LIFFORD’S Adrian Clarke was among Ireland’s top international football stars who were honoured at the FAI International Football Awards on Sunday.
Clarke, who is a member of Donegal Special Olympics Club, was named FAI International Football For All Player of the Year. He was a member of the Men’s 11-Aside football team who represented Ireland at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
The team won silver in their division at the Games. This was the second time that Adrian represented his country on the International sports stage having also travelled to the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China.
Now living in Raphoe, Clarke was nominated for this prestigious award by his Team Ireland head coach, Paul Martyn, who is the FAI Club Development National Coordinator. Martyn explained that over the past two World Games campaigns, Clarke never missed a single training session and willingly took on the responsibility of ensuring all his Donegal team makes were collected and brought to Dublin for training. He also praised Clarke’s character on the pitch and the quiet but crucial role he played on the team.
Speaking after the awards announcement Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland said: “This is a fantastic honour for both Adrian and Special Olympics Ireland and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him. Adrian has shown unwavering dedication to his sport and it is wonderful for him to be recognised in this way”.