Andy Clarke has been a prolific marksman over many years

Andy Clarke

With more than 300 goals netted in his senior football career, Andy Clarke certainly belongs in the file marked ‘goalscorer’.

One of the top marksmen in the Bangor area, his clubs over the years include Glantraeth, Y Felinheli, Llanberis, Beaumaris, Bethesda, Arriva Bangor, Maes-y-Bryn and Menai Bridge Tigers.

Born on March 28, 1988, father-of-three Andy celebrates his 33rd birthday today.

So, for a man who has hit the back of the net so regularly in his career, what goal does he regard at his best ?

When asked this question by Grassroots North Wales last year, Andy recalled a cracking effort for Beaumaris against Holyhead Town.

“I took on 3 players around the halfway line and ran towards goal, hit the ball from about 35 yards and it went into the top corner,” he said.

Andy has won many Gwynedd and Anglesey league cups since he began playing, as well as the Welsh Alliance Division Two League and Cup double with Glantraeth in 2011/12.

It was with Anglesey outfit Glantraeth that he played the most memorable game of his career to date – the final of the 2011/12 North Wales Coast Challenge Cup at Nantporth.

The opponents were the mighty Bangor City, Glantraeth lost 4-1, Marc Evans their scorer, but the islanders put up a good show.

In past action for Glantraeth. Picture: Aled Jones

When asked who is the best player he has played alongside, the answer was very interesting.

Andy chose Mally Vaughan, the former Bethesda Athletic man who played at a high standard well into his 40’s.

“I have played with many good players but one that always stands out and he never got the credit he deserved was Mally Vaughan,” said Andy.

“Even playing at 45 years old he would go past players like they weren’t there.”

Mally was also highlighted as a stand-out player by Tony Owen, the former Bangor City, Cemaes Bay and Porthmadog striker, who was recently interviewed by Grassroots North Wales about his sporting career and experiences as an award-winning groundsman for the likes of Arsenal and Crystal Palace.

Andy believes his biggest strength as a player is his ability to beat a player one-on-one and his right foot.

While he has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and hinted more than once at retirement, Andy has kept on donning the boots and scored goals regularly.

It remains to be seen what might happen in the 2021-22 season, but if he does call it a day with football, he has his skills as a golfer to fall back on.

Absolute top man – happy birthday Andy.

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