Heather died a few weeks later and, after everything started to settle down afterwards, I embarked on the process that would eventually lead to my being able to fulfil her last desire of me – to play in the Ryder Cup.
I called the captain, Ian Woosnam, and told him simply that if he wanted me to play, I’d be ready.
'G-Mac (Mc Dowell) was very friendly with one of Alison's models back home and they had conspired between the two of them to give me Alison's phone number.
Indeed the set-up was so successful that just over a year later Clarke had proposed.
Everything was put on hold except my determination to get into the Ryder Cup team.
Not one of the millions who watched the European team triumph over their American opponents on the County Kildare golf course can have done so in ignorance of Darren's personal heartache.
But the man from Dungannon, County Tyrone, recently said his life was turned around after meeting his fiancée, Alison Campbell – a former Miss Northern Ireland – on a blind date set up by Mc Dowell.
Clarke said: “Meeting Alison has put my life back on track.
Darren Clarke can't remember the roar of the crowd.
He can't hear the applause though he can still see his friends' faces as they crowded round the K Club's 16th green, beaming with delight at his moment of victory.
By the end of the following summer he had moved his two boys and himself back to Northern Ireland from the home in London where they had lived for more than a decade.