|Name||David E Clarke|
|V/AFL Clubs||Geelong, Carlton|
Recruited locally by the Cats from Geelong College, David Clarke made his debut in the opening round of the 1971 season, and went on to become one of the most exciting as well as arguably the most consistent of the club's stars throughout the 1970s. Perhaps best remembered as a half forward flanker, Clarke was equally effective in the centre, on the ball, or even at centre half back. A combination of a great spring, strong hands and tremendous anticipation made him one of the finest marks in the game, while his silky ball skills made him a real fan favourite. He won the first of his three club best and fairest trophies in his debut season while still aged only nineteen, making him the youngest ever recipient of the award. He was also dangerous near goal, and his 41 majors in 1979 topped the Cats' list. Selected to represent either the VFL or Victoria's state of origin team a total of 14 times, Clarke was awarded an All Australian blazer after the 1972 Perth carnival. The consistently high quality of the service he gave Geelong is emphasised by his unprecedented feat in finishing in the top two places in the best and fairest voting on no fewer than seven occasions during his ten seasons with the club. After 207 games with the Cats, David Clarke transferred to Carlton in 1982 where he added nine games in what proved to be the final season of his league career.
Author - John Devaney