Today colleagues spoke of their sadness on hearing the news.
Shadow opposition leader Councillor Neville Patten said: "Neil was our shadow-chairman on licensing but had not been well lately and had been asked to be relieved of that duty. He was one of the stalwarts of the group. He did things quietly and diligently.
"Neil was a keen Wolves supporter and a railway buff. He will be very sadly missed."
Conservative councillor for Tettenhall Regis Jonathan Yardley said he enjoyed discussing politics and football with Councillor Clarke. "I only found out this morning and it is a real shock," he said.
"He was a season ticket holder at Molineux and I always liked chatting about Wolves with him after council meetings.
"In fact I was looking forward to seeing him at our shadow council meeting tonight so we could discuss Saturday's Wolves vs Coventry game.
"He was a real gentleman who had a lovely, friendly manner about him. There is a lot of rough and tumble in politics but Neil was a genuine, nice guy who always had the interests of his constituents at heart. It is so sad."
Councillor Peter Bilson, Labour member for Bushbury South, said: "I have known Neil for some time and it is very sad to hear of his passing.
"As a politician he always had genuine concern for issues and we shared an affinity for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
"He was a good councillor and a good Wolves supporter."
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