David, Sascha thank you both for your help. Using the query 
$query = "SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clientid = '$term'";
echo $query . '<br />';
$result = mysql_query($query);

as suggested printed out the below
SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clientid = ''

 This seems to indicate that it is not seeing the value within the single 
quotes. However a slight caveats to that
If I change what is contained within the quotes to a specific number then it 
does read it, for example
SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clientid = '123456';

So it is only when I enclose a value that it doesn't compute, I tried putting 
the $term within %% like so
$query = "SELECT * FROM clients WHERE clientid = '%".$term"%'";
however this just returns we page not found, possibly because I need to use the 
LIKE parameter in there somewhere?
Many thanks for all your help on this
Kind Regards



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