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St Patrick's Athletic announce the return of club legend Clarke

The league-winning goalkeeper is back in Inchicore for a third spell after leaving Limerick.

Clarke during his last spell with the Saints in 2016.
Clarke during his last spell with the Saints in 2016.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

BRENDAN CLARKE HAS rejoined St Patrick’s Athletic, it has been confirmed today.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper was one of a number of players to leave Limerick last week due to their financial difficulties, having joined the Shannonsiders in December 2016.

A lifelong Saints fan, Clarke had previously enjoyed two spells at Richmond Park between 2003-2009 and 2012-2016 — winning the Premier Division title, the FAI Cup and three league cups.

With Canadian Tyson Farago departing by mutual consent this morning, it opened the door for Clarke to return and he will compete with Barry Murphy for the number one shirt.

“How about that ride in?” Clarke wrote in a statement on Twitter over the weekend. “I guess that’s why they call it Limerick Citaaaay.

“It is sad to be having to do this before the end of my contract, but I can’t explain how happy I am to finish off my stay with the club with a win in such an important game in the context of the season last [Friday] night.

“It was a huge pleasure to represent the club and and the city for the last season and a half and it was an even bigger honour to captain the club and lead the boys on the pitch when Duggan [Shane Duggan[ was unavailable.

“Huge thanks to all the supporters who have been phenomenal to me during my stay, not just when I was on the pitch, but when I was out and about in the city too.

“Sadly, there’s been a big drop in attendances this season, so I would encourage everyone who goes to the Markets Field on a Friday night to drag a mate along.

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“Results haven’t been great this season, but that is not for a lack of honesty, effort and endeavour from the boys on the pitch.

Put the personal opinions aside for the two hours and give everything you have to supporting the boys. They’re the ones representing you and the city and they’ll leave everything out there for you, win, lose or draw.

“Players know it is hard for people to part with their hard earned cash but the support is massively appreciated.

“Obviously, thanks to the four managers, the coaches and all the players I’ve played alongside at the club. Players always say that their dressing rooms are great, but at Limerick they really were. I leave wishing Tommy and the boys nothing but the best of luck for the rest of the season.

“Lastly, the biggest of thanks to Eddie Hickey, Mr Limerick FC. It was him who initiated contact with me and brought me down and sold me the club and the city. It was an easy decision after meeting up with Ed. A top goalkeeper coach and even better person. The feather on the pitch will stay with me for the rest of my career.

“”There has been highs and lows, but it was never boring. Yurt. Clarkey.”

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Ben Blake

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