John (Jack) Kildahl CLARKE

Year Inducted 2004
Date of Birth 26th November 1931

PLAYER: 1952-62

GAMES: 231: East Fremantle 206: WA 25


HONOURS: Sandover Medal 1957; East Fremantle best and fairest 1956, 1960-1961; four times all-Australian; member 1961 WA carnival side; WA captain 1958-60; member AFL Hall of Fame

If Graham Farmer was the greatest ruckman who ever pulled on a boot, Jack Clarke wasn’t far behind him.  Their duels in the 1950’s are part of the WA football legend.  One of that unique breed of famous farmer-footballers who came to town on weekends, a 100km-plus trip from Goomalling on Saturday mornings to pull on the blue and white.  He would drive home the next day.  Affectionately known as ‘Stork”, he had a tremendous leap that he used to advantage at hit-outs.  A fine high mark, he could play key position at either end of the ground.  It wasn’t uncommon, when the team was protecting a lead and the opposition had the wind, for Clarke to station himself in the last line of defence and take mark after mark.  A young wheat and sheep farmer, Clarke stayed n the farm and made East Fremantle wait until he felt he was ready for league football.  He was 22 when he made is league debut, at centre half-forward against West Perth champion Fred Buttsworth.  Just 18 months later Clarke made his interstate debut and won the first of four All-Australian blazers.

In 1961, Clarke capped off a wonderful career as a member of the successful WA team at the Australian carnival in Brisbane.  He was runner-up to Victorian Brian Dixon for the Tassie Medal as best player at the carnival.