8 June 1969
28 October 2013
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 295d
Last game: 27y 21d
Height and weight
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 74 kg
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A pocket-sized utility player originally from the South Cairns club, Troy Clarke was the only North Queensland player in the final list of 100 nominations for the Queensland Team of the Century, named in 2003. He had an outstanding junior career in which he represented Queensland at U17 level and won the Cairns League B&F Medal as a 17-year-old in 1986, but after missing selection in the foundation Brisbane Bears squad he instead joined West Torrens in the SANFL. He quickly became an established fixture at Torrens where he played 64 games from 1987 to 1990, mainly on the wing, and won selection in the 1989 South Australian Team of the Year.
His standout performance in South Australia attracted the Bears attention, and he returned ‘home’ in 1991. Over the next six seasons he played 68 AFL games and kicked 31 goals with the Bears playing mainly as a back pocket/small forward/midfield tagger, with a career-best five goals against Fitzroy in 1994. Clarke was a member of the historic 1991 Queensland side that beat Victoria at the Gabba and the Bears' 1991 Reserves premiership side. A serious knee injury in 1995, which resulted in a second knee reconstruction, effectively ended his career, and after a brief comeback he retired to pursue a coaching career in Tasmania. He later returned to Queensland to work in junior development and become a key figure for the code in the fast-developing Gold Coast region.
Author - Murray Bird and Peter Blucher