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Ex-Prem and EFL player mocked over recent stint at Kettering as he joins fellow 7th tier club

Ex-Prem and EFL player Leon Clarke has been mocked over his recent stint at Kettering Town as he joins fellow 7th tier club Mickleover.

Yep, the 38 year old is still going and it’s good to see him playing for the love of the game, as he drops down the English football pyramid. Some don’t get the chance, be it either they fell out of love with the game, seek new ventures, the body tells you to stop or you’re unable to attract any offers.

But for Leon Clarke, it still works for him, at least for the time being, and it’s good to see. However, judging by his spell at Kettering, one blogger cheekily roasted him.

Clarke kick started his career with Wolves, and has played for over 20 different clubs – in both permanent and loan deals.

He played in the top flight for Sheffield United and as well as spells at Wolves he played at Championship level for Queens Park Rangers, Plymouth Argyle, Sheffield Wednesday, Preston North End and Wigan Athletic.

He also played professionally for the likes of Kidderminster Harriers, Oldham Athletic, Southend United, Swindon Town, Chesterfield, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Crawley Town, Scunthorpe United, Bury, Shrewsbury Town, Bristol Rovers and Hartlepool United. 

But in more recent years, he’s played at non league level, making appearances for Rushall Olympic, Kettering Town and now Mickleover.

Blogger ‘Poppies at the Gates of Dawn’ gave quite the summary of Clarke’s time at the club, in which they said:

“Leon Clarke’s sudden departure has come at a most inopportune time.  There was every indication that at some time in the next 2 or 3 months he was likely to notch an actual goal for the Poppies.  Those first 4-5 games where he didn’t have a single effort of note seem a distant memory.  Great days where he barely moved above walking pace, and generously never caused defenders any problems whatsoever.  For the next few games Leon crept closer and closer to, if not actually scoring a goal, at least making the goalkeeper aware he was on the pitch.  The locals at Berkhamsted and Leiston will talk in whispered, reverential tones for many years to come of the day THE Leon Clarke played at their stadiums and almost had an effort on target.

“And then.  It happened.  Mark the date – Tuesday 21st November 2023.  Leon lumbered into the air like a disinterested salmon and headed the ball towards the Mickleover goal.  An actual attempt on goal where, if the keeper had not made a regulation save, it would have been an honest-to-goodness goal.  We were THAT CLOSE to seeing an actual, live Leon Clarke goal.  For the Poppies.  In the flesh.

“In the end it wasn’t to be.  Leon has left us, heading to his 300th club and they will be the next team willing to take on the eternal quest of trying to tease a goal from him before he gets his bus pass.  We wish them all the best.”

So where has he gone to since? Mickleover are his new side, and he’s already played a few times for them.

The club stated was as follows: “Mickleover have signed vastly experienced striker Leon Clarke from Kettering. With over 500 appearances and 140 goals, Clarke has played in every division of the Football League and won the League One title with both Sheffield Utd and Wolves.

“He has played for many teams in his long career and started this season at Hartlepool, before a short stay at Kettering.”

Clarke said upon signing: “Mickleover play the sort of football I like, attractive and it’s the sort of opportunity I had to jump at with both hands.”

Mickleover currently sit 2nd in the Southern League Premier Central with 39 points from 18 games played, and are just a point behind the leaders Needham Market.


Youth career
–2003 – Wolverhampton Wanderers

Senior career
2003–2007 – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 83 games (15 goals)
2004 → Kidderminster Harriers (loan) – 4 games (0 goals)
2006 → Queens Park Rangers (loan) – 1 game (0 goals)
2006 → Plymouth Argyle (loan) – 5 games (0 goals)
2007–2010 – Sheffield Wednesday – 87 games (18 goals)
2007 → Oldham Athletic (loan) – 5 games (3 goals)
2007–2008 → Southend United (loan) – 16 games (8 goals)
2010–2011 – Queens Park Rangers – 15 games (0 goals)
2011 → Preston North End (loan) – 6 games (1 goal)
2011–2012 – Swindon Town – 4 games (0 goals)
2011 → Chesterfield (loan) – 16 games (9 goals)
2012–2013 – Charlton Athletic – 7 games (0 goals)
2012 → Crawley Town (loan) – 4 games (1 goal)
2012 → Scunthorpe United (loan) – 15 games (11 goals)
2013 → Coventry City (loan) – 2 games (0 goals)
2013–2014 – Coventry City – 45 games (28 goals)
2014–2015 – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 32 games (3 goals)
2015 → Wigan Athletic (loan) – 10 games (1 goal)
2015–2016 – Bury – 37 games (18 goals)
2016–2020 – Sheffield United – 95 games (32 goals)
2019 → Wigan Athletic (loan) – 15 games (3 goals)
2020–2021 – Shrewsbury Town – 10 games (1 goal)
2021–2022 – Bristol Rovers – 11 games (2 goals)
2023 – Hartlepool United – 3 games (0 goals)
2023 → Rushall Olympic (loan) – 9 games (1 goal)
2023 – Kettering Town
2023– Mickleover

Twitter users gave their reaction with the ex-Prem and EFL player mocked over his recent stint at Kettering as he joins a fellow 7th tier club in Mickleover…

@lovemyfc: the same club that was relegated, sacked two managers in 6months or so, huge turnover of players, financial instability, more board members than I have hair follicles, a reputation for not paying players on time (as the playing community know). Im sure he was very motivated lol!

@GodleySamn01: One manager sacked by my reckoning in the past 4-5 seasons. Curiously the Poppies aren’t the only club to ever be relegated. Perhaps losing the chairman has made the club financially a bit wobbly? Guess Leon was ok with that when he signed?

@up_utp: Brilliant news, nothing but a lazy fucker. Unlucky to whatever club he turns up at next

@up_utp: 😂😂😂 good luck with that one. Absolutely delighted he’s no longer stealing a wage from us

@up_utp: Thank god he’s now someone else’s problem and will no longer be stealing a wage from us. Hopefully with him off the wage bill we can bring in someone who might actually break sweat and put some effort in two things Leon never did in a KTFC shirt

@alcock_glenn: He seems to move around a lot these days! Presumably can’t settle?

@AntOllerenshaw: Leon is a dancer ,scores them with his right foot, scores them with his left foot, even scored them in the air ! UTB good luck leon

@Dandulum: Blokes had more clubs than a golfer

@dave2throwfirst: He was absolutely terrible at Rushall Olympic; clearly didn’t want to be there and barely broke sweat. He didn’t even join in the celebrations when we scored and stood outside the pre-match huddle. Big mistake signing this fella.

@middangeard: That delight won’t last long.

@imtomjohnson: Hahahaha I’d rather put my money into a young lad, at least they’d work for it! Goodluck 💛🖤 #utmp

@WESLEYHARR17851: One of the laziest players I’ve ever seen. And another wage thief. Obviously you haven’t got any scouts, or if you have they’re awful.

@paulknight1976: How’s he still getting clubs even now, been a bang average lazy player for most if not all his career, did nothing for Kiddy going back 20 year and offered nothing for Rushall last season in the 4th tier of non league

@mikeseat: Man’s full going for Jefferson Louis record of clubs.

@_Bish___: what a signing ahahaha

@GregGar78888679: Jesus Christ 😂😂

@rheegan7: this is just sad, could certainly play in at least league 2 for me #pusb

@JRWFC08: Blokes a shocking player god knows how he’s still managing to get clubs

@PeteRedhead3: I’ll always remember the Clarke and Wilson strike partnership with fondness. League One couldn’t cope #PUSB

@londonshrimper: More clubs than Tiger Woods 🏌🏻 As if he’s still playing at 38 though 🤯 Was quality for us in the short time he spent at the club on loan in the 2007/08 season scoring 8 goals in 16 games.

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