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'Super' Clive Signs New Charlton Contract
By: Paul Holmes
FORMER Town hero Clive Mendonca has just signed a new one year deal with Charlton Athletic, quashing any lingering hope of a romantic return to the club at which he made his name. The striker, out of 1st team action since late 1999, has been given a final chance by the Addicks to prove his fitness
Mendonca, who was linked with a loan move back to Grimsby early last season, would have been free to leave on a Bosman at the end of this month. Several managers, no-doubt including Grimsby boss Lennie Lawrence, will have been keeping a keen eye on the former Blundell Park crowd favourite's situation.
An injury ravaged-career during Mendonca's five year stint as a Mariner, in which Super Clive scored 57 league goals in 151 starts, arguably prolonged the prolific marksman's time at Blundell Park. The Mariners finally were forced to accept Charlton's offer of £700K in 1997 for a player who was just returning from long-term groin and back injuries.
Mendonca wrote his name in Charlton history with his hat-trick against his native Sunderland in the 1998 1st Division Play Off Final, which sent Athletic into the Premier League. A hat-trick in the Wearsider's home Premier League debut, in a 5-0 drubbing of Southampton, didn't harm Mendonca's reputation either.
Having recovered from an operation on his hip, Super Clive is hoping to be fit for the start of the new season. Charlton boss Alan Curbishley will be hoping for the return of Mendonca for August, especially with the unfortunate enforced retirement of fellow Addicks striker Andy Hunt.
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