Billy Clarke first took up running in 1904, but his career prospered when he went to live in Liverpool two years later. In 1907, he won the Northern cross-country title and placed third in the AAA 10 miles. In 1908 he placed fifth in the International Cross-Country, won the Liverpool Olympic marathon trial, but failed to finish in the Poly race. In the Olympic marathon he was the first Briton to finish. He later had a brief but unsuccessful career as a professional.
Personal Bests: Mar – 3-16:08.6 (1908); Mar (track) – 2-51:50.0 (1910).