56 of those came in Ipswich blue, with the Irishman scoring three goals for Town’s first-team after graduating from the academy. 

“Now is the time for me to hang them up and call it a day,” Clarke wrote, when announcing his retirement. 

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“From starting at Ipswich to finishing at Bradford and everywhere in between It’s been one hell of a journey. As a little boy all I ever wanted to do was play football. Promotions and heartbreaks along the way. It was all worth it. 

“I can’t thank everyone enough who have helped me throughout. Thank you to all my clubs that have let me play for them. It was a pleasure. One chapter ends and another one begins and I can’t wait to start my coaching career.” 

Clarke’s retirement means Liam Craig (St Johnstone), Ed Upson (Newport) and Liam Trotter (Bromley) are the only members of Town’s FA Youth Cup winning side still active in the professional game. 

Charlton have signed former Ipswich Town striker Billy Clarke (right) from Bradford this summer. Pho

Clarke played for Bradford during three spells with the Bantams - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

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