Born in Regina on November 25, 1932, Clarke played junior football with the Regina Dales before turning professional with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1951. Over fourteen seasons with the Riders, he was a two-time nominee for most valuable Canadian and a two-time Western Football Conference All-Star.
Following his retirement, Clarke embarked on a second career as a public servant. Beginning in 1966, he was executive director of Sport and Recreation for the province. From 1982 to 1987, he served as Deputy Minister of what is now the Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation. He was a member of numerous boards and committees including the Saskatchewan Games Council, the Canada Games Council, and Hockey Canada. An advocate for the Special Olympics and the United Way, Bill Clarke also organized charity curling bonspiels and golf tournaments to raise money for Parkinson's disease research, an affliction from which he suffered.
Clarke was admitted to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He was inducted to the Roughriders’ Plaza of Honour in 1988 and received an honourary Doctorate of Law from the University of Regina in 1995. The Bill Clarke Scholarship Fund was created in his memory. Bill Clarke died on December 20, 2000.
Daria Coneghan, Holden Stoffel