News emerged last night that Ferriby Captain Danny Clarke had left the club to join Halifax Town. The trip from Humberside to the Shay is becoming a familiar one for Ferriby managers and players alike as Clarke becomes the latest of several Ferriby legends to follow Billy Heath to the West Yorkshire club. This will come as extremely disappointing news to the fans and management and perhaps most of all Clarke’s teammates he leaves behind because Clarke is undoubtedly a team player who runs his blood to water each week for the cause.
Clarke came to Ferriby after playing under Heath at Frickley Athletic. His tall, gangly frame looks unorthodox but he personified the Billy Heath style of play and he quickly became a fans favourite. He hustled and harried defenders, ran down blind alleys to hold up the ball and generally made a nuisance of himself on the wing. These battling qualities made him one of the first names on the team sheet almost immediately and he went on to play a key role in the most successful period in North Ferriby United’s history.
It all started when Clarke was part of the side that won the Doodson Cup in 2012 which was Billy Heath’s first trophy at the club. The year after he played almost every game in the treble winning season which saw Ferriby win the Evo Stik league title and with it promotion to the Conference North. More history followed for Clarke as he scored Ferriby’s first ever goal in the Conference North as they beat Gloucester city 3-1 on the opening day of the 2013/14 season. Clarke continued to flourish as opposition defenders found Clarke extremely difficult to defend against. The success continued for Danny and his team mates as Ferriby went on a magnificent run in the 2014/15 FA Trophy which culminated in them defeating Wrexham at Wembley to lift the Trophy. The greatest achievement in the clubs history and as you may expect Clarke played a key role. He reacted quickest to a through ball from Nathan Jarman midway through the second half. He was subsequently brought down by the keeper and a penalty was awarded. The rest as they say is history.
The Villagers continued their remarkable run of success last season as they won promotion to the National League. This was beyond the wildest dreams of all Ferriby fans especially those who have seen them in the counties league not so long ago. As you may expect Clarke was in the thick of the action as he scored the decisive third goal as Ferriby came from a 2-0 first leg deficit to defeat their nearest and dearest Boston United in the playoffs. As well all know this was the last time we would see that legendary squad take to the field wearing green and white. Management duo Billy Heath and Mark Carroll chose to take on a new challenge of dragging Halifax Town straight back into the National League and several of Ferriby’s key players followed including the captain Liam King. With King departing this left Clarke as his natural successor and Steve Housham quickly appointed him as his skipper when he joined the club.
It has been a tough first few months of the season as we all expected but the players have been giving it their all each week, led by Clarke, and have slowly started improving. This news therefore comes as a big blow to the side as they lose a stalwart of the team midway through the season. Clarke’s decision is understandable and we at Following Ferriby would like to wish Danny all the best for the rest of his career. You have been a legend in every sense of the word both on and off the pitch. We have never seen a harder working footballer and your efforts are greatly appreciated by all of us at the club! Good Luck Danny!