In his new autobiography (serialized in the Chronicle), legendary Newcastle United midfielder Lee Clark has admitted that he should have never joined Sunderland.
Clark broke into the Newcastle United side back in 1990 and enjoyed a wonderful seven year stay at St. James’ Park, making well over 200 appearances for the club.
He then controversially decided to join Newcastle’s rivals Sunderland following his departure in Tyneside but it has to be said that the ex-midfielder’s time at St. James’ Park was anything but smooth.
Clark endured a tumultuous relationship with the Sunderland faithful and became public enemy number one among the fans after being pictured wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Sad Mackem B******” at the 1999 FA Cup Final.
The Englishman was immediately dropped from the team as a result and unsurprisingly never played for Sunderland again. Now Clark has gone on to speak regarding his acrimonious exit from Wearside and has admitted that he regrets joining the Black Cats in the first place.
Clark stated in his book, “In hindsight, because of my background, it was probably a mistake signing for Sunderland. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my two seasons on Wearside, I had two of the best years of my life.
“But everyone knows I’m Newcastle through and through and I couldn’t give 100% for Sunderland against the club I love. And if I couldn’t do that I’d have been cheating on Peter Reid, his number two Bobby Saxton, the fans and all my team-mates.
“It was best that I went and Reidy knew how I felt before what happened at Wembley with t-shirtgate. In the past, when I said I couldn’t play for the Black Cats against the Magpies I was accused of being unprofessional.
“I don’t think it was. I was just being honest. It was how I felt at the time and I still feel the same now. Ask any die-hard Newcastle fan or Sunderland supporter and they will understand. I know for a fact they will empathise with me.”