From the archive: King Kenny Clark on '˜glorious days' at Worksop Town, losing a team-mate to cancer and that move to Matlock Town
Talk to any Worksop Town fan about the 1990s anfd the first name on their lips is footballing royalty.
‘King’ Kenny Clark scored almost 300 goals for the club in 10 seasons, and he still loves the club as much the fans love him.
Speaking to the Guardian, the former striker waxed lyrical about his fond memories of Worksop Town Football Club.
“It was glorious, I loved it, ” he said.
“I made hundreds of friends in Worksop, it was my best time in football.”
Clark’s glory days began when he signed in 1990 when Tigers were in exile in Gainsborough.
He explains: “I was signed by Tommy Spencer in 1990, although I was at Worksop before when Brian Fidler was there but I wasn’t the kind of player they wanted obviously.”
“I played the first pre-season game at Goole and scored three and Tommy signed me.”
Clark netted an impressve 37 times in 54 matches that season, following it up with 47 goals the next season.
His best tally came in the 1994/94 campaign when he scored 58 goals in 57 matches – an achievement probably never to be repeated again.
But while supporters recall his prowess in front of goal, Clark’s most poignant memory is that of a fallen comrade in the Worksop colours.
“We were at Hillsborough in 1991, playing Emley in the Sheffield Senior Cup final, ” he said.
“There was a lad called Shaun Fowler who played with us and he had found a lump, he told us before the game.”
“That was his last game with us, he later died of cancer. It’s quite sad, and not a happy memory, but it still sticks out.”
“It was the first time I’d lost any of my football mates.”
There were plenty of good times for the Newark man however.
“We had such good craic.”
“Tommy Spencer put together a team on a shoestring, I was on £12.50 a week and I was offered £500 to go to Bridlington, I had offers to go to league clubs, but I had an affinity with Worksop people.”
“I was having a good time, my own business was going well and I never thought I was going to leave.”
Having been a mainstay of the Tigers side for six seasons, Clark’s love affair with Worksop was endangered when Spencer was sacked in the 1996/97 season.
The former striker said: “When they sacked Tommy I didn’t agree with how they did it. Paul Mitchell became available and they sacked Tommy because Paul was in the pipeline.”
“If they had kept Tommy on and moved him upstairs and brought Mitch in that would have been brilliant.”
“I found out on the phone, like Tommy did.”
Gainsborough and Matlock showed an interest in signing Clark, who was never on contract at Worksop and the club he loved gave the Gladiators permission to speak to him.
“Even though I had always been a club man, they didn’t seem keen to keep me so I went to Matlock. I had a season and a half there but I missed Worksop and the people.”
“I met Mitch at a wedding, he told me to come back and play and in pre-season I played and got a hat-trick against Sheffield Wednesday.”
“I went on to have another brilliant time at Worksop.”
Clark scored another 34 goals in that spell, making it a decade of success as a Tiger.
And he’ll be forever grateful for the memories the club, his team-mates and friends helped him create.
“If I could go back and do it all again I wouldn’t do it differently, ” he insisted.
“I would do it all again with Mel Bradley, Tommy, Dickie Bromley, Keith Illet and everyone else.”
“I can’t speak highly enough of the place, they were glorious days.”