Billy Clarke leaves Charlton Athletic – with Bradford City return sealed

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Billy Clarke has ended his Charlton Athletic career – signing a permanent deal with former club Bradford City.

The attacker returned from knee surgery earlier this season but failed to push his way into Lee Bowyer’s plan.

The January arrival of Jonny Williams from Crystal Palace ensured he would get even less opportunity.

He had been due to be out of contract in the summer.

Addicks manager Lee Bowyer said: “Billy has come and seen me the last couple of weeks wanting to play. Unfortunately for him there is no space for him to play and we couldn’t get him any minutes. He’s obviously come back from his long injury, he wanted to just play football again and it’s been frustrating for him since he came back, so he just asked if he could leave. 

“I think we’ve got enough cover in his position so I think it was the right thing to do. I think it was the right thing for him to go on and play and for us we didn’t want to hold him back. He’s a good pro, he’s a great lad, it wasn’t easy to make that decision but for both parties it was the best thing to do. I wish him all the best and hopefully he goes on and does well at Bradford.”

Clarke said: “I want to thank everyone at Charlton – teammates, staff, fans and in particular physio Adam Coe – for the support I’ve received since joining the club 18 months ago. It’s a shame my injury happened but that’s football.

“I hope the boys get promoted and I wish everyone the best of luck.”

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