Extremely nomadic Newham-born striker who had a spell at Dagenham & Redbridge early in his career before moving on to Leyton Pennant.
In October 2000 Ian left Leyton Pennant to join Billericay where he played in the reserves for the remainder of the 2000/01 campaign.
Having left Billericay Ian played in two of Margate’s pre-season friendlies in the summer of 2001 and was substituted having come on as a sub during a match at Erith & Belvedere after clashing with an opponent. In September 2001 Ian was officially signed by manager Chris Kinnear and made his debut as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Stevenage at Hartsdown Park on 18.9.01. The victory led to Margate briefly going top of the Conference. He made two more sub appearances during October and on 13.11.01 Ian wore the number nine shirt as Margate entertained Bromley in the Kent Senior Cup. He set up two of the goals in a 3-1 win but it was his only start and after coming on as a substitute in a 1-0 home defeat against Yeovil on 17.11.01 he left the club.
Ian spent the remainder of the 2001/02 season with Enfield where he made eight Isthmian League appearances (five as sub) without scoring and then joined Grays for the start of 2002/03.
After making just one appearance for Grays Ian moved on to Ford United but didn’t play for their first team before joining Boreham Wood in March 2003.
He made three appearances as a substitute for Boreham Wood before the end of the 2002/03 campaign and then linked up with Waltham Forest in the summer of 2003.
At that time he was sometimes known as Ian Hilaire-Clarke and he made four appearances (three as sub) without scoring for Forest before rejoining Enfield in February 2004.
Ian played 14 games in the Isthmian League (one as sub) for Enfield without scoring and then left the club at the end of the 2003/04 season.
In the summer of 2004 he signed for Tilbury and in January 2005 Ian moved on to Redbridge. By then he was simply known as Ian Hilaire again but he only made one substitute appearance in the Conference South for Redbridge before the 2004/05 campaign ended.
On 19.7.05 Ian played for Margate in a friendly at Tonbridge and he also turned out in a pre-season game for Harrow at the start of August before deciding on a return to Hartsdown Park shortly afterwards. He made his first appearance of his second spell with Margate as a substitute in a 2-0 defeat at Ramsgate in a match played for the Kent Messenger Cup on 13.8.05 and Ian featured once more as a sub before wearing the number nine shirt in a 0-0 home draw with Redbridge in the Isthmian League Premier Division on 29.8.05. The Thanet Times said Ian had “a busy first start” and he kept his place for a 1-1 draw at Worthing on 3.9.05.
On 10.9.05 he scored his first goal for the club in a 4-0 win over Cowes in an FA Cup tie at Hartsdown Park and the Thanet Times said it was a “tidy finish” whilst noting that Ian “looked lively throughout”. He made it back-to-back goals with a penalty in a 2-2 draw with visitors Slough on 17.9.05 and Ian made two more starts before dropping to the bench for a 1-1 draw at Walton & Hersham on 1.10.05. He was back in the starting line-up for a 3-0 home defeat against Cray in the FA Cup on 8.10.05 but after that Ian only featured three times as a substitute in Margate’s next six matches.
On 12.11.05 he made his first start for over a month in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dartford in an FA Trophy tie at Hartsdown Park before dropping out of the side again. Ian made three sub appearances in Margate’s next seven games and then came on again in a home game against Folkestone on 26.12.05. With six minutes remaining he scored to level the scores at 1-1 and the Isle of Thanet Gazette said Ian deserved his goal as he’d “dug in…and stuck around at the club while other strikers have come and gone”.
After making one more sub appearance Ian was back in the number nine shirt for a trip to Maldon on 7.1.06 and scored his fourth goal of the season in a 1-1 draw. He then started each of the next 11 matches and on 18.3.06 Ian took his goal tally to five with a strike in a 4-2 defeat against Walton & Hersham at Hartsdown Park. It turned out to be his last appearance and a few days later Ian was released after 33 outings (13 as sub) during 2005/06.
Towards the end of March 2006 Ian joined Leyton and he made five Isthmian League Premier Division appearances there (three as sub) without scoring before the end of the season.
In the summer of 2006 he played in two friendlies for Carshalton but Ian wasn’t signed by the Robins and a few weeks into the 2006/07 campaign he joined Hendon. Ian made his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 home defeat against Billericay in the Isthmian League Premier Division on 23.9.06 but only played six times (four as sub) without scoring before moving on to Kent League club Erith & Belvedere in October 2006.
On 17.10.06, a day after his last sub appearance for Hendon, Ian scored on his debut for the Deres as they lost 4-3 to Lordswood at Park View Road. He played twice more before linking up with Heybridge in November 2006.
Ian didn’t play in the Isthmian League Premier Division for Heybridge but he did feature in an Essex Senior Cup tie at Hornchurch on 12.12.06 that the Urchins won 4-0.
Towards the end of December 2006 Ian was on the move again and he made on sub appearance for Tonbridge in the Isthmian League Premier Division before the Angels released him.
In January 2007 he signed for Chatham and Ian scored on his debut as they drew 2-2 at Croydon in an Isthmian League Division 1 South game on 13.1.07. It was his only goal for the club and after making three further appearances he made a switch to Redbridge of the Isthmian League Division 1 North at the start of February 2007.
Ian scored once in two outings for Redbridge (one as sub) before being released in March 2007. Their manager Allan Fenn told the club’s official website “I unfortunately had to release Ian Hilaire after he made demands that we couldn’t meet. Once again, another player was asked to leave because money came before wanting to play for the club. Ian is a very good player however we need players at this club with the right attitude and unfortunately in my opinion, Ian’s let himself down at times. None the less, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Ian every success in his future career.”
After leaving Redbridge Ian finished the 2006/07 campaign with Potters Bar where he scored once in seven Isthmian League Division 1 North outings. Excluding the friendlies he’d featured in for Carshalton in the summer of 2006 Ian had played for seven different clubs during the season.
After a spell out of the game Ian joined Isthmian League Premier Division side Ashford (Middlesex) in December 2007 and made his debut for their reserves in a game at Whyteleafe on 15.12.07. Ian came on as a sub with 20 minutes left but was sent off only 11 minutes afterwards after picking up two rapid bookings for dissent. He made one appearance for Ashford’s first team before leaving the club at the start of 2008.
At the start of the 2008/09 season Ian played for Harrow’s reserves before signing for Southern League Premier Division outfit Hitchin in November 2008. He scored twice in seven appearances (three as sub) for the Hertfordshire side but left the club during December 2008.
In January 2009 Ian joined Wealdstone on trial and after scoring in his first reserve team outing the Isthmian League Premier Division club signed him. The Stones manager Gordon Bartlett said “He gives us something different in that he is strong and also good in the air. He certainly makes his presence felt.” Ian went on to make four appearances (three as sub) without scoring before being released in March 2009. He then dropped out of senior football.
From 1999 to 2004 Ian featured in Sky One’s ‘Dream Team’ programme as one of the players in the fictional Harchester United’s squad.
Bio thanks to Margate FC.