Clarke leaves for Crawley

James O'Connor stops Pool's Billy Clarke

James O'Connor stops Pool's Billy Clarke

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STRIKER Billy Clarke has left Blackpool FC to join League Two Crawley Town on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The 24-year-old was Ian Holloway’s first signing after becoming Blackpool boss in summer 2009.

The Irishman scored only one league goal in an injury-plagued Pool career, though it was an unforgettable one in the opening seconds of a drawn derby with Preston in November 2009.

Knee ligament damage meant Clarke never played for Pool in the Premier League last season and he spent a period on loan at Sheffield United late last year.

The last of his 27 Pool appearances was in Saturday’s drawn FA Cup tie with Sheffield Wednesday.

Clarke has joined Steve Evans’ Crawley for an undisclosed fee.

Fellow frontman Louis Almond has joined Lincoln City on loan for the rest of the season.

The Red Imps are Almond’s second Conference club of the season following a stint with Barrow.