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Experienced defender Peter Clarke joins Walsall

1 June 2022

Walsall Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of defender Peter Clarke on a one-year contract.

The 40-year-old will officially join on July 1st upon the expiry of his contract with fellow Sky Bet League Two side Tranmere Rovers.

Clarke began his career at Everton and played 14 times for the Premier League club.

He enjoyed loan spells with Blackpool, Coventry City and Port Vale during his time at Goodison Park before leaving on a permanent basis and joining Blackpool in September 2004 where he won their Player of the Year award for the 2004/05 season.

A three-year spell at Southend United followed between 2006 and 2009 before he signed for Huddersfield Town where he enjoyed a fruitful five-year stint.

The defender was an ever-present in his first two seasons and played a key role in helping the Terriers win promotion to the Championship in the 2011-12 campaign as they beat Sheffield United in the play-off final.

He played his part in helping establish Huddersfield in the Championship and left the John Smith’s Stadium in 2014 with 244 appearances and 11 goals to his name.

A second spell at Blackpool followed before moves to Bury, Oldham Athletic and Fleetwood Town.

In January 2020, he moved to Tranmere where he has played every single league game for the past two seasons and helped Rovers reach the play-offs in the 2020-21 season.

The experienced defender is looking forward to linking up with one-time former team-mate and now Saddlers Head Coach Michael Flynn when the team return for pre-season later this month.

"I initially spoke to the Head Coach, we had a brief spell playing together many, many moons ago and we have always kept in touch and we have respected each others careers from afar," Clarke began.

"I had a call from him asking about my availability and having spoken to him and hearing how passionate and enthusiastic he was about one, bringing me into the Club and secondly about what he wants to do and how he wants to move the Club and the team forward, it was something that really, really appealed to myself.

"With us knowing each other from way back when, there is an initial respect, there is an initial knowledge of each others capabilities and what we are about as a player, as a manager and also as a person, probably more importantly.

"The initial conversation was not a long one but I think we both realised that we were thinking very much alike and were wanting to make the move happen as quickly and as smoothly as we possibly could.

"To me, my age isn’t an issue. To lots of other people, maybe it is but I love being out there, I feel good.

"When younger players or other players ask about how you do it, to my way of thinking, it was all I ever wanted to do as a kid to be a footballer.

"Certainly the older you get and the more experienced you get, you have to take care of your body and everything has just become a habit and a way of life.

"I do everything I possibly can to make sure I am in the best shape I possibly can be to be available for selection as often as is possible."

Head Coach Michael Flynn is pleased to add a player of Clarke’s calibre and experience.

"Peter is a fantastic professional, he is a leader," said Flynn.

"He was the only outfield player to play every minute of every game last season and he was in the League Two team of the year.

"I have known him a very very long time and I have never come across a bad word said about him.

"He epitomises everything of a true professional. He looks after himself, that is why he is still playing at the age of 40 and he will give us an unbelievable amount of leadership for the rest of the group."

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