A strapping centre-half who joined Vale for a brief, but memorable spell, Clarke left Vale a lasting parting gift.
Name: Peter Clarke
Cult credentials: Brief, memorable spell, unusual twist at the end
Time at Vale: 2003
Clarke was already an England U21 International and had enjoyed a successful loan spell with Blackpool before he joined the Vale in 2003.
Making his debut in a home game against Swindon in February 2003, he immediately added power and aerial ability to the backline…
Making his debut in a home game against Swindon in February 2003, he immediately added power and aerial ability to the backline.
But the three month loan spell was cut short when injuries at Goodison Park prompted Clarke’s return to Everton.
At the time, manager Brian Horton said: “Peter has done very well for us and we wish him well in the future.”
Clarke did indeed do well in the future, but unfortunately not with the Valiants. Despite reported Vale interest, Clarke signed for Blackpool on a permanent basis and had further spells at Southend and Huddersfield.
But what about that lasting parting gift?
Clarke enjoyed his time at Vale so much that when follow defender George Pilkington (and twice player of the year) followed Clarke’s recommendation and joined the Valiants on a permanent basis.
Not many Vale fans will regret that recommendation!