Foxes A to Z; Gordon Fincham

Good judges rated Gordon one of the most highly promising centre-halves City had ever had, but after learning his trade as understudy to Matt Gillies and claiming a regular first-team spot 1955/56, he was stricken by serious injuries, and only managed one more subsequent League appearance for the club, with Tony Knapp and Ian King vaulting over him in the queue.

Gordon was able, however, to partially rebuild his career at Plymouth Argyle, become third division champions in his first season, and play many games there alongside former Filbert Street club mates Dave MacLaren and John Newman.

After leaving Plymouth Argyle he joined Luton Town, and spend two years at Kenilworth Road before moving to South Africa, signing for Port Elizabeth City FC. Fincham was a key player in the team that won the championship in 1967 and ended runners-up the season before. Fincham years in South Africa is not much documented, and referred to as almost non existence, and seen as an early retirement or just written down as emigration.

Port Elizabeth FC also signed other notable English League footballers such as Kevin Lewis, Terry Mancini, Stan Steel, Dennis Snowden and Leicester born Micky Boot. Boot was a promising forward in his younger years with Arsenal, playing with former foxes such as George Armstrong, Frank McLintock and Jon Sammels before moving to Port Elizabeth CIty FC and being there with Gordon Fincham at the time they won the title. Boot moved back to England and continued playing non-league football, representing a number of clubs one of them Nuneaton Borough. Gordon Fincham was never again seen in English league football.

Fincham and Boot were grand heroes in the NFL, a professional league few would like to hear anything about at the time, due to that countries regime and rules. From a footballing perspective a grand phenomena as those teams attracted large crowds and had more followers than the best teams in Europe.

Gordon Fincham moved back to England and resided in his native area of Peterborough, sadly passing away in 2012 at the age of 77.

  • FACTFILE:
    • Full Name: Gordon Richard Fincham
    • Position: Defender
    • Date of Birth: 08.01.1935
    • Birthplace: Peterborough
    • Nation: England
    • Caps / Goals: –
    • Major League Career:
      • 1952-58, Leicester City (50/0)
      • 1958-63, Plymouth Argyle (136/4)
      • 1963-65, Luton Town (117/6)
      • 1965-?, Port Elizabeth City (?/?)
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Foxes A to Z; Steve Kember

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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.

  • FACTFILE:
    • 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)
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Foxes A to Z; John Sjoberg

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A teenage centre-half when he followed Jack Lornie’s route to Filbert Street. John made his initial impact for City’s first team as right back, taking over from Len Chalmers just prior to the start of the 1963 Cup run, and climaxing his first season as a regular with a Wembley appearance against Manchester United.

He was a stalwart of the League Cup campaigns of the next two years (scoring the decisive semi-final goal at Home Park in 1965 and was still shuttling between number 2 and number 5 shirt, with effective case until the arrival of Peter Rodrigues, to hold on the right back position. Settling thereafter in to a central defense position.

His partnership with Graham Cross in the heart of the Leicester City defense was one memorable and John displayed a craggy consistency and imposed his areal mastery on many a first division game. The quality tempted Matt Gillies into giving him a spell as centre forward during 1967/8, but John’s back four abilities were more vital City’s strength and shape, and it was notable that the club’s 1969 relegation occurred in a season where jiggling injuries severely limited John’s appearances, and indeed kept him out of the Cup final line-up. Two years later, he was a key member of the 2nd division promotion side, and took the testimonial game against Derby after championship was secured, attracting a crowd of around 24 000.

During his latter Leicester City days he had started a printer business, and it was to this that John returned after a very brief spell of six league appearances at Milmoor. After his playing retirement John was often seen at both Filbert Street and King Power, until his sudden death in 2008.

FACTFILE: 

  • Full Name: John Sjoberg
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 12.06.1941
  • Birthplace: Aberdeen
  • Nation: Scotland
  • Major League Career:
    • 1948-73, Leicester City (336/15)
    • 1973, Rotherham United (6/0)

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