Billy Clarke returns to Bradford City for third Bantams spell

Bradford City have completed the signing of Billy Clarke on a one-year deal in what will be the player's third stint with the Bantams.

BACK AGAIN: Billy Clarke has returned to Bradford City for a third spell with the club. Picture: Bradford City AFC.
BACK AGAIN: Billy Clarke has returned to Bradford City for a third spell with the club. Picture: Bradford City AFC.

The 32-year-old Irishman first joined City in 2014 and netted 25 goals in 144 games before leaving for Charlton Athletic in 2017.

He rejoined the Bantams from Charlton in January 2019 before leaving the club for a second time the following summer.

The attacking midfielder will be reunited with Stuart McCall and Kenny Black once again and is "over the moon" to be back in West Yorkshire.

"I was devastated to leave last time and to get the chance to return is unbelievable," he said.

“The time I had with Stuart McCall and Kenny Black was brilliant and we were close to achieving big things. It was the most enjoyable season of my career - to date.

“I am determined to right the wrongs and bring my experience and quality back. Hopefully, we can enjoy a really successful season.”

Clarke spent the first part of last campaign at Plymouth Argyle before joining Grimsby Town in January.

Bradford City manager Stuart McCall.

Bantams manager Stuart McCall feels that the midfielder's impact at Grimsby in the latter part of the season, along with his "quality and character", showed he could make a positive impact at the Utilita Energy Stadium.

"Billy is a player Kenny and I obviously know very well, and one who knows this football club inside out," McCall added.

"He was part of a team we had in our previous spell here which came so close being successful, so he probably feels there is a little bit of unfinished business.

"I am naturally aware his second spell was not as memorable, but the reason for bringing Billy back is based not only on his quality and character, but also on his performances for a Grimsby Town side which was resurgent after he joined them, last season.

"I know how desperate his former manager, Ian Holloway, was to re-sign him - as were Grimsby's supporters.

"After studying many of his games closely in recent months, I know he still has the fitness and desire to come back here and be a success with us.

"He fits into our mentality of setting high standards, both in matches and on the training ground, and has the strong belief and positive mindset we want to see in all of our players."

Clarke is the second summer signing made by Bradford following the arrival of Levi Sutton last week.