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Harry Clarke, 89; Halfback Played for Bears and L.A. Dons

January 01, 2006|From Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Harry "Flash" Clarke, a halfback on the Chicago Bears' 1940, '41 and '43 championship teams, has died. He was 89.

He died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Saturday at a nursing home in Morgantown, said his son, Scott Clarke.

As a rookie, Clarke scored two touchdowns in the 1940 championship game in the Bears' 73-0 romp over the Washington Redskins.

"He was a speedster," Scott Clarke said. "My father was a very humble man.

"He never blew his own horn," he added.

An 11th-round draft pick of the Bears, Clarke dropped the E in his name during his pro career.

He left the team after the 1943 season to join the Navy.

He played three seasons for the Los Angeles Dons in the newly formed American Football Conference beginning in 1946 and played for the Chicago Rockets before retiring in 1948.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday January 04, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Harry Clarke obituary -- The obituary of football star Harry Clarke in Sunday's California section said he played for the Los Angeles Dons in the American Football Conference. It was the All America Football Conference.

He ended his eight-year pro career with more than 1,700 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving, according to West Virginia University's sports hall of fame website.

Clarke was born in Cumberland, Md., and grew up in nearby Uniontown, Pa.

He received a scholarship to play at West Virginia in 1936. He rushed for what was then a school record 921 yards in the 1938 season and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1977.

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