Brighton and Ajax legend visits English’s
English’s recently played host to, Ray Clarke, former Ajax and Brighton footballer ahead of the big Europa League clash between the two teams at the American Express Stadium on October 26th.
Along with Kjell Scherpen, Chuba Akpom and Joel Veltman, Ray is a rare breed in having played for both clubs, and he was a guest of Ajax Life the media-channel of the official Ajax Fan Association, who interviewed him for their monthly magazine as a special feature in the lead up to the match.
He joined Ajax in July 1978 and netted an impressive 26 league goals for the Amsterdam club, six in the Dutch Cup and six in the UEFA Cup.
When the Ajax board controversially decided to sell him to fund the arrival of new players, their legendary former player Johan Cruyff, no less, had this to say: “Those people who wanted to sell Ray Clarke don’t understand that Clarke could take away two or sometimes three defenders on his own because of his vision. The board should have seen Clarke as a goalscorer or a playmaker. He made sure that Tahamata and Ling could play well – and he still scored 30 goals in one season.”
Born in Hackney on 25 September 1952, Clarke was spotted by Spurs playing in Islington schoolboys football and was part of the north London club’s 1970 Youth Cup winning team which included Steve Perryman and Graeme Souness.
Alan Mullery snapped him up for Brighton & Hove Albion in October 1979 for £175,00, where he played up front with Peter Ward for one season, playing 30 games and scoring 8 goals.
Click here to watch YouTube interview with Ray and Ajax Life (featuring a resplendent English’s in the opening shots!)
See more about Ajax Life here ajaxlife.nl
Up the Albion (and Ajax!)