returning to the Emerald Isle.
Clarke, Patrick Kevin Noel (Defender)
Born: 3 December 1921, Santry, Ireland.
1950: Height: 6ft-0ins. Weight: 12st-8lbs
1948-52 Swansea Town (Wales) 10 (0) + 0
Kevin Clarke moved to Wales at the age of 27 after a number of years playing in the Emerald Isle in November 1948 after successfully winning Irish League with Drumcondra.
He joined Swansea Town who later were renamed City in 1970 and despite being based in Wales the Swans played week-in week-out in the English Football League Division Three (South) until 1949 when they won promotion to Division Two.
Clarke spent four years at the Vetch Field but what he expected to encounter; but life was probably a lot different in the Welsh Valley’s than the land of the Guinness after only managing ten Football League outings.
He started his football career in his homeland of Ireland; Kevin was born in Santry, Dublin and played club football for Drumcondra – and it was whilst with the Irish outfit that in 1948 Clarke represented his country twice against Portugal and Spain.
In November 1948 he signed for Swansea Town who were under management by Billy McCandless and remained on their books until the end of the 1951-52 seasons’ campaign.
Clarke made his Swansea debut on 3March 1949 in an away match at Millwall; the Den club won the match 2-0.
Described as a ‘classy type of player’ Clarke unfortunately didn’t adjust to the English way of playing and spent most of his time playing reserve football in an era when Town had a strong Irish contingent.
He was quite a versatile defender and could play at either right full back (RB), wing-half (WH) or centre-half (CH) but didn’t quite match the ability to oust Elwell, Keane, O’Driscoll, Weston or Paul from the first team line-up and was forced to bide his time in the second string.
And when Town took Division Three South by storm and won the league by seven clear points ahead of rivals Reading no doubt Clarke would have found life the following season in a higher league tough to compete in.
The following season he made just one appearance as Swansea finished a respectable eighth with Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield Wednesday gaining promotion to the top flight.
In May 1950 the Welsh outfit won at Southend United in the final of the London Combination Cup; and twelve months later was in the side that was Champions of the Welsh First Division.
At the end of the 1951-52 campaign Clarke was placed on the transfer list by the Vetch Field club and returned to his native Ireland.
Edited: November 2007