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Famous Like Me > Footballer > W > John Wark

Profile of John Wark on Famous Like Me

Name: John Wark  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 4th August 1957
Place of Birth: Glasgow
Profession: Footballer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

John Wark (born Glasgow, 4 August 1957) was a footballer who grew up in the outstanding young Ipswich Town side of the 1970s and went on to become a player synonymous with the club. Wark was an attacking goalscoring midfield player who could also play effectively in defence.

Wark came through the ranks at Ipswich, making his debut in 1975, and was part of the young side managed by Bobby Robson which surprised favourites Arsenal in the 1978 FA Cup final, winning the game 1-0. Wark twice hit the post with shots in the second half of the game at Wembley. In 1979, Wark was selected to play for his country, winning 29 caps eventually for Scotland and scoring seven goals.

Twice in three seasons thereafter Ipswich came within one game of winning the League championship, but missed out to Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively. However, they did win the UEFA Cup in 1981, with Wark setting a record for the competition by scoring a phenomenal 14 goals in the competition, including one in the final as Ipswich overcame AZ 67 Alkmaar 5-4 on aggregate. He triumphed personally that year too, winning the acclaim of his fellow professionals to earn the Player of the Year award.

In the same year, Wark was one of many players recruited to act in the football film Escape to Victory. He played Arthur Hayes.

Wark continued to ply his trade for Ipswich but the side was gradually being broken up after Robson left to become England manager in 1982. Wark, who in the same year was in the Scotland squad which went to the World Cup in Spain and scored two goals, eventually joined the exodus in a 450,000 pounds deal when he signed for Liverpool in 1984 as a replacement for Graeme Souness, who was leaving to play in Italy that summer.

Wark settled into life at Anfield well to start with, playing enough matches at the back end of his first season to earn a championship medal, then showed his worth as a goalscoring midfielder the following year. Sadly, he broke his leg in 1986 and missed out on the club's run-in to their only League and FA Cup "double", though Wark played in enough matches before his injury to earn another title medal.

He battled back to fitness but struggled to regain his place, and came on as a late substitute (and consequentially never touched the ball) when Liverpool lost the 1987 League Cup final to Arsenal. Manager Kenny Dalglish sold him back to Ipswich the following year for 100,000 pounds. Despite his injury, Wark left Anfield with an impressive record of 42 goals in 108 appearances.

Two more productive years at Ipswich followed, although by now they were in the second division. Wark's experience and stamina were a big help as he missed just two games in two seasons and scored another 20 goals. He was then surprisingly sold to Middlesbrough but returned for a third spell at Ipswich within 12 months.

Wark ultimately became one of Ipswich's legendary players and one of football's most respected and dedicated individuals, playing on with Ipswich until he was 39. An astute conversion from midfield to the less physically arduous position of central defender prolonged his playing career. His final tally was 531 League games for the club from a total of 771 as a professional.

He now works in the corporate hospitality department at Ipswich.

Preceded by:
Terry McDermott
PFA Players' Player of the Year
Succeeded by:
Kevin Keegan

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article John Wark