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Lancaster University alumnus and legendary Paralympian David Clarke has been recognised for his commitment to disability sport by being given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Football Association Awards.
Clarke, who captained his country in Blind football, was hailed by global star and legendary footballer David Beckham, who had previously trained with the blind football team, at a ceremony at St George’s Park. Clarke has been a pioneer in getting suitable provisions for athletes with disabilities and has witnessed a rise in popularity of blind football and indeed appeared alongside Anfield favourite Robbie Fowler at a previous Liverpool match to raise awareness about Blind football.
During his career, Clarke scored 128 goals in 144 international appearances, playing in five World Cups and six European Championships. He also captained team GB in last year’s Paralympics. He is also England’s longest serving blind footballer. Indeed, due to his prolific scoring record, some have hailed Clarke as England’s most successful goal-scorer.
Clarke, a thrice crowned European Championship Golden Boot winner, was chosen as a stadium torch bearer at last summer’s Paralympics and is an ambassador for the sport. Despite retiring after last year’s Paralympics, he remains a key icon for disabled and able-bodied sportsmen alike and still remains heavily involved in blind football. He is currently coaching at Under 17 level as he enjoys his retirement.
picture taken from itv.com