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Keeping Everton in Our City • View topic - AJ Clark

Keeping Everton in Our City

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 Post subject: AJ Clark
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:29 am 
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I would like to offer my condolences to AJ's family. I only met AJ a few times but he made me laugh and I know a hell of a lot of people are going to miss him. Good night and god bless AJ.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:07 am 
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RIP AJ - thoughts & prayers to his family


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:21 am 
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Sadly AJ lost his fight late yesterday afternoon. They turned the ventilator off and AJ passed away. I'm gutted for his family and friends and still can't believe he's gone. We made plans for the Dam only last Friday, life is crap at times.

AJ was a great person to know, always smiling, organised away trips for fellow Blues and cared passionately about keeping our club in the City. Why do so many decent people get taken away from us early? Out celebrating in town one minute our great win with his Irish mates then taken away from us ultimately.

Thoughts for his family and friends .There are good Evertonians and great Evertonians, AJ was a great Evertonian, husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Ian

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Last edited by Herefordblue on Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:30 am 
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RIP.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:29 pm 
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One can only imagine what his family and friends are going through.

Incredibly sad (and the circumstances completely chilling).

RIP


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:34 pm 
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Deepest Sympathy to all family and friends of AJ. Thanks AJ for being part of KEIOC and giving us a voice. It's not right that a night out should end like this.

R.I.P. Lad.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Horrible news. Deepest sympathy to AJ's family.... RIP


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:01 pm 
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This from WSAG.

anthony 'aj' clarke

By mike love
Date: 30/11/2007

I no longer know AJ well enough to pen a substantive and more fitting tribute, but I hung around with him as a kid in the early 70's.

He lived in St Domingo Vale, Everton, in the next street to me, and was big mates with the Fitzmaurice's (the youngest of whom, Neil, is better known as Ray Von off Phoenix Nights).

AJ played for Granfield in the Anfield Junior Soccer League, part of a great team that included Peter Coyle, Terry Gardner and Anthony Valerio, whilst I played for their local rivals, Tornadoes. We eventually persuaded Ant to bring that sweet left foot, and boss boots, and sign for us, which he did. That must have been around 1975.

Even then, he was a massive Evertonian, and none of your armchair nonsense. I remember once going in the Gladdy with him - Derby County, I think. As you do, we eventually lost touch, but I saw him around, over the years, maybe in The George, or on Priory, and we always let on and had a word about the Toffees.

In the early 90's, I saw him most weekends, when I used to take the baby for a walk to Breckside Park and watch the togger. AJ was managing the all-conquering Flat Iron side, in the Liverpool Sunday, and what a team that was - he certainly couldn't get a game!

On Sunday morning, 25 November, AJ was found with serious head injuries outside McDonalds in Lord Street, Liverpool City Centre. The background, as I write, is unclear, but, on 28 November, he became yet another victim of the malaise that increasingly afflicts this city - the number of lads who go for a simple night out and never return home - when he died at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. He was 45.

There is a certain poignancy that, on his last full day on earth, his beloved Everton annihilated Sunderland with a superb display of attacking football. AJ would have been buzzing off that as the clock ticked down towards a fate of which he had no inkling.

Rest in peace, Anthony lad. Blue is the colour of your heart.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:50 am 
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Another needless young death.

Rest in peace.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:07 pm 
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POLICE APPEAL
"AJ" Anthony Clarke, 45, died in the Royal Liverpool hospital on Wednesday 28th November 2007 when his family agreed to let doctors turn off his life support machine. AJ was brutally murdered. He was found unconscious at 3.50am on Sunday 25th November 2007 with a fractured skull at the junction of Church Street and Paradise Street, outside the McDonald’s restaurant. About 20 minutes before he was found, Mr Clarke went alone to a cash machine.

Police detectives are trying to trace two men seen close to the city centre spot where "AJ" was found at 3.50am on Sunday 25th November 2007. Police are still keen to speak to the two men who were seen outside McDonald’s around the time Mr Clarke was found. Both men are described as 18-25 years old, white and of slim to medium build. They were both wearing dark clothing and one was wearing a short-sleeved, dark top.

Detective Inspector Lol Forrest said: “As a result of CCTV inquiries and a post mortem examination we have now launched a murder investigation. I would appeal to anyone who was in the Church Street area between 3.30am and 3.50am on Monday morning to come forward. I hope that these two men in particular are able to help us piece together the events surrounding Mr Clarke’s death.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0151 777 4065 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:09 pm 
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Quote:
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"AJ" (centre) At Last Season's Blue Kipper Presentation Night

AJ's funeral will take place at St Matthews Church, Walton at 11.00am. on Friday, 4th January 2008.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An estimated 1000 people attended St Matthews Church today to pay their respects at AJ's funeral.

Image Image


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 Post subject: Re: AJ Clark
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:53 am 
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Location: L,pool 4.
My wifes mum has just had her ashes buried just by where AJ's are. With those two together, believe me there will be no rest for the reds there :wink: .

Look after each other. We miss you.


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 Post subject: Re: AJ Clark
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 9:35 pm 
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Location: Old Swan, Liverpool
A reconstruction of aj's 'last moments' were shown on 'crimewatch' recently. This must have been a very tough time for aj's family.
I want to offer my condolences to the family, (especially to his niece rachael whom I know personally) who must have found it extremely hard to go through theese moments.

_________________
"As long as we are at Goodison, we will be in their faces and a reminder to them that they are 'our' bastard son. A club born out of spite".


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 Post subject: Re: AJ Clark
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:50 pm 
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http://www.keioc.net/index.php?mact=New ... eturnid=15

AJ Clarke
Thursday, 27 November 2008
On the eve of the anniversary of AJ Clarke losing his brave battle for life following a senseless attack in the city centre, members of KEIOC would ask all football supporters to search their memories in the hope of discovering the vital clue that will help police identify the murderers of our friend and colleague.

AJ was in excellent spirits after the Sunderland game on Saturday 24th November. After spending some time with his KEIOC colleagues he went into the city centre to enjoy the evening with his family and friends. Just before 04:00 on Sunday 25th November AJ was discovered unconscious at the junction of Church Street and Paradise Street, sadly we now know that AJ was the victim of a mindless and horrific assault that led to his death in hospital, on Wednesday 28th November 2007, when he was surrounded by his loving family.

At their recent AGM members of KEIOC held a minutes silence in honour of the memory of a great Evertonian whose kindness and passion had touched so many people throughout his all too short life. Our thoughts go out to his family at this sad time. AJ’s enthusiasm and dedication has been greatly missed during these past twelve months.

We would ask anyone with any information, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, to contact the police on 0151 777 4065 or you can telephone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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 Post subject: Re: AJ Clark
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:39 pm 
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AJ Clarke - A Year On

by Craig Davies | Friday 28 November 2008, 15:55

http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/a ... ar-on.html

Merseyside Police are renewing their search for witnesses as they continue to investigate the death of Everton supporter Anthony Clarke.

Known by many as ‘AJ', Anthony was murdered in Liverpool City Centre one year ago and the police thus far have not managed to track down his killers.

Anthony, 45, was found unconscious with a fractured skull at 3.50am on Sunday 25 November 2007 at the junction of Church Street and Paradise Street, outside the McDonald's restaurant and his life-support machine was turned off three days later.

As well as a passionate and lifelong Evertonian, ‘AJ' was a father-of-two, a grandfather-of-one and was a popular figure in the local community, helping to train promising footballing youngsters.

The previous day he had watched Everton defeat Sunderland 7-1 at Goodison Park and anyone with any information at all regarding his death should contact Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010.


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 Post subject: Re: AJ Clark
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:43 pm 
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Clues to trap Anthony Clarke's killer

Jan 18 2008 by Greg O'Keeffe
Anthony Clarke

View the CCTV footage here

Image

THE wife of a Liverpool man who died after a night out in Liverpool today begged for help to solve the riddle of his final hours.

Father-of-two Anthony “AJ” Clarke from Anfield was found lying in the street in the city centre after an evening out with his wife and friends.

It is believed the popular Evertonian fell and hit his head, probably after being punched during an argument.

Mr Clarke’s wife Janet and their children Anthony, 24, and Jessica, 16, were with other family members at his hospital bedside when his life support machine was turned off three days later.

Police have not yet found CCTV footage of the exact moment Mr Clarke was injured at 3.45am on November 25 last years leaving them unable to give his heartbroken family answers.

Today Mrs Clarke said: “Whoever did this doesn’t realise what they have taken away.

“They can’t imagine the impact on me, the children, my family and AJ’s dad. All our lives have been changed.

“AJ has been all over the world and never been hurt or attacked.

Image

CCTV images showing two men, in dark clothing in the upper left side of the picture, wanted for questioning over the death of Liverpool man Anthony Clarke

“Then this happens to him on a night out in his own city where he should have been safe.”

Mrs Clarke was in Mathew Street with her husband of 25 years and four other couples celebrating her birthday on November 25 last year.

Earlier that day Mr Clarke watched his beloved Everton beat Sunderland 7-1 from his seat in Goodison’s Gwladys Street end.

As the night wore on Mr Clarke became separated from his friends and was alone when he was attacked.

She said: “The police called at 5am to tell us. I looked at my phone and saw a missed call from AJ while I was asleep.

“We all keep asking ourselves ‘what if’ we had come home together. So many ‘what ifs’ have been going through our minds.

“I met AJ when I was 18 and he was an amazing husband. He idolised his kids and thought the world of his grandson Lewis who is only two. So many people knew AJ. During his funeral the priest told us to look behind us at the hundreds of people who came to the church. It was unbelievable. Standing room only inside the church and people outside.

“He loved a laugh and a joke and went all over the world supporting Everton.

“The hardest thing now is thinking that he won’t be there when Jessica is 18 or 21 and he won’t be able to take Lewis to the park.

“He had grand plans for our 25th anniversary and wanted us to go on a cruise. All that can’t happen because of one moment in town.

“Why he was hit I’ll never understand. Why hit a man for no reason?

“I hope someone recognises the two lads from the CCTV. It might be one of their friends or family. We just want them to come forward.

“They probably didn’t mean to kill him but we still need answers.”

If you can help call police on 0151 777 4065 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

View the CCTV footage here

Film of men police want to question
Image
CCTV images showing two men, in dark clothing in the upper left side of the picture, wanted for questioning over the death of Liverpool man Anthony Clarke

THESE CCTV images could help police determine how Anthony Clarke suffered the head injury which claimed his life.

Police today released these pictures showing the two men thought to have been the last people to see the 45-year-old before he was found lying in the street.

The pictures show the pair walking through Liverpool city centre from Victoria Street.

They are next captured at the scene where Mr Clarke was found, near McDonald’s in Church Street, at around 3.45am.

Minutes later they are captured on camera walking away from the scene up Church Street towards Hanover Street.

The two men were 18-25 years old, white and of slim to medium build.

They both wore dark clothing and one was wearing a short-sleeved, dark top.

DCI Tim Keelan, leading the investigation, said: “Anthony Clarke was a good family man who did a lot for the community and was very well liked.

“It seems all he had been doing on the evening of November 25 was having a nice evening out with his wife who was celebrating her birthday and four other couples.

“At some point he was separated from them but they were not alarmed because they thought he had gone elsewhere for a drink and this had happened before.
CCTV images showing two men, in dark clothing in the upper left side of the picture, wanted for questioning over the death of Liverpool man Anthony Clarke

Image

“We have two people on CCTV at the time when Mr Clarke was killed and we believe they can help us with our investigation.

“I would appeal today for them to come forward. We have other CCTV footage which shows the men which is also in the process of being viewed.”

Mr Clarke’s wife Janet and their children were at his hospital bedside when he died from his head injury three days after he was found.

Mr Clarke, a grandfather-of-one, had been out with his wife and friends around Mathew Street.

The council gravedigger, who also trained local young footballers, ended up separated from his wife and the other couples he was out with

He was known to follow Everton home and away and was a founder member of KEIOC, which campaigns against Everton Football Club’s proposed move to a new stadium in Kirkby.

View the CCTV footage here


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 Post subject: Re: AJ Clark
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:51 pm 
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Tribute by Ian McDonald on the Toffeeweb site:
http://www.toffeeweb.com/season/08-09/c ... onID=10125

We Should Not Be Here
By Ian Macdonald : 01/12/2008 :

Those are the words from Father Connor at St Mathews church on Friday 4th of January this year that will live with me when I remember Anthony Clark, AJ to his many mates. It was a very sad day for not just the Everton extended family but especially for AJ’s family and friends everywhere. This special person was taken away from us by a unwarranted attack by low life’s in our City centre after a great day out for AJ’s family and friends last November.

Image

It’s a year now since AJ’s untimely death so I thought I would write a small piece on this sad anniversary to give an insight to the lad so many miss. Whatever I write I fear will not be good enough to do him justice he was that kind of person

On the day of AJ’s funeral hundreds turned up at the Church of St Matthews, Ronnie Goodlass came on behalf of our club and a few of the Everton staff at Finch Farm who knew AJ personally. Many in the congregation wore Everton scarf s everyone gathered there their hearts went out for AJ’s family. A young family whom AJ adored. Like the Priest said we should not have been there, he went on to say that those who took AJ away live in shadows, cowering away from decent people but those gathered at the mass live in the light and without shame.

I don’t really know AJ’s wife Janet and daughter Jessica but I know his son Anthony who is a lovely lad and a credit to Janet and AJ.I see Anthony at the match and you instantly think of his dad such are the similar looks. Father Connor gave a great speech on the life of AJ, his involvement in helping a local kids football team and his love of his family and Everton.

His nickname AJ came from his school days when there was three Alan Clarks in the same class. So Anthony James Clark was to be known as AJ. His job was a gravedigger for the local council. I remember meeting AJ at his work to give him tickets for an away match where I noticed the hole he was digging for the next burial was unusually deep. I asked him why that was. AJ replied it was for a Liverpool fan and deep down their not so bad !

The following is from the Keep Everton In Our City site:

Quote:
AJ Clarke's untimely passing on Wednesday the 28th November 2007 was a devastating blow for his family, friends and colleagues. AJ will be warmly remembered by Evertonians far and wide.

AJ was a founder member of the Keep Everton in Our City a founder member of the group he never sought praise or publicity, he quietly got on with doing what he did best, he worked tirelessly behind the scenes, leafleting, organising travel to away games, you name it he did it. His love for our football club and his family was unconditional. Our respect of him was also unconditional.

Having earlier watched his beloved blues deliver a resounding victory over Sunderland AJ headed into the city to meet his wife and friends, after leaving them to find a cash machine he was found unconscious at 3.50am on Sunday 25th November 2007 outside the McDonald’s restaurant at the junction of Church Street and Paradise Street in Liverpool’s city centre.

Detective Inspector Forrest explains: “As a result of CCTV inquiries and a post mortem examination we have now launched a murder investigation. I would appeal to anyone who was in the Church Street area between 3.30am and 3.50am on Monday morning to come forward. I hope that these two men in particular are able to help us piece together the events surrounding Mr Clarke’s death.”

Police detectives are trying to trace two men seen close to the city centre spot where "AJ" was found at 3.50am on Sunday 25th November 2007. Police are still keen to speak to the two men who were seen outside McDonald’s around the time Mr Clarke was found. Both men are described as 18-25 years old, white and of slim to medium build. They were both wearing dark clothing and one was wearing a short-sleeved, dark top.
Anyone with information on this incident should contact police on 0151 777 4065 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


The last time I spoke to AJ, except for a wave in the brick as AJ was collecting for a fellow Blue who had been diagnosed with cancer, Rory Colquohoun( who has since died), was the night before the Sunderland game. AJ was arranging a trip for his mates for the UEFA cup tie at Alkmaar. He asked me to book some of the lads into the hotel near Rembrandt Square. As usual with AJ tours he sorted everything out including at times what to wear!

When the Dutch trip came AJ had left us, it was weird and sad to follow into the footsteps AJ had arranged. I had decided to go with AJ on this trip as the Independent Blues were going on the ferry and my sea legs have gone. The brains behind this trip had us flying into Belfast via Ryan Air then across the city to Easy jets airport and to the Dam. I can tell you AJ saved the lads a fortune doing this way as trips to Amsterdam from Speke where silly priced as Everton were on tour.

It goes without saying that AJ’s group had the lad in mind over the stay in Holland, he should have been there. But one of the lads said from the off that AJ would want us to enjoy it not mourn him. But you could not help thinking about this bubbly character who never ever seemed dull or boring always the life and soul of a party. Amsterdam was made for the likes of AJ the atmosphere and all night drinking. We were robbed of his company but not of our thoughts of him

As most Blues where staying at the Dam one of the lads had arranged four coaches to leave Amsterdam for the short trip up to Alkmaar. After the match at Alkmaar which we won we arranged a collection for AJ’s family from those on board. I’d like to publicly thank those who contributed, it reinforced my extended family theory about Evertonians. There was some on the coaches who did not know AJ but no questions asked just a donation.

Reclaiming the Sandown
Because of AJ’s tragic death and the circumstances of a murder enquiry AJ could not be laid to rest for six terrible weeks for AJs family and friends.

When I was told that AJ’s send off after the funeral would be at the Sandown in Anfield I said are you sure it’s the right venue it’s the reds stronghold? But I was so wrong. The Sandown is recognized as the birthplace of Everton there is even a brass plaque on the wall to state this plus the birth of the other lot when we split from our landlord’s at the time. There is a great ceramic Everton picture found behind studded walls in the Sandown when redeveloped now relocated on the stairs going into the Alex Young suite. After the burial of AJ we all descended down to the Sandown, literally hundreds came.

Now you’ve heard of reclaiming the kop campaign by the red locals well we reclaimed the Sandown that Friday night. The DJ played a compilation of Everton songs which were belted out for AJ to hear in heaven even his red mates sang along. You see AJ had Liverpool fans as mates as well but not on derby day. Janet and her family laid on not one buffet but at least three I counted in every part of this big pub. I saw many of the older Evertonians that night I had not seen in years, what a turnout and what a great send off for the lad. I think the bar took more that night than any of the reds trophy celebration nights. It was a night to celebrate AJ’s life

CrimeWatch on BBC highlighted AJ’s murder and rein acted his last hours after the game. I could not help but think the actor who played AJ had him nearly to a T. From him standing up in the middle of his friends at the Grapes pub and making a speech about celebrating a special day, it was their anniversary. As Janet got ready to be embarrassed about AJ publically proclaiming his love for her he went on to punch the air for Everton’s emphatic win over Sunderland then spoke of his other love of his life Janet. You see AJ was a wind up merchant.

As AJ was separated from the group he was spotted along Paradise Street singing Everton on CCTV, that was AJ after a few drinks. He seemed to go missing all of a sudden when out for a drink, maybe he got hungry, we’ll never know on this occasion the full facts as to why AJ left his family and friends in the Grapes. What we do know is two cowards attacked him and left him for dead, why?

I hope the police get new leads on AJ’s assailants or should that be assassins as AJ was important to so many people.

Those terrible days as AJ lay in the Royal clinging on to life with so many people hoping and praying he would pull through but he never did. When his life support machine was switched off the Angels came to bring him to heaven.

America and the Hatton fight
I remember AJ being all excited for his trip to Las Vegas to see the Hatton versus Castillo fight. He had got a great deal for his flights from his Irish mates. When he told me the price I thought he was joking, £200 return! “You must be in the luggage compartment for that price AJ “I quipped “No I’m serving the ale and food with a bit of entertainment “was his reply. One of my mates was taking his Dad to the same fight for his 70th birthday he asked me about getting tickets and did I know anyone going. I gave him AJ’s number who had travelled earlier but in the Casinos my mate could not get in touch and had never met AJ before. I told him to look for a short haired lad about five foot ten a big smile on his face with an Everton tattoo on his leg. Sure enough my mate walked into the New York New York which was packed with Hatton fans and there was AJ on top of a table dancing with a pint in his hand. AJ took my mate and his dad under his wing and they had a great time going on to the VIP bar in Paris, oh and Hatton won.

Another memory of AJ was the time he arranged a trip to the pre-season at Celtic a couple of years ago. I think it started as a mini bus then a 32 seater coach then a 52 seater and ended up a Jumbo double decker bus specially imported from Germany I think with accommodation arranged in Glasgow and loads of lemonade.

Mick Potter remembers their trip to Munich in '85
We started off this AJ tour by having Scouse for breakfast in the Cannon Pub in Breck Road that was the last food we had for the next 36 hours. It was all liquid refreshments from then on.

On the night we arrived in Munich there must have been 300 toffees in the beer Keller, AJ started and then conducted (as usual) one of our favourite and long lasting pub songs ‘OH EVERTON, OH WE LOVE EVERTON’.

Anyway we got up to our beloved match winner, ‘And we love our Derek Mountfield, Derek Mountfield’, Everyone standing up with two fingers under yer nose with the other hand raised with a friendly Sieq Hiel to our Kraut friends doing a little turn so as not to offend anyone, by missing anyone out. The more they got annoyed the more we sang and couldn’t stop laughing.

But the hardest part of the night was trying to mine sweep them bloody four pint Steiner’s when you’re pissed
The night of the match. what a great performance by the Blues deserving a pat on the back from some of the travelling Blues was well in order.

ImageImage
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So we thought it was only right that we trot on the pitch at the end of the game to congratulate them. So off we went into the eight foot moat waving too the Bizzies and their furry Alsatians. Were now on the pitch where, (whoops), AJ’s having a bit of trouble scaling the wall with all that beer and his large backside. AJ was paranoid always asking “Does me bum look big in this”? No AJ yer arse looks big in everything!

Hurry up AJ, a couple of us manage to drag him up the wall nearly bringing the bizzy’s dog with him. Well good job his jeans where intact yer know how conscious he was about looking dapper. Bloody Hell AJ what kept yer ? Yer didn’t think it was your round next did yer “Very funny” he said with that look that he had, you know the one like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

I would and I know everyone who knew AJ would give anything to see that expression again ……We all miss you mates.

Mick Potter

The fundraising do at the Edinburgh
Many of AJ’s friends formed a committee to organise a celebration of AJ’s life. It was to be held at the Dockers club Edinburgh Park last April. Tickets where at a premium as the club could only hold three hundred people, it was easier to get a cup final ticket. On the night AJ’s friends came from far as London and Dublin. There was pictures of AJ all around the club at various stages in his life predominately with Everton themes. Two lots of singers and a DJ took centre stage to give a great night had by all, AJ would have been proud of his bash. There were lots of donated prizes for the auction and raffle on the night including a stay at a villa in Orlando, a fitted fire and a fire surround worth a grand, signed shirts and boots from the likes of Yakubu and even Peter Crouch. Special mention for a signed Roberto Duran boxing glove donation I’m sure the capacity doubled during the night.

At the end of the night Janet and her mum came onto the stage to thank everyone she was overwhelmed at the turnout yet again and the help her family was brought.

There is something about the likes of AJ, Rory, Stan Tyrell, Paul Mac, Linda Harkin, Bernard Murphy, Brian Callaghan, Billy Brennan, Mick Fearon, Charlie Hengler too name but a few not just great Evertonian’s who lived for the match and their families but they are special people who touch so many in their relatively short lives. They say the good die young and that is true of these fellow Blues. I noticed a common theme amongst these Blues, they helped people and enjoyed it. It was never a chore but a way of life for them. We are poorer for their departure in this life they have gone but never forgotten. All have accomplished one thing they have left a mark and a host of memories and will be looked back on with sadness but also joy in that we knew them. You cannot help but smile when you think back on these Evertonians. Last Friday a mass was held for AJ and for the Villa home game many of his friends will gather to raise another glass to this popular Blue.


Finally I’d like to show the tribute Mick Potter wrote for AJ’s funeral:

AJ, 1962 – 2007: A Tribute to ‘AJ’
Image
We all know why we are here, for Anthony ‘AJ’ Clarke
Always laughing and joking, he could never be called a nark
Bad things happen to good people, of that there’s no doubt
None of us thought we’d end up here after what was just
a night out

He would be so proud to see this turn out, to celebrate his life
He’d be amazed for all the support being given to his
Dad, his sister, his children and Janet, his wife
But we’re here because we know and love him, knowing
him was such a joy

Whether you knew him as the man he had become, or
from when he was a baby faced cheeky boy
He was always the organiser for us all, sorting things
out to keep people together
If you became a friend of AJs then he would be your
friend forever

He was a very proud family man, he loved his family
much more than words can say
His hardest time, in his too short life, was when his
Mother ALICE passed away

To some he was know as the ‘Colonel Clarke’ or the
‘Travel Agent’, arranging every coach trip or any other
jolly
But he would never do things by half, he had more trips
than Lunn Polly
If you were lucky enough to get a seat on AJs trips

There was FUN from start to end – NO BORES
But you really had to book early to be sure of a place
with AJs Tours
AJ did things for others, for charity he’d ran
Marathons - done a 2 mile swim
He’d never tell people about it, people asked why, well
that was just him

He had many great qualities and features, he even
thought he was quite a dish
But one thing I can always remember was Uncle Alec
saying our AJ can swim like a fish
Speaking to Janet one day, she said ‘did he mean drink
like a fish!’

I remember from our early teens, he loved a party, a
knees up. a bash.
He was too young for the Grafton Sunday night disco,
and he had already been knocked back
Till our Elaine cut off some of his hair and glued on
some sidey’s and tache

So we swaggered back before the same bouncer, AJ
thinking his new found growth was the real thing
The bouncer cracked up laughing, but still let us in
saying AJ looked more like Jason King

He would always start off the sing -songs in the pub, on
the coach or at the game
He really adored his beloved blues, and the banter
with all the red noses just the same

AJ was always involved in running football teams, he
got this from his dad
But I know he loved nothing more than all the football
discussions he had every week with Anthony – his lad

Look around the people here, who all have a story they
could tell about AJ, and love and miss him so much – and
you wouldn’t have to look far.
But some things can never change, we will never find him
at the bar.

Nil Satis, Nisi Optimum – never was a motto more apt
It was how AJ lived his life,
full of fun and filled with passion, but nothing was more
important to him than his family, children and Janet his
wife

People will have their theories of why in the many days to
come
That’s fine. I would like to take a second or two to
share mine.
AJ was, young fit and strong, in no way sick He only went
to the Royal that night to see poor Davy Hick
He couldn’t believe his luck when he found himself in the
next bed
As AJ saw an angel come to one of his idols, he heard what
the angel said,

Davy your needed to deliver a message to
some of your departed club mates, they’ll all be there to
greet you when you reach the Pearly Gates
I’m not ready said Davy Hickson, they cant see the pain on
my face without hesitation or thought AJ piped up ‘ Hey I
can take his place?

Here was a chance to speak to his idols, a number of Everton
greats, this was a story that would always be
remembered and forever told by all of his mates
He pleaded with the angel I’ll get to see Bally and Dixie
and I’ll have such great fun - And while there I think
its about time I saw my dear old mum!

God bless you Janet, Anthony and Jessica and all of AJ’s family and friends

Ian Macdonald

PS I have not named the many people who helped AJ’s family in their hours of need but we and you know who you are. Well done you never shyed away when needed. I could fill a book with stories about AJ maybe one day someone will.


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