Former center-forward has admitted his biggest Sheffield Wednesday ‘regret’ and Sheffield United spell…

Leon Clarke, the former center-forward for both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, has revealed his feelings of regret about his time at Sheffield Wednesday and his later spell with Sheffield United.

Despite being over 15 years since his stint at Hillsborough, Clarke, now 38 years old, has recently signed with the non-league club Kettering.

Few players have dared to make the move across the intense Steel City rivalry, but Leon Clarke is one of the rare few who did. He spent 2007 to 2010 at Sheffield Wednesday and later played for Sheffield United from 2016 to 2020.

Reflecting on his colorful career, which began at Wolves and took him to both sides of the Steel City, Clarke spoke to the Yorkshire Post. He recalled his experiences in the Sheffield derbies, noting that the atmosphere at Sheffield Wednesday didn’t strike him as particularly electric.

However, when he played for Sheffield United, he realized the magnitude of the rivalry when they arrived at the stadium and faced intense scrutiny from fans. This marked the true significance of the game for him.

Clarke’s time at Hillsborough was marked by inconsistency, with his most productive season resulting in just eight goals during the 2008-09 campaign.

Reflecting on his stint at Sheffield Wednesday, Clarke admitted that he didn’t do himself any favors at the beginning of his career. He attributed this to his youth and naivety, as well as not being in the best physical shape for regular play.

Although there were moments of promise and goal-scoring success, injuries would set him back. He acknowledged that not maintaining peak physical condition and not fully understanding how to approach his career were contributing factors.

While Leon Clarke played for numerous clubs throughout his career, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United were the two teams he was most associated with. His best scoring season came in 2018-19 while with the Blades.

Regarding his decision to switch allegiances, even six years after leaving Sheffield Wednesday, he mentioned some hesitation. He knew that he would face criticism from both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday fans for making the move.

However, after speaking with Chris Wilder and Alan Knill, he found reassurance. Chris Wilder emphasized the importance of giving his all and assured Clarke that if he displayed unwavering effort, the fans would support him, regardless of the outcomes. This conversation gave Clarke the clarity he needed to move forward.

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