Tom Clarke was, for so long, a captain, leader and legend at Preston North End and he is still viewed as that now by fans of the club long after he has departed.
He’ll be fondly remembered as the man who helped lead the Lilywhites out of League One and back into the Championship and as the man who scored ‘that’ infamous goal against their rivals Blackpool in the cup.
However, after seven seasons and over 200 games for North End, the two parties finally parted ways ahead of the 2020/21 campaign but he is still doing a job in the EFL.
Having left PNE then, how is he getting on since leaving Frankie McAvoy’s team?
Quiz: Have any of these 30 ex-Preston North End players ever played abroad?
For starters, he is getting a lot more action. In his final Lilywhites’ campaign, he managed only seven starts in total. Over the course of the last two seasons, he has gone on to play in a lot more games and feature a lot more regularly for his two sides.
He first went to Salford City in League Two, where he was a mainstay in the starting eleven as they fought to try and clinch promotion to the third tier. They were unable to do so but Clarke provided regular solidity at the back and was (and still is) a threat from set-pieces.
After just one year though, it was time for the defender to move on again. This time he made the step up in divisions without Salford, joining former boss Simon Grayson at Fleetwood. Again, he has been a mainstay in the side and has already made 12 appearances so far this year.
Although the Cod Army have suffered so far this season – they’ve been battling at the wrong end of the League One table – Clarke provides a face of stability at the back and is a leader with over 350 games worth of EFL experience under his belt.
He is likely to continue featuring for Fleetwood for the remainder of the year – and if anyone can help lead the side by example and away from the relegation places, then it is him.