A tigerish midfielder who made an early impression at Selhurst Park, and was part of the first Palace side to reach the top tier back in 1969. Steve lager moved to Chelsea for £170.000, a club record at the time, just as Dave Sexton’s side were going into decline.
By the time he came to Filbert Street for a fee of £80.000, on the heels of Chelsea’s eventual relegation, Steve had allready totted up nearly 300 league games, and had won three England U.23 caps, his debut was at Filbert Street v. West Germany.
It was no sign of tiredness in his play as he chased and promoted among his fellow London exiles with Leicester City. His presence was clear in his first two seasons ending 7th and 11th with a classy team that really had established the club as a force in the top tier at the time. The manager Jimmy Bloomfield was sadly and surprisingly for Steve Kember, replaced and moved on as the 1977/78 season came on the horizon.
This season became a nightmare and also a struggle for Steve as the team were in decline and transition, first under a terrible time with Frank McLintock and then Jock Wallace came in and it was just a few months into that second tier 1978/79 season that made it clear that Kember’s days at the club were numbered and he moved back to Crystal Palace for a fee of £50.000.
He played in a very exciting Crystal Palace team with Terry Venables as manager and soon Kember was back in the top tier. He also had spells in between his second period at Palace with Vancouver Whitecaps in the NASL, where he got a serious knee injury and finally had to hang up his boots in the early 80’s.
Later in life Steve Kember has been involved in football coaching and management, and with Crystal Palace, being the manager on four different occasions, twice in a full position and twice as a caretaker boss, he also had a short stint as manager for non-league club Whyteleafe.
- Full Name: Stephen Dennis Kember
- Position: Midfield
- Date of Birth: 08.12.1948
- Birthplace: Croydon
- Nation: England
- Caps / Goals: –
- Major League Career:
- 1965-71, Crystal Palace (245/35)
- 1971-75, Chelsea (130/13)
- 1975-78, Leicester City (117/6)
- 1978-80, Crystal Palace (50/3)