IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Arsenal fan who was ‘a London boy all my life’

Gunners season ticket holder Ted Clarke, who was raised in Islington, worked for Royal Mail for 48 years

26 January, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Ted Clarke: ‘A kind-hearted man’

AS her dutiful father waited for her to come out of the bars and night­clubs she went to as a teenager, Ally McCall­ion’s friends thought he must work as a taxi driver.

His willingness to always be on hand for a safe lift home was a measure of how dedicated Edward Clarke, who has died aged 78, was to his family.

Ted, who was raised in Islington, actually worked for Royal Mail for 48 years, starting off as a telegram boy in 1954. In later years, he worked as a post delivery driver in Mornington Crescent and St Pancras.

“My dad was a very kind-hearted man,” said Ms McCallion. “Nothing was ever too much trouble for him.”

Mr Clarke retired in 2002 but had part-time work as a chauffeur for a woman in her 80s. Ms McCallion said: “She only needed him at three in the afternoon for a couple hours. I guess it must have been a bit different than when he used to pick me up at three in the morning with a friend in the back and a bag of chips.”

He moved to Camden Town in the early 1960s after meeting his wife, Maureen, who worked in the sales team of the Tribune’s sister paper, the Camden New Journal, for 11 years. They were married for 52 years and lived in Chalk Farm, until Mrs Clarke died shortly after her 80th birthday in 2014.

Outside of work, Ted’s love was Arsenal, where he had a season ticket. In his later years, he began to pass on his passion for the Gunners by taking grandchildren to matches.

Ms McCallion recalled the holidays they used to have as a family at the caravan her parents owned in Corton in Suffolk. “It would be a classic dismal English holiday – sitting on the beach with your wind­breakers up,” she said.

Ted’s sister Eileen retired to Turkey, just outside of Marmaris, returning to the UK last year. Ms McCallion said she had conversations with her dad about moving away. “No matter what I said, he would insist: ‘What would I want to move out for? I’ve been a London boy all my life’.”

Ted is survived by two children, Ally and Steve, 54, and four grand­children, Adam, 16, Eleanor, 10, Emily, 25, and Chris, 21.

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