The pioneering Chamberlain brothers

The pioneering Chamberlain brothers

With the help of several press and programme clippings, OVF takes a look at the impact that the Chamberlain brothers had on Port Vale FC.

Mark Chamberlain

The younger of the two brothers, Mark progressed through the junior ranks to make his debut as a substitute aged just 16 years and 274 days. It soon became clear that the winger was a special talent and he made his full debut later that season. Two days later he scored his first senior goal. His breakthrough as a first-team regular came in the 1980-1981 season when he managed ten goals in 36 games.

The next season, he was an ever-present and scored a respectable eight goals. By this time, his talents were being recognised from further afield with Chamberlain being named as the Daily Star’s 4th Division player of the season.

In August 1982, he was signed, alongside keeper Mark Harrison, by Stoke City for £180,000. He soon broke through into the England team, making his debut in December 1982.

Did you know?

In their early Vale career, the brothers used to swap shirts at half-time to confuse the opposition.

He left Stoke in 1985 and played for Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth, Brighton and Exeter before hanging up his boots in 1998 after a stint as player-manager of Fareham Town. Chamberlain made eight appearances for England, scoring once. His son, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain currently plays for Arsenal.

Robbie Earle, one of Vale’s favourite sons, wrote of Mark: “He could do it all: Run, pass, shoot, make goals and score them.”

Neville Chamberlain

Older brother Neville, a striker, had a less illustrious career than Mark but still earns his place in the Vale record books.

In 1977, Neville became the club’s first black professional footballer and was the club’s top scorer in the 1979-80 season.

He followed Mark to Stoke City and then played for a number of lower league and non-league sides and a spell as manager of Hanley Town.

Career stats

Mark:

110 games, 19 goals

Neville:

158 games, 41 goals

Chamberlain-McGrath

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