HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Sydney Campbell CLARKE
|Date of Birth||5th April 1914|
Games: 141: Claremont 133, WA 8.
HONOURS: Sandover Medal 1933-34; Claremont fairest and best 1933-34
Sammy Clarke was the first dual winner of the Sandover Medal although that honour was technically superseded in 1997 by Subiaco’s Johnny Leonard when he won a retrospective medal, his second , in 1929. Clarke made an immediate impact on the game after being touted as the greatest junior footballer in WA in 1932. He made his senior debut with Claremont-Cottesloe the following year and proved what a talent he was by winning the Sandover. He never suffered from second year blues and won it again in 1934. Build like a stick insect, Clarke had a great leap and great pair of hands, rarely losing the ball once he had a grip on it.
He made his WA debut at Perth Oval in 1934 and was among the best as the State saw off South Australia by 46 points. Three days later, on a Tuesday, and still only 20 years old, he captained WA against the Crow Eaters, who were too good at Leederville Oval although the high-flying half-back was among the best. He played eight times for WA, twice won Claremont’s fairest and best, and was at the forefront of the club’s emergence as a football power. He was in England training as a pilot when Claremont broke through in 1938 but was back for the Monts second flag the following year as they beat East Fremantle by 19 points. Clarke was tragically killed in 1942 when flying his first active mission for the RAF.