Meet the Farke Knight – Canaries-supporting superhero and charity champion
PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 January 2020
He may wear an eye mask, tight shorts and a cape, but the Farke Knight is no ordinary superhero.
Life-long Norwich City fan Lee Clark is the man behind the character, and his 'superpower' is a genuine love of helping others and coming up with endless ideas to raise money for charities, having raised £119,000 for good causes over the last 13 years.
Mr Clark, 38, is now preparing for his next challenge - a three-month sponsored silence during his shifts working at a Tesco Express.
He will not utter a word during any of his nine-hour shifts at the store until April 13, which will see him silent for 585 hours over the next 12 weeks.
He said: "I do the sponsored silence because I'm a very loud person. It started off 12 years ago when I did it for a local lad. Customers kept asking if I'd do it again, so I've made it an annual thing.
"It's the worst fundraiser that I do out of all of them - it's the one I hate the most. I like doing pranks on my colleagues and joking with the customers, but I can't do any of that.
"I dread it, but it's worth it. The amazing support I get from everybody is unbelievable."
Outside of his charitable work, Mr Clark, who is from Great Yarmouth and now lives near Southend in Essex, is a season ticket-holder at Carrow Road, and travels to Norwich to watch his beloved Canaries in action for every home game.
He is well-known among supporters as the Farke Knight - a nod to Norwich City manager Daniel Farke and fictional masked vigilante Batman - and came runner-up in the club's Fan of the Season award last year.
Mr Clark said: "I try to incorporate [the Farke Knight] into a lot of my charity work now. The response I get is fantastic - I never thought it would take off so well, so I have to go to every game now dressed up."
Irrespective of the club's struggles in the Premier League this season, he still makes the 200-mile round trip to Carrow Road for each home game with nine-year-old daughters Isabelle Clark and Emily Gahagan, who also dress up and are known as the Farke Knight Juniors.
He said: "You can't beat matchdays. Me and my girls come up for every home game and I try to get to a few away days as well. I just love our team.
"We are bottom of the table, but the football this season has been unbelievable. No way do we deserve to be there - we don't take our chances but we are playing really good football.
"It'll go against the odds, but the football that we're playing makes me still believe. If we can just get on a little run of results then we can [avoid relegation]."
Despite his busy life juggling fundraising and football supporting with family life and work commitments, he has no plans to slow down any time soon and even his young daughters are getting involved.
He said: "I said to my wife that I'd calm down on the fundraising once I'd raised £100,000, but now it's like a drug - I love doing it and I can't get enough of it.
"I just like helping people. The feeling you get inside - as a child growing up I always thought that receiving something was the best feeling, but when you give someone something or make them happy and you see the smile it puts on their face, there's no better feeling than that in the world.
"My girls slept out with me for 24 hours, and it's one of the proudest moments I've ever had. When I retire from fundraising they can take on the mantle."
Aside from his sponsored silence at work - during which he is hoping to raise £5,000 after managing £7,000 last year - Mr Clark is also hoping to complete the Brighton marathon in April and the three peaks challenge in July, both in aid of Norwich City's Community Sports Foundation.
He also has a charity football match, a 10-day fancy dress festival and a big sleepout planned in 2020, while all subs paid by players on his seven-a-side team - named The Farke Knight Rises - go directly to local charities.
But despite all his hard work, Mr Clark says that he couldn't do it without the support of others.
"Norwich supporters, and the community in the city, they're fantastic. They always support me - I get kind messages all the time and it inspires me to carry on.
"Without it, I wouldn't be able to do what I do."
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