John Wark is a Scottish former footballer who played for Ipswich Town. He won a record four Player of the Year awards during his playing career. Wark represented Scotland at the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He has also played for Liverpool and Middlesbrough in the Premier League.
About John Wark in brief
John Wark is a Scottish former footballer who spent most of his playing time with Ipswich Town. He won a record four Player of the Year awards before becoming one of the four inaugural members of the club’s Hall of Fame. Wark represented Scotland in international football, winning 29 caps and scoring seven goals. During his playing career, Wark appeared in the film Escape to Victory. Since retiring as a professional player in 1996, he has continued to work for Ipswich since September 2008 in the corporate hospitality department. His autobiography, Wark On, was published in 2009 and is based on his experiences at Ipswich and his time at Celtic Park. He has also played for Liverpool and Middlesbrough in the Premier League. He is the brother of Alex and Wilma Wark, and the father of Andrew Wark. The family lived in a four-storey tenement block in Partick. As a small child, he slept in a drawer from a sideboard. He played football from the age of six and was selected for the Glasgow Schools representative team. He was also managed by David Moyes’ father, also named David, at Drumchapel Amateurs at the under-14 level. He trained with Celtic at their Parkhead ground, before receiving an invitation to sign schoolboy forms for the club. He trialled with several English clubs, including Bristol City, Manchester City and Ipswich, before signing with the club as an apprentice. He made his first-team debut on 27 March 1975 in the 3–2 FA Cup 6th round victory over Leeds United; the game was played at Leicester City’s Filbert Street.
In June 1977, he received his first red card for the first time, for a pre-match friendly match against Germany; he sustained a torn hamstring in the match. In the 1976–77 season, he made 30 appearances for the reserves, scoring his first goals for club, taking over penalty duty in the final of the FA Youth Cup. He ended the season in the youth team, defeating West Ham United 5–1 in the Youth Cup final. He spent much of the 1975–76 season playing for the reserve team, and was presented with the Young Player Of The Year award, despite making just four appearances for senior team. On moving to secondary school, he was selected to play for Drumchalpe Amateurs, where he played for the Under 14s. He also represented Scotland at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in which he made three appearances and scored twice. He said: ‘ootball seemed to occupy 99 per cent of my time as a youngster’ as he tried to emulate his brother Alex, who had become a professional at St Mirren. He started his career at left back before moving to the centre of defence and occasionally occupying the right back position. In March 1975, he signed for the senior squad as a replacement for the injured Kevin Beattie, and made his debut in the quarter-final of the FA Cup against the Leeds team of Giles and Bremner.