I do try to mix this feature up as much as possible, and today we have a player who made 23 appearances for us and 15 for Accrington.
Those were his longest spells in a Football League side, and yet there is a fair bit to mention. When I say ‘a fair bit’, I mean about three major things, but he ticks the boxes in terms of giving you a few memories.
Jamie Clarke started his career with Blackburn Rovers, and made quite a name for himself; he finished joint top scorer for Blackburn’s academy in the 2005/06 season. That earned him a two-year professional deal, and a loan move into League Two with Accrington Stanley. On December 28th 2008, he gave Imps a Christmas present they didn’t realise they needed by bagging his first (and only) professional hattrick to help Stanley beat Grimsby 3-1. He played as we beat Accrington 5-1 that year, but his loan ended in January and he got a short-term deal with Rotherham, where he scored twice.
Upon completion of that spell, he wound up at City, signing in June 2009 after he agreed on terms with manager Peter Jackson. He was a regular starter under Jackson, but didn’t score as the vocal manager lost his job early in the season. Those changes in management didn’t do Clarke any favours though as Chris Sutton seemed hell-bent on dismantling the squad the Jackson had thrown together.
Ironically towards the end of his Imps spell, he started finding the net. He started with a goal away at Telford in the FA Cup first round, before he added a brace away at Northwich live on the BBC. In between, he earned us a draw against Cheltenham in the game that saw Ian Pearce, Aaron Brown and Barry Richardson all sent off for fighting.
His reward for four goals in five games was an omission from the side. He made his last Imps appearance as we lost 3-1 at home to Rochdale. He didn’t get to play in the FA Cup third round against Bolton match his goals earned for us; instead, Sutton went for Michael Uwezu (who will feature in a Do You Remember if we ever play FC Linköping City or Burgess Hill). Clarke left City by mutual consent on 29 January 2010, and didn’t get another professional deal.
In 2018, Clarke popped up on the news again for rather more sinister reasons; he was jailed for 15 years for kidnap and torture, after scalding a man’s genitals with boiling water over a £300k drug deal gone wrong. He’s not likely to pop up in the fan zone talking to Trevor Swinburne anytime soon.