A Spurs youth product, who only made one Spurs first team appearance, but went on to have a solid career at home and abroad, Ray Clarke became a knowledgeable scout once he finished playing the game.
The strongly built striker attended Central Foundation Grammar School for Boys in Islington, making a name for himself in schools football representing Islington, London and Middlesex Schools and it was here he was spotted by Spurs, who brought him to the club as an apprentice.
Came through the Spurs youth system, but was unfortunate to have strikers of the calibre of Martin Chivers and Alan Gilzean ahead of him in the first team, thus restricting him to the single senior appearance as a 74th minute substitute for Gilzean in a match on 21st April 1973 against Leicester City.
A prolific striker whose strengths were his ability to hold players off as he kept possession and a good aerial presence, Ray scored 155 goals in 228 games for Tottenham at youth and reserve level. Between 1969 and 1971, the striker scored 86 goals in 95 league and cup games for the youth teams, making him the most prolific scorer at that level. His goals had helped Spurs win the 1970 Youth Cup in a side that contained Steve Perryman and Graeme Souness.
Went on to play for Swindon Town at the end of the season he made his debut, moving to seek first team football and then dropping a division to join Mansfield Town, where he got £45 a week instead of £40 at Swindon. His goals made him a popular figure at Field Mill and they also propelled the Stags to the Fourth Division championship in 1975.
Goals were his currency and Clarke was to prove worth his weight in goals, as Sparta Rotterdam snapped him up ahead of a number of other sides. His time in Holland proved profitable on the field with hauls of 16 and 19 goals in his two seasons with Sparta, before Ajax noticed his form and took him to Amsterdam, where he once more did what he did best.
When at Ajax, he won the Dutch League and Cup double in 1978-79, being the club's top scorer in that successful season and third top scorer in the league, but it was his only season at the club, as he quickly moved on to Bruges (Belgium), but was only there until October of 1979. It was then that he returned to England to play for Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United, but a knee injury cut short his career with the Magpies without being able to show the Toon fans his full worth.
On retiring from playing the game, he ran a hotel on the Isle of Man and has been a big name in the scouting scene and has held Chief Scout or European Scout posts at Southampton, Coventry City, Newcastle United and in 2006 he was Head of International Scouting at Glasgow Celtic. While at Southampton Ray also did some coaching.
In 2007, Ray was Head of Scouting at Celtic and lived in Stowmarket, Suffolk.
In June 2009, he left his position with the Scottish club and was appointed as Chief Scout at Portsmouth on 3rd September 2009, but in 2012, he moved to Blackburn Rovers as their Head Scout.