Paul Clark – that’s ‘Petula’!


This illuminating profile was included in the Brighton v Bristol Rovers programme of 1977/78:

The youngest player currently in Albion’s first team squad is the thickset young man with the blonde locks who signed just a short while ago from Southend with Gerry Fell moving to the Essex club as part of the deal.

Paul was born on September 14, 1958 at South Benfleet and until now has lived all his life in Essex, his parents’ home being at Basildon. He attended Beauchamp Comprehensive School and before joining Southend United played Sunday Soccer locally for Beech United and Wickford Town. At school he represented England Schoolboys and went on to gain International honours too at Youth level.

Since moving to Albion, Paul has taken his own flat in Lancing and this means that his driving is very limited. The owner of a Capri, Paul says that driving is a hobby but his pet ‘hate’ is crashing his car. With his surname spelt without an ‘e” one of the younger Albion players has already given him the nickname “Petula’ but his musical tastes are very different from that lady.

If you’re expecting Phil Collins to be mentioned next, you’re in for a surprise…

The likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are among his choices from the heavy rock scene while Clint Eastwood and David Hemmings are his favourite film stars. For one who comes from Southend it is perhaps hardly surprising that fish and chips together with Chinese dishes are his choices in the way of food.

Paul lists Australia as his favourite country having been there with the England Youth team and he has also been to Belgium, Holland and Monaco on tours.

His ambition is to one day make the full England side and hopefully to do so while playing for Brighton in the First Division.

Paul Clark announced his arrival with a powerful display at White Hart Lane in in November 1977, and was a regular up to promotion to Division One in 1979. Dubbed ‘Tiger’ for his ferocious tackling, he conceded a penalty within three minutes of his experience of First Division football, away to Manchester City in August 1979. When he limped off at West Brom the following month, it seemed his all-action style was taking its toll on his body. In the end, Clark only made nine League appearances for the side in that campaign, and became something of a forgotten figure by the end of the season.



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