Philip J. Clarke was born in England. He was a referee in the English Football League before emigrating to Canada in 1974.

Phil settled in Chatham, Ontario and was a referee in the Essex County Soccer Association.

Phil was a referee in the National Soccer League from 1975.

From 1980 until 1983 he was a referee in the North American Soccer League. He was also a referee in NASL Indoor games.

In 1983 he was a referee in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.