Ex-PNE star’s family hope for full recovery

Clarke Carlisle
Clarke Carlisle
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Former Preston North End defender Clarke Carlisle’s family is hopeful he will make a full recovery after his collision with a lorry last week.

Carlisle, the former Premier League defender and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chairman, was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary with serious injuries following the incident last Monday, and underwent surgery the following day.

The 35-year-old’s wife Gemma Carlisle posted a message on Twitter today, saying: “Thank you for continuing messages of support and for media restraint.

“Clarke still very poorly but we’re hopeful he’ll make a full recovery.”

Carlisle’s most notable stint as a Premier League player came during his five years with Burnley, with him featuring for them in 2009-10, their first season in the division.

As a sign of the Clarets’ support for their former player, fans at Turf Moor clapped in the fifth minute of their game against Liverpool on Boxing Day as it correlates with the squad number Carlisle wore when he was at the club.

As well as Burnley, there have also been messages of support for Carlisle, who hails from Leyland and went Balshaw High School, from the other clubs he played for, which include Blackpool, QPR, Leeds, Watford and Northampton.

The Football Association, Football League and anti-racism organisation Kick It Out, for which Carlisle is an ambassador, all tweeted their support as well, while representatives from the PFA visited him in hospital.

Carlisle, pictured right, succeeded Chris Powell as PFA chairman in 2010 and carried out the role for three years before stepping down in 2013, the same year in which he retired from playing following a spell with Northampton.

The ex-England Under-21 international regularly appears on television as a commentator and pundit and has also been a contestant on the long-running Channel 4 quiz show Countdown and a guest on the BBC’s Question Time.

He has also presented a TV documentary about racism in the game and another – Football’s Suicide Secret – about mental health issues among his fellow professionals.