Wembley double trip just the ticket for Cork native Billy Clarke

Cork native Billy Clarke is eyeing a double Wembley trip after helping Bradford City dump Chelsea out of the FA Cup at the weekend.

Wembley double trip just the ticket for Cork native Billy Clarke

The 27-year-old appeared at Stamford Bridge as a late substitute, enough time to shackle Chelsea’s danger-man Eden Hazard and take a booking for the cause.

Defending a 3-2 lead, the normally attack-minded Clarke was assigned a defensive role upon getting thrown on by Phil Parkinson. He was relieved to see fellow substitute and compatriot Mark Yeates sink a vital fourth goal for the giant-killers.

The final whistle triggered wild celebrations in front of 6,000 visiting fans and Clarke had his family sat in the fourth row behind Petr Cech’s goal.

“I managed to get my son, Charlie, onto the pitch with me to join in the celebrations. It was a brilliant match to be involved in,” explained the former Ipswich Town striker.

“After going two goals behind, I must admit there was worry that Chelsea might hit five past us but they didn’t create too many chances. Once Jon Stead pulled a goal back before half-time, we were right back in the tie and deservedly won.

“Although it was the first time Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team had ever conceded four goals at home, he was very gracious afterwards by coming into the dressing room and shaking the hand of every player.”

Bradford’s reward for victory was a home tie with Sunderland or Fulham.

Clarke feels the Bantams are capable of beating either. He added: “Facing Sunderland or Fulham in the fifth round is certainly winnable. I don’t think any team would fancy coming to our place as the pitch isn’t in the best of condition and should favour us.”

Having produced the shock of the competition so far, and with half of the Premier League already eliminated, the Leesider sees no reason why Bradford can’t slalom through another couple of rounds. Their tilt at reaching the League One play-offs means they could visit Wembley twice in May.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox