Born: Wallsend, 27 October 1972
Position: Central midfielder
Signed: 7 July 1999, from Sunderland (£3m)
Fulham debut: Birmingham City 2-2 Fulham, 7 August 1999
Fulham appearances: 178
Fulham goals: 22
Honours: Division One champions (2000-01), InterToto Cup (2002).
Sold: Released (1 July 2005).
There’s a strong argument to say that signing Lee Clark from Sunderland for £3m in 1999 was one of the bargains of the Mohamed Al-Fayed era. The all-action midfielder immediately enlivened the Fulham engine room and really came alive once Jean Tigana introduced a sense of style to his new side the summer after Clark arrived in SW6.
Clark’s top level career belied a lack of pace and he had everything. A leader on the pitch, tenacious in the tackle and with an eye for a pass, the Geordie midfielder was also reliable in front of goal. He finished a rather dour season that started under Bracewell and finished under the caretaker care of Karl-Heinz Riedle as Fulham’s top goalscorer and then was a key figure as Tigana’s team stormed to the Division One title.
Clark was a bit-part player in Fulham’s first two campaigns back in the top flight owing to injury problems but he was restored to the starting line-up when Chris Coleman took over from Tigana. He scored the winner against his boyhood club Newcastle to pull the Whites away from relegation trouble and became Coleman’s captain the following year when Fulham finished ninth in the top flight. Clark famously scored the opener in a famous win at Manchester United in the summer of 2003 and his never-say-die attitude made him tremendously popular with the Fulham faithful.
The likeable midfielder returned to Newcastle in July 2005 after being released by Fulham after his relationship with Coleman deteriorated and went into management at the end of his playing career. He missed out on promotion with Huddersfield after losing the League One play-off final in 2010 and has since managed in Scotland and Sudan.