On this day – Allan ‘Sniffer’ Clarke Born

31-7-1946: Allan Clarke the Leeds and England striker was born on this day in 1946. Clarke was bought from Leicester City for a British record fee of £165,000 in July 1969 by Don Revie to form a strike partnership with Mick Jones in the famous Leeds team of the early Seventies.

Clarke scored 26 goals in his first season at the club (1969-70). A season that saw Leeds go close in three competitions – they lost to Chelsea after a replay in the FA Cup final, lost to Celtic in the semi-final of the European Cup and where pipped to the league title on the final day of the season by Everton.

In 1971 he scored in the final of the Fairs Cup victory over Juventus.

He scored the only goal of the 1972 FA Cup Final, a diving header to defeat Arsenal. Again Leeds where pipped to the League title after losing to Wolverhampton two days after their Cup triumph.

In 1973 he played in the Cup Final defeat against Sunderland.

He scored the England goal in the imfamous 1-1 draw at home against Poland that resulted in England failing to qualify for the 1974 World Cup Finals in West Germany.
He netted 10 times in 19 matches for England.

In 1974 Clarke finally won the League title with Leeds. Revie’s team where unbeaten
in the season’s first 29 games.

The following season (1975) Leeds reached the final of the European Cup but where beaten 2-0 by Bayern Munich in Paris.

After ten seasons at Leeds Clarke had scored 151 goals in 351 appearances. He finished his playing career as player manager of Barnsley and lead them to promotion in 1979. His later stints as manager of Leeds, Barnsley and Lincoln where less successful.

Allan Clarke was one of five brothers who played professional football.

Sources:

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