Newcastle United's top 30 players - Number 24

We continue our countdown of the greatest 30 players to turn out for the Magpies.

After Welsh legend Ivor Allchurch at number 25, the number 24 spot on our countdown of the greatest 30 players to have worn the black-and-white of Newcastle United goes to a man who was a fixture in the side for 13 years in the 1960s and 1970s.

Local boy Frank Clark joined the Magpies as a part-timer in 1962 but was nearly prevented from having a professional football career at all when his leg was broken in two places by Liverpool hard man Tommy Smith in a reserve game before he had even made his debut for the first team.

He finally made his debut in 1964, and quickly became the automatic first choice at left-back under Joe Harvey, playing a vital role as the club won promotion to the first division in 1965.

No no-nonsense, classic style of defender, Clark was a crucial member of Harvey's side for the next decade, and was part of one of the greatest successes in the club's history when they won the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969.

The following year Clark was an almost ever-present in the defence which conceded just 35 league goals on the way to a 7th-place finish in the First Division, the club's highest position in some 19 years.

In total, Clark played 486 times for the North East club before moving on from St. James' Park in 1975 at the same time as Harvey ended his spell as manager.

The greatest successes of Clark's career would actually come after he left Newcastle at the age of 32 to move to Nottingham Forest, who were about to be propelled to unprecedented heights by their new manager Brain Clough.

Clark would win a league title, two League Cups and the European Cup in his four years at Forest, but it was at Newcastle that he developed into a player capable of winning those honours, and he is rightly remembered as a hero of a bygone era on Tyneside.

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