Man killed in pub attack was father of League One footballer Leon Clarke


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An assault victim who died after being attacked on New Year's Eve was the father of League One footballer Leon Clarke, it has emerged.

The former Wolves, Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday striker's father, named by police as 50-year-old Darel Clarke, died in hospital on Saturday after suffering a head injury at a pub in Wednesfield, West Midlands.

In a statement, the player's current club, Bury FC, said it was aware of an "incident" that had brought about the death of his father.

The statement added: "As a club we extend our deepest sympathies towards Leon and the Clarke family.

"Leon will be allowed the time to grieve and will receive the full support of everyone at the football club during this difficult time."

Detectives launched a murder investigation after the death of Mr Clarke, who was injured in the beer garden of The Boat pub in Church Street, Wednesfield, at around 10.30pm on December 31.

He then made his way to the nearby Royal Tiger pub, where he asked staff for help and an ambulance was called.

A 22-year-old man arrested at the weekend in the connection with the inquiry has been released on police bail.

Detective Inspector Ian Iliffe, of West Midlands Police, is continuing to urge witnesses to get in touch.

The officer said: "The pub would have been busy with people out to celebrate the start of the new year.

"If you were in The Boat pub between 10pm and 11pm and saw anything that could help our investigation please dial 101."

The victim's son, whose former clubs also include Queens Park Rangers, Chesterfield and Charlton Athletic, has so far played 23 games for Bury.

The 30-year-old forward, who signed for Bury last summer, featured in the Shakers' line-up against Fleetwood at the weekend.