David Clarke O.B.E.
Blind footballer, Paralympian, former RNIB Director, Guest Speaker and now CEO of Paralympics GB
Born in Wigan in the North West of England David is now a family man in Hertfordshire with his wife and his two children but his journey has been, and continues to be, a remarkable one. Diagnosed with glaucoma as a baby David has been blind his entire life but has used his condition, and the opportunities that it has presented him, to beat a pathway in business, in sport, in the charity sector and is now CEO at Paralympics GB.
His sound academic footing helped push him to a successful career in the banking sector spanning 24 years. Alongside his work, though, he indulged his love of football and pursued his dream of representing his country which he did on no less than 144 occasions scoring 128 goals in the process, including for Paralympics GB at the 2012 London Paralympics.
During 2018 David took a conscious decision to play an active role in the third sector following on from several non-executive positions he has held. In July 2018 he joined the RNIB as Director of Services and then Chief Operating Officer until March 2023 where he was keenly focused on ensuring visually impaired people have access to the information, advice and guidance they need alongside providing consumer and commercial services which seek to remove barriers in everyday life.
Now, as CEO at Paralympics GB, he follows his passion to lead an organisation that gave him so much and he will continue to be an advocate for visually impaired people and every single person living with disabilities.
In June 2023 David was awarded an OBE in the first King's Birthday Honours List for his services to Paralympic sport.
Blind footballer, Paralympian RNIB Director, Guest Speaker and now incoming CEO of Paralympics GB
England and Team GB Footballer
"As the backbone of Britain’s blind football team scoring 128 goals in the 144 games he played, David has never let his visual disability stand in his way. Despite losing his sight at an early age, he has excelled as an international footballer while developing a successful career in banking. Although now retired from competitive sport, David continues to inspire young people to be the best they can be through his involvement both with the university and the wider community."
University of Hertfordshire
“His record is unique with over 100 goals and appearances but we wanted to recognise Dave personally as he is a great representative of disability football ... I’m absolutely delighted that Dave is our Guest of Honour because it is thoroughly deserved and I’ll be very proud to sit next to him on the day.”
David Bernstein, FA Chairman, on the FA's Decision to make David Guest of Honour at the 2013 FA Cup Final
"David Clarke is, in my view, the most remarkable individual, in a crowded field, that we have had on our podcast. He views his condition as an opportunity and he brims with positivity, kindness and humour throughout and he is so articulate and charismatic"