Lee Clark (footballer)
Lee Robert Clark (born 27 October 1972) is an English professional football manager and former player.
Clark playing for Fulham in 2005
|Full name||Lee Robert Clark|
|Date of birth||27 October 1972|
|Place of birth||Wallsend, England|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
During his playing career he had spells with Newcastle United (twice - at the start and the end), Sunderland and Fulham. He also made 11 appearances for the England under-21 team during his international career.
Born in Wallsend, Northumberland, Clark started his career at the club he supported as a boy, Newcastle United coming up through the youth system at the club. In 1993, he was part of the Newcastle side promoted to the Premier League as champions and then helped them finish runners-up two seasons in a row. During the 1995-96 Premier League season Newcastle United were pipped to the title by Manchester United. After a game where Newcastle United drew 3-3 away at Manchester City, Newcastle United purchased defensive midfielder David Batty to shore up the team defensively and Clark, more of an attacking midfielder, lost his place in the side. Clark reasons that this was a mistake that hurt the team dynamic that was working, and that this decision may have cost Newcastle United the title. To back up his claim, Clark cited and compared the form of Newcastle United from January 1996 until he was dropped for defensive midfielder Batty; against the form of Newcastle United in the remaining 11 games when Clark was absent. Clark made nearly 200 appearances scoring 23 goals for Newcastle in his first spell at the club.
Clark moved to Newcastle's local rivals, First Division club Sunderland, in 1997, and was part of the side promoted to the Premier League in 1999 as champions with a (then) professional league record of 105 points. A year earlier, he had been a key player in the side that reached the First Division play-off final, only to suffer a penalty shoot-out defeat to Charlton Athletic after a 4–4 draw at Wembley.
However, at the 1999 FA Cup Final he was spotted with the Newcastle fans wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "Sad Mackem Bastards". He was immediately dropped from the team, and never played for Sunderland again.
Clark moved to Fulham in 1999. He collected another Division One title medal with in 2001, enabling him to experience Premier League football for the first time since the 1996–97 season. In 2004, he helped Fulham secure what was, at the time, their highest final position – ninth in the top flight. During that season he opened the scoring as Fulham beat Manchester United 3–1 at Old Trafford in October 2003. Clark left Fulham in 2005 to return to former club Newcastle United, after making 149 league appearances and scoring 20 goals for the West London club.
Return to NewcastleEdit
Clark was allowed to leave Fulham after his contract expired in the summer of 2005 despite being club captain during the 2004–05 season. At the time of his departure, he was Fulham's longest-serving player. He subsequently returned to Newcastle, coaching and playing on a month-by-month contract.
Clark scored one goal for Newcastle in the 2005–06 season, an equaliser in a 2–2 draw with Middlesbrough. He played his final professional game on 7 May 2006, coming on as a substitute at home to Chelsea. In total he played 265 times for Newcastle, scoring 28 goals.
On 1 June 2006, the newly appointed Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder installed Clark as a first team coach and reserve team manager following Tommy Craig's departure while Clark was still playing for Newcastle. He remained as first team coach and as reserve team manager after retiring in 2007 until Roeder parted company with the club and Clark followed shortly afterwards in November.
After League One club Huddersfield Town had dismissed manager Stan Ternent on 4 November 2008, The Terriers were reported to be interested in then Norwich assistant manager Clark. On 12 December 2008, Clark was officially unveiled as the new manager of Huddersfield, signing a three-and-a-half year contract. Clark replaced Gerry Murphy, who had been caretaker manager for the League One side following the departure of Ternent. The first move made by Clark was to appoint Terry McDermott as his assistant as well as bringing in Derek Fazackerley in as first team coach and Steve Black as performance coach, all of whom had previously worked with Newcastle United. Clark officially took over on 15 December; his first game in charge of the club was a 2–0 win over Hereford United on 20 December.
In his first season at the club he helped them to a ninth-placed finish in League One. They also only lost two home league games under Clark in the 2008–09 season. In his second season in charge, Clark helped Huddersfield to secure a play-off spot and became the first manager to win three Manager of the Month awards in a single season since Roberto Martínez in 2007–08. Huddersfield were defeated by Millwall in the 2009–10 play-off semi-final.
In the 2010–11 season, Clark guided Huddersfield to a third-placed finish in the league, earning them a place in the play-offs after a club-record 25-game unbeaten run in the league. They reached the final after beating Bournemouth 4–2 on penalties, but lost 3–0 to Peterborough United in the Old Trafford final. In July 2011, he agreed a new rolling contract with the club.
Clark continued breaking records at the beginning of the 2011–12 season, extending the unbeaten run in domestic regular-season league games to a Football League record 43 games.
On 26 June 2012, Clark was confirmed as manager of Birmingham City, with Terry McDermott as his Assistant Manager and Derek Fazackerley and Steve Watson as his First Team Coaches. John Vaughan was brought in as his Goalkeeping Coach and Malcolm Crosby was appointed Chief Scout. Clark signed Peter Lovenkrands, David Lucas, Hayden Mullins and Darren Ambrose in the summer of 2012, as well as Ravel Morrison, Ben Gordon, James Hurst, Leroy Lita, Paul Caddis, Paul Robinson, Rob Hall, Shane Ferguson and Wes Thomas later on throughout the 2012–13 season.
Clark endured a difficult start to his managerial reign, with a draw and two losses in a row for his first three games in the Championship. His first win came against Peterborough but Birmingham suffered a 5–0 home defeat against Barnsley in September. During the January 2013 transfer window, Clark sold Jake Jervis, David Lucas and Jack Butland, who returned on loan for the remainder of the season. Clark struggled to get Birmingham out of the bottom half of the league until back to back wins against Derby County and Middlesbrough took them up to 12th place in March. Despite receiving criticism from fans for alleged poor management skills regarding public fallouts with Nikola Zigic, Clark has been praised for introducing academy players into the first team squad, players including Jack Butland, Will Packwood, Mitch Hancox, Callum Reilly, Koby Arthur and Reece Hales. Clark continued the start of 2013 with his team producing good form, including a 4–0 away win at Crystal Palace and back to back 1–0 wins against Bristol City and Leeds. After finishing the season in 12th place, 7 points off the play-offs, Clark made his first signings for the 2013–14 Championship season with Darren Randolph, Andrew Shinnie and Lee Novak all signing on free transfers, whilst Olly Lee's loan was made permanent. The 2013–14 season started poorly again for Clark, with Birmingham winning just one game in the league against Yeovil Town as the Blues made their worst start to a league season for 25 years.
Despite poor results in the league (including a disappointing 18 home match run without a league win) and the removal from the coaching staff of Clark's right hand men Derek Fazackerley and Terry McDermott, Clark managed to keep Birmingham City in the Championship with an injury time equaliser from Paul Caddis in the final game of the 2013–14 season against Bolton, the 2–2 result being enough to keep the team up on goal difference.
On 20 October 2014, with Birmingham 21st in the table and having won at home in the league only once in more than a year, Clark and assistant Steve Watson were dismissed. At the time of his dismissal, Clark had only won 33 of his 116 games – the lowest win ratio for a quarter of a century from a Birmingham manager – and left the club just one point from the relegation zone.
On 30 October 2014, Clark was appointed manager of Blackpool on a one-year rolling deal. Having been bottom of the Championship since October 2014 and having won only four games all season, Blackpool were relegated to League One on 6 April 2015 with six games left to play.
Clark was appointed manager of Scottish Premiership club Kilmarnock on 15 February 2016. He went on to help Kilmarnock keep their 23-year long Scottish Premiership status by defeating Falkirk 4–1 in the play off final with the latter of the two legs being a 4–0 thrashing with goals from Greg Kiltie (2), Miles Addison and Kris Boyd. He left the club in February 2017, exactly a year after joining.
After just eight months in charge of Bury, Clark was sacked on 30 October 2017. Four consecutive losses before his dismissal saw Bury second from bottom in League One, at the conclusion of October 2017.
On 1 June 2019, National League North side Blyth Spartans unveiled Clark as their new manager.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Newcastle United||1990–91||Second Division||19||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||19||2|
|Newcastle United||2005–06||Premier League||22||1||2||0||1||0||0||0||25||1|
- As of match played 28 October 2017
|Huddersfield Town||15 December 2008||15 February 2012||177||86||51||40||48.6|||
|Birmingham City||26 June 2012||20 October 2014||116||33||35||48||28.4|||
|Blackpool||30 October 2014||9 May 2015||33||3||11||19||9.1|||
|Kilmarnock||15 February 2016||15 February 2017||44||10||14||20||22.7|||
|Bury||15 February 2017||30 October 2017||33||9||7||17||27.3|||
|Blyth Spartans||1 June 2019||Present||0||0||0||0||—|
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- "Season details: 1990–91". Toon1892. Kenneth H Scott. Retrieved 11 March 2018. Select other seasons via dropdown menu.
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- "Games played by Lee Clark in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Games played by Lee Clark in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Games played by Lee Clark in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Games played by Lee Clark in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Games played by Lee Clark in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Games played by Lee Clark in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Games played by Lee Clark in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
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- "Huddersfield: Results/matches: 2008/09". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 3 April 2017.