Ex-Town striker Clarke dies

Ipswich Town strikers Mick Hill (left) and Frank Clarke (right)

Ipswich Town strikers Mick Hill (left) and Frank Clarke (right) pressurise Newcastle United keeper Iam McFaul watched by visiting skipper Bobby Moncur (centre) at Portman Road in March 1971. Clarke died yesterday, aged 79 - Credit: Archant

Former Ipswich Town striker Frank Clarke has died at the age of 79.

Clarke, who died yesterday, was one of Bobby Robson's early signings at Portman Road, arriving in March 1970 from QPR.

He helped guide the Blues away from relegation trouble before going on to play 76 times for Town, scoring 17 goals.

Clarke departed for Carlisle in August 1973, and finished his career there.

But it was at Shrewsbury where Clarke really made his name, playing 188 games and scoring 77 goals between 1962 and 1968, having joined the club as a youngster.

"He was not just a goal machine," a Shrewsbury statement read.

"The value of his work-rate and build-up skills saw him reach the top flight of English Football with three sides - QPR and Carlisle United, who were attaining that level for the first time, and Ipswich Town where he played under Bobby Robson."

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It added: "Frank was loved by many in Shrewsbury and will be fondly remembered for his love of football, warm smile and kind nature.

"He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and everyone at Shrewsbury Town Football Club.

"Rest in Peace Frank."

Clarke was the eldest of five brothers who were footballers, including former Leeds and England forward Allan.

After retiring from football he worked as a newsagent before taking on a role at the Adams Sports Centre in Wem, which he held for 28 years.