Clarke on loan at Preston North End!! |
excerpt from LEP : 14/07/11

Clarke Carlisle became Preston North End’s first signing of the summer when he moved to Deepdale on a season-long loan from Burnley.

Centre-half Carlisle played for PNE in Wednesday night’s 4-0 win over Fleetwood Town after being granted permission by the Clarets to play ahead of the move being finalised.

The formalities of the switch were completed on Thursday afternoon, the loan running until June 30 next year.

Carlisle, who was born in Preston, is chairman of the Professional Footballers Association and made headlines when he appeared on Channel Four’s Countdown programme,

He was dubbed ‘Britain’s Brainiest Footballer’ in 2002 when he won a general knowledge quiz for players on television.

The 31-year-old started his career with Blackpool, going on to play for Queens Park Rangers, Leeds and Watford before joining Burnley who he helped reach the Premier League.

Carlisle will be in the North End squad which travels to Scotland to play Falkirk on Saturday and Kilmarnock on Monday.

Clarke Carlisle has fulfilled a lifetime ambition after appearing as a contestant on his favourite TV programme, Channel 4′s Countdown.

The club helped clever clogs Clarke gain a place in the hotseat after host Jeff Stelling heard through several media outlets of his love for the programme.

The defender is addicted to the popular afternoon quiz show, even auditioning several years ago while playing for QPR and he admitted his appearance on the show left him lost for words!

“It was fantastic. I know it’s a bit geeky but it’s fulfilled a lifelong ambition for me,” said Clarke. “I am used to playing football and I have a routine for match day that copes with nerves and anxiety. But sitting in front of that studio in front of the Countdown clock, Jeff and all the lights I was so nervous.”

“I was just really happy to get the first game out of the way and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“I don’t think I disgraced myself and that’s all I was concerned about. I didn’t want to come back here and get ribbed by the squad and embarrass my wife. I would love to do it again… perhaps I could be in Dictionary Corner!”

Contestants can remain in the hotseat for eight programmes should they carry on winning.

Make sure you tune in to Channel 4 on Wednesday 24th February to find out how Britain’s Brainiest Footballer fared!

Clarke was head boy at Balshaw’s Church of England High School in 1995/6

Clarke gained 3 England U21 caps in 2000.

His sisters, Ana and Bianca also came to Balshaw’s.


Carlisle began his career as a trainee at Blackpool and was eventually offered a professional contract with the club, which he accepted. Carlisle’s strong defensive performances during his three years at Blackpool attracted the attentions of Queens Park Rangers who paid 250,000 for him in the summer of 2000.

Whilst at Loftus Road, Carlisle made a number of appearances for the England U21s alongside Ledley King and Frank Lampard. It was while the player was with QPR that he suffered his first major injury blow, tearing his posterior cruciate ligament in 2001 which kept him sidelined for a year. Upon his return to football in a reserve match against Bristol City the player was again injured sparking fears that he had re-torn his knee ligament, however the damage was not that severe though he did miss a month of the season.

Carlisle spent four years with QPR, helping them gain promotion to the Championship and also won the title of Britains Brainiest Footballer in a TV quiz in January 2002

Carlisle’s contract ended in 2004, after making a total of 212 appearances and netting six goals with QPR, and as the contract was not renewed the player was able to leave the club on a free transfer to Championship side Leeds United.

Carlisle only spent one year at Elland Road, playing 38 matches and scoring four times for them. Whilst at Leeds he experienced another major injury set back, this time tearing his ankle ligaments which kept him out for six weeks.

At the end of the season two clubs, Watford and Stoke City were both fighting to sign Carlisle from Leeds. Leeds accepted 100,000 from both clubs but eventually Watford got the player signature and signed him on a three-year deal.The deal included a clause in his contract meant that he would not be played against Leeds.

In his first season at Carlisle he was tipped by manager Aidy Boothroyd to become one of the best central defenders in the Championship.

On 2 March 2007, Carlisle joined local-rivals Luton Town on a month’s loan so that he could regain match fitness after recovering from his thigh injury. He made his debut for Luton a day later, on 3 March, in the 3-2 away defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers and returned from his loan spell having played five games for Luton.

In the summer of 2007 he was signed by fellow championship club Burnley to replace defender Wayne Thomas . Burnley paid 250,000 for the defender who signed a three-year contract on 16 August.

Clarke won promotion with Burnley via the play offs in 2009, beating Sheffield United 1-0 in the final at Wembley, he won the man of the match award that day and post match he gave an emotional interview to the Sky cameras regarding the season:

“I’m privileged to be a member of this magnificent team.

What a season, words can’t describe how brilliant and awesome an achievement this is.

I thank God so much, I’m blessed to be a part of this team.

It’s just unbelievable, what an awesome day.”

On Thursday 6th August, Carlisle scored an own goal against Kilmarnock, giving them a 1-0 victory.

He is currently on the Management Committee of the Professional Footballers Association.



On 23 May 2013, Carlisle announced his retirement from playing.