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Clarke Carlisle

Personal information
Full nameClarke James Carlisle
Height6 ft 3 in (1.9 m)
Playing positionCentre back
Club information
Current clubPreston North End
(on loan from Burnley)

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Clarke James Carlisle (born 14 October 1979) is an English professional footballer who plays as a central defender for Football League One side Preston North End, on loan from Burnley. Born in Preston, he began playing football at a young age, taking inspiration from his father who played semi-professionally. Carlisle represented his home county of Lancashire at youth level. The start of his professional career was his Football League debut for Blackpool in September 1997. He went on to play 93 league games for Blackpool before moving to Queens Park Rangers in May 2000. In the same year, Carlisle won three caps for the England under-21 national team. He missed a number of games for Queens Park Rangers due to a cruciate ligament injury which at one stage led doctors to believe that his career was over. He then missed one month of the 2003 04 season because of an alcohol-related problem, and left Queens Park Rangers at the end of that season. In the summer of 2004, he joined Leeds United on a free transfer.

Carlisle spent just one season with Leeds United before signing for Football League Championship side Watford in August 2005. In the 2005 06 season, his first with Watford, the team finished third in the division and achieved promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs. However, a thigh injury caused Carlisle to miss the majority of the team's inaugural top-flight season. In March 2007 he had a one-month loan spell at Luton Town. On 16 August 2007, Burnley manager Steve Cotterill bought Carlisle from Watford for a transfer fee of £200,000. In the 2008 09 season he played over 40 first-team matches as Burnley reached the semi-finals of the Football League Cup and finished fifth in the league, earning a place in the play-offs. Carlisle was named man of the match for his performance in the play-off final as Burnley beat Sheffield United 1 0 to return to the top tier of English football for the first time in 33 years.

An imposing figure in the centre of defence thanks to his stature, Carlisle also provides an attacking threat from set pieces. He is a practising Christian and regularly attends church. He attended Balshaw's CE High School where he attained 10 A-grades at GCSE and studied mathematics and politics at A-level, and in 2002 was awarded the title of "Britain's Brainiest Footballer" in a TV game show. He is an ambassador for the Kick It Out campaign and is Chairman of the Management Committee of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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