Steve Clarke

For other people named Stephen Clarke, see Stephen Clarke (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Steve Clark.
Steve Clarke

Clarke as assistant manager of Chelsea in 2007
Personal information
Full name Stephen Clarke[1]
Date of birth (1963-08-29) 29 August 1963
Place of birth Saltcoats, Scotland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Aston Villa (caretaker manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1987 St Mirren 200 (7)
1987–1998 Chelsea 330 (7)
Total 530 (14)
National team
1983–1985 Scotland U21[2] 8 (0)
1987–1994 Scotland 6 (0)
Teams managed
1998-99 Newcastle United (assistant)
1999 Newcastle United (caretaker)
2004–2008 Chelsea (assistant)
2008–2011 West Ham United (assistant)
2011–2012 Liverpool (assistant)
2012–2013 West Bromwich Albion
2014–2015 Reading
2016 Aston Villa (assistant)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Stephen "Steve" Clarke (born 29 August 1963) is a Scottish former football player and manager, he was most recently the assistant manager of Aston Villa.

Clarke played for St Mirren, Chelsea and Scotland, winning three major trophies with Chelsea towards the end of his career. After retiring as a player he moved into coaching and worked at Newcastle United, Chelsea, West Ham United and Liverpool. He has since managed West Bromwich Albion and Reading.

Playing career

Spotted whilst playing for Beith Juniors, Clarke started his professional football career with St Mirren.[3] Clarke was initially on a part-time contract with St Mirren, while he completed an apprenticeship as an instrument engineer.[3] He was transferred to Chelsea for £422,000 in February 1987.[4] He stayed at Chelsea until 1998, making 421 appearances.[4] He was a part of the Chelsea sides which won the 1997 FA Cup Final, 1998 Football League Cup Final and 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final. The latter game, against VfB Stuttgart in Stockholm, was Clarke's final appearance for the club.[4] In 2005 he was voted into Chelsea's centenary XI, occupying the right-back berth. He made 6 appearances for the Scotland national squad.

Coaching career

Newcastle United

In 1998 Clarke joined Newcastle United as assistant manager to Ruud Gullit, his former boss at Chelsea. Clarke was part of the coaching team with Gullit, which helped Newcastle reach the 1998-99 FA Cup final on 22 May 1999, where Newcastle finished runners up to Manchester United after goals from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes in a 2-0 defeat.

Clarke was caretaker manager following Gullit's resignation,[5] taking charge of one match, a 5–1 defeat against Manchester United.[6] For that game, Clarke reinstated Alan Shearer and Rob Lee to the team.[6]


After a stint in charge of the youth teams at Chelsea, Clarke was promoted to the position of assistant manager when Jose Mourinho was appointed manager in the summer of 2004.[7] Clarke was a part of the coaching set-up which saw Chelsea win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups over three seasons under Mourinho. During this period he completed his UEFA Pro Licence in 2006[8]

When Mourinho departed from Chelsea in September 2007, his services were retained by Avram Grant, although Henk ten Cate was brought in as another assistant coach.[9] Both Grant and ten Cate left the club at the end of the 2007–08 season.[9][10] BBC Sport and The Times both reported then that although Clarke remained on the Chelsea coaching staff, he would be looking to pursue opportunities to become a manager in his own right.[9][10] Chelsea assured Clarke of his status, citing his loyalty, popularity amongst the club's supporters and work in the aftermath of Mourinho's departure.[10]

West Ham United

On 12 September 2008 Clarke handed in his resignation to Chelsea, hoping to move to West Ham United to be assistant to former Chelsea teammate Gianfranco Zola.[7][11] Chelsea initially rejected his resignation, demanding compensation worth two years of Clarke's salary.[7] After a deal was agreed between the clubs, Clarke became West Ham's first-team coach on 15 September.[12]

West Ham finished ninth in the Premier League in the 2008–09 season,[13] earning Clarke and Zola extended contracts that made Clarke the highest paid assistant manager in the league.[14] The club struggled during the next season, however, narrowly avoiding relegation.[13] In June 2010, not long after the dismissal of Zola as manager,[13] Clarke left the club by mutual consent.[15]


On 10 January 2011, Clarke was appointed first team coach at Liverpool by Kenny Dalglish,[16] after Dalglish had replaced the dismissed Roy Hodgson two days before.[17] Clarke was credited (alongside Dalglish) for turning Liverpool's season around, having a points average of around 2 points per match from his arrival, coupled with an improved defensive record. On 12 May 2011, Clarke, as well as manager Dalglish, signed a three-year contract to remain in his current role as first team coach.

On 14 May 2012 Clarke offered his resignation to Liverpool following the sacking of manager Dalglish and Liverpool's 8th-place finish in the 2011–12 Premier League. The club declined the offer but on 6 June 2012 following the appointment of new manager Brendan Rodgers, Clarke left the club.[18] Clarke himself said that Liverpool sacked him. [19]

West Bromwich Albion

On 8 June 2012, Clarke was announced as the new manager of West Bromwich Albion having signed a two-year contract. The job was Clarke's first permanent management role for any club, though during his time the club referred to him as 'head coach'.[20]

201213 season

Albion began the Clarke era with a 3–0 home win against Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season. Clarke then followed that result up with a 1–1 away draw against Tottenham Hotspur, and a 2–0 win at home to Everton. Clarke suffered his first competitive defeat away at Fulham, but West Brom soon jumped back with 1–0 home victory over Reading. In November the club won four consecutive matches in a row for the first time since 1980, defeating Southampton, Wigan, Chelsea and Sunderland respectively.[21] Due to his efforts in November, Clarke was awarded the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month.[22] Although the team would go on to lose their next three matches, Clarke's team would bounce back with a draw at home to West Ham and a 2–1 win over Norwich City. By Christmas 2012, West Brom were seventh in the table with 30 points, behind teams like Arsenal and Spurs on only goal difference. During the January transfer window Clarke encountered some problems with want-away Nigerian Striker Peter Odemwingie who desired a move to Queen's Park Rangers, but Albion stood firm and refused to sell.[23] Odemwingie was ultimately never sold and was later given time off following the transfer window saga.[24] It was during this January period that the club struggled to emulate their early season form. Following a poor run of results which saw West Brom fail to win in six consecutive games, Clarke oversaw a 2–0 victory against Liverpool at Anfield- the club's first win since Boxing Day against QPR.[25]

On 27 April 2013 Clarke's team secured a 3–0 away victory over Southampton, giving West Brom their fourteenth win of the season- their highest win total in the Barclays Premier League. The result took the club to a record breaking 48 points- their highest number of points in a Premier League season.[26] West Brom ended the season in style with a dramatic 5–5 draw with Manchester United in what would be Sir Alex Ferguson's final game as manager.[27] The draw saw West Brom finish 8th in the table on 49 points- their best finish since 1981.

2013–14 season

Clarke and West Brom returned for the new season with a 1–0 home loss to Southampton at the Hawthorns following a 90th minute Rickie Lambert penalty.[28] The team initially struggled to score goals, eventually recording their first league goal the fourth game of the new season when Gareth McAuley scored an injury time header in a 1–1 result against Fulham.[28] 28 September 2013 saw them secure an historic 2–1 victory against league champions, Manchester United, their first win at Old Trafford in 35 years.[29] However under his managership they won only one further game, a 2-0 home defeat of Crystal Palace on 2 November 2013.[28] On 9 November Clarke's team were minutes away from securing a historic win at Stamford Bridge that would have ended Jose Mourinho's undefeated home record, but a controversial penalty decision ensured that the game ended 2-2.[30] A further draw and four straight defeats followed and on 14 December 2013 Clarke was placed on gardening leave until May 2014, after a 1-0 loss at Cardiff City. This defeat had left the club two points above the relegation zone in 16th place. They had won nine of the previous 41 Premier League games.[31]


On 16 December 2014, Clarke was appointed manager of Reading on a two-and-a-half-year deal, succeeding Nigel Adkins.[32] On 16 March 2015, Clarke managed Reading to a 3–0 win against Bradford City in the FA Cup to reach their first semi-final for 88 years.[33] In November 2015, Clarke was approached by Fulham to become their manager.[34] Reading gave Clarke permission to speak to Fulham, but following the discussion he decided against taking the position.[34] Clarke was sacked by Reading on 4 December 2015 after one-year in charge.[35]

Aston Villa

Clarke was hired by Aston Villa on 2 June 2016 to be their assistant manager, working alongside his former Chelsea teammate Roberto di Matteo.[36] He was not retained following the appointment of Steve Bruce in October 2016.[37]






Managerial statistics

As of 3 December 2015
Team Nat From To Record
Newcastle United (caretaker) England 28 August 1999 2 September 1999 1 0 0 1 00.00
West Bromwich Albion England 8 June 2012 14 December 2013 59 19 14 26 32.20
Reading England 16 December 2014 4 December 2015 53 19 14 20 35.85
Total 113 38 28 47 33.63


  1. "Stevie Clarke". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  2. "Steve Clarke". Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  3. 1 2 Buckland, Simon (14 March 2010). "Steve Clarke: 'It's time for me to be the guy who makes decisions'". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
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  5. "Gullit quits Newcastle". BBC News. 28 August 1999. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  6. 1 2 Hodgson, Guy (31 August 1999). "Cole strikes at heart of Magpies". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
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  14. "Zola signs new West Ham contract". BBC Sport. 25 April 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
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  37. "Aston Villa will part company with Steve Clarke". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  38. Fort, Didier (15 February 2006). "England - FA Cup Finals 1946-2000". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  39. Fort, Didier (25 February 2001). "England - League Cup Finals 1961-2001". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  40. Stokkermans, Karel; Ross, James M. (4 June 2015). "Cup Winners' Cup 1997-98". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
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