Full name: David, John Clarke
Birthplace: Wolston, Nr Coventry, UK
Birthdate: 25th March 1969
Career Record with Cradley
[Taken from the Cradley Speedway Riders Database includes all matches]
(photos John Hipkiss)
Dave Clarke first made his name in Speedway as a Coventry reserve in the 80s after progressing from the junior ranks at Brandon. He signed for Cradley several years later in 1994, after a spell in the second division. His immediate club before the Heathens was Oxford, then in the lower league, and of all people moving in the other direction of an exchange deal was the legendary Alan Grahame.
In a sense, it was a rather tough act to follow, but Clarke's task was to beef up the lower order of the Cradley team and provide some much-needed experience. His first six weeks provided an indifferent start with a couple of low scores and a couple of battling hauls including 7 points against Belle Vue and away at Long Eaton. While still effectively settling in to his new role at Dudley Wood, he crashed heavily in a heat two spill against Arena Essex at the end of April. The injury was to keep him out for most of the season and he was soon replaced by Swedish teenager, Jonathan Forsgren.
In a role-reversal, Dave's return to the ranks was a brief three-match stint in October of that year, when covering for an injury to Forsgren. It was enough to prove his own fitness though, and stake his place for the following year. Remarkably, as it turned out, Forsgren was preferred for the number two team berth but again picked up an injury, this time before the season had begun. Clarke was called upon to cover once more and rode 8 matches until the Swede was fit again. After losing his place this time, his Dudley Wood days were over and he was transferred back to Oxford the same season. Within the space of less than 30 appearances he clocked up 70 points and made an entertaining name for himself in the memories of Heathens supporters.
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Dave still lives locally and works as an IT consultant in London.
He still has a love of motorbikes, riding a motox bikes, just for fun now
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