Clarke James Carlisle (born 14 October 1979) is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender and was chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association. Born in Preston, he began playing football at a young age, taking inspiration from his father who played semi-professionally. Carlisle represented his home county of Lancashire at youth level. The start of his professional career was his Football League debut for Blackpool in September 1997. He moved to Queens Park Rangers in May 2000. In the same year, Carlisle won three caps for the England under-21 national team. He missed a number of matches for Queens Park Rangers due to a posterior cruciate ligament injury which at one stage led doctors to believe that his career was over. He then missed one month of the 2003–04 season because of an alcohol-related problem, and left Queens Park Rangers at the end of that season. In the summer of 2004, he joined Leeds United on a free transfer.