Port Vale’s Darrell Clarke: ‘There were a lot of dark days and will be in future’

Supervisor returned to the dugout this month after an in depth household bereavement and is aware of Saturday’s playoff remaining will likely be emotional

There’s unlikely to be a dry eye come the eighth minute at Wembley on Saturday. Mansfield City have invited their supporters to applaud their former No 8 Darrell Clarke, who spent greater than a decade on the membership however will likely be within the opposing technical space managing Port Vale within the League Two playoff remaining, after he skilled an in depth household bereavement this yr. “It is very, very touching and a massive thank you for that, and a massive thank you for the love and respect that everybody has given me during what has been a tough time for myself and my family,” Clarke says. “You have to pick yourself up. I want to make the rest of my family proud and continue to do a job that I love.”

Vale gamers greater than as soon as warmed up in T-shirts bearing the phrases ‘Thinking Of You Gaffer’ from February and Clarke has thanked the League Managers Affiliation and Skilled Footballers’ Affiliation for his or her assist after taking six weeks’ compassionate depart earlier than a phased comeback, which culminated in a return to the dugout for the ultimate sport of the common season at Exeter, the place Vale earned their first win in 4 video games and a playoff place. “I came back because I felt I was ready,” Clarke says. “I was bedding myself in slowly. There were a lot of dark days and there will be in the future but I felt ready to be able to lead my staff and my players.”

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