18 September 1973 (age 49)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 190d
Last game: 33y 340d
Height and weight
Height: 200 cm
Weight: 100 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 10,378th player to appear, 220th most games played, 2,495th most goals kickedBrisbane: 106th player to appear, 38th most games played, 116th most goals kickedAdelaide: 108th player to appear, 43rd most games played, 112th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 1,513th player to appear, 852nd most games played, 1,611th most goals kicked
Matthew Clarke's career in the AFL spanned four clubs and a total of 258 games between 1993 and 2007. He was known as one of the most effective tap ruckmen in the modern era.
Clarke was drafted by the Richmond Football Club from Mount Gambier in 1991 but did not play a senior game, spending the year playing for the Richmond Under 19s'. He was delisted at the end of 1992, but was picked up by the Brisbane Bears at pick 43 in the 1993 pre-season draft.
Debuting in 1993 with the Bears, "Doc" Clarke was a promising young Ruckman under coach Robert Walls and was particularly decisive with his tap work.
After being runner up in the Brisbane Bears Club Champion award in 1994 and 1996, he took out the Merrett-Murray best and fairest award in 1997 for the Brisbane Lions and consolidated his position as one of the league's best ruckmen.
Clarke moved to the Adelaide Crows in 2000. In 2005 in the absence of suddenly emerged number one ruckman Ben Hudson, Clarke was surprisingly recalled from the South Adelaide side in the SANFL to play a part in the Crows' run to the finals. He showed he was still an effective player, being labelled as one of the most effective "tap ruckmen" by commentator Robert Walls.
He played on during 2006, with 18 games, and after ruckman Rhett Biglands had an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the Crows' last game of 2006 (sidelining him for most if not all of the 2007 season), there was talk that Clarke may continue for another season. However, he announced his retirement from football at the end of the 2006 season after an AFL career of 248 games over 13 seasons.
There had been some speculation in December 2006 that Clarke may be drafted by St Kilda Football Club for the 2007 season, and although this was initially denied, on December 12 – 2006, he was taken by the Saints with their selection in the 2007 Pre Season Draft.
Clarke signed on with the club for one season, trained strongly over the pre season and was selected for the first game. He performed strongly as the side's primary ruckman, displaying his usual ruckwork dexterity.
In September 2007, Clarke once again announced his retirement. Clarke later rejoined the Adelaide Crows as a ruck coach, and is now a midfield development coach.
Clarke is a qualified veterinary scientist (like his father) and is currently studying for an MBA.