Ex-PNE favourite Clark passes away

Preston North End's Division Three champions in 1970-71. Clive Clark is pictured on the front row third from right

Preston North End's Division Three champions in 1970-71. Clive Clark is pictured on the front row third from right

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Former Preston North End winger Clive Clark, pictured above, has passed away at the age of 73.

Clark, nicknamed ‘Chippy’, was a fans’ favourite and a key member of the Lilywhites side which won the Third Division title under Alan Ball Snr in the 1970/71 campaign.

Born in West Yorkshire, he started his career at Leeds United before joining Queens Park Rangers.

It was at West Bromwich Albion where Clark really made his name, signing for £20,000 - then an Albion club record fee - and playing 351 games for the Baggies between 1961 and 1969, scoring 98 goals.

He helped Albion win the League Cup in 1966 and the FA Cup two years later.

In June 1969, Clark went back to QPR, but by January 1970 he was on the move again, signing for North End.

Bobby Seith was the manager who brought him to Deepdale, Seith losing his job at the end of that season when Preston were relegated.

They were revived by the arrival of Ball Snr as manager, with Clark making 36 appearances and scoring four goals as North End pipped Fulham for the title in a dramatic finale.

In the penultimate game of the season, PNE beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage, Clark’s corner headed home by Ricky Heppolette.

A few days later, Clark scored in the 3-0 win over Rotherham at Deepdale which clinched the championship.

With PNE back in the Second Division, Clark played 25 games the following season, scoring seven goals.

Not a player who liked to wear shinpads, he got plenty of rough treatment from opposition defenders and injury limited his appearances at Preston.

Clark left North End to join Southport in 1973.

After a short spell there, he played for Telford and then for Washington Diplomats and Philadelphia Fury in the United States.