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, a key player in the best seasons of the 70’s

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.

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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.

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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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Don Revie

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Through the controversies of his management career seem to have set the tone of posterity’s overly harsh judgement on him, Don was no stranger to acrimony even in his early days at Leicester.

A teenage signing from City’s short lived North East nursery club, who was taken under Sep Smith’s wing and thought the basics of constructive inside forward play. Don was an early victim of the City crowd’s occasional propensity for giving stick to their own players, with his thoughtful style initially deemed ponderous by spectators wanting the ball delivered into the box rather more speedily. That said; he laid on two George Dewis goals on his wartime debut as a 17 year old, the first after only three minutes, to signpost his alertness.

A broken ankle in November 1947 interrupted his still self-confident playmaking progress, but he turned City hero with his efforts in the 1949 FA Cup run, culminating with his two semi-final goals against Portsmouth. It was a hefty blow to both player and club that he had to miss out on the Wembley showpiece after broken blood vessels in his nose almost cost him his life.

After this season it was agreed a move to Hull City with a £20 000 check shifting hands. He build his career further and alongside player manager Raich Carter learning the games finer points. Revie also had the pleasure of turning out as an emergency goalkeeper to concede an Arthur Rowley special in October 1950.

His career took of when he joined Manchester City and played at Maine Road of the next six years. He hit the headlines as the tactical architect of the so called “Revie Plan”, which represented a domestic response to recently rubbed-in lessons from the Hungarians.

Revie played a deep laying forward role in the 1955 and 1956 FA Cup finals, picked up the footballer of the year award in 1955 and won England recognition playing six times scoring four goals.

Revie later moved to Roker Park and Sunderland and from there to Leeds United, but none of those moves worked wonders, facing relegation from the top flight at both clubs. But at Leeds from the day he was appointed player-manager his life in football would again rise to the top.

Don Revie is famously known for restructuring Leeds United from a level two side to become on of the finest outfits of a football team ever to have played in European and British football. From his early joint playing/managing days taking charge in March 1961 until moving into full management in 1963 the progress was seen.

He led his uncompromising side through a lengthy catalogue of successes and near misses in League, Cup and European competitions. He was in 1974 appointed England manager, but shouldered much criticism for his safety first tactical approach and his legendary dossiers on the national side’s opposition, and was then accused of everything short of treason when secretly negotiating himself a move highly-paid coaching job in the United Arab Emirates from July 1977. The last few year of his life were blighted by motor neurone disease. He was portrayed by the excellent actor Colin Meaney in the 2009 feature film, “The Damned United”.

FACTFILE: 

  • Full Name: Donald George Revie
  • Position: Forward / Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 10.07.1927, Date of Death: 26.05.1989
  • Birthplace: Middlesbrough
  • Nation: England
  • Caps / Goals: 6/4
  • Major League Career:
    • 1944-49, Leicester City (96/25)
    • 1949-51, Hull City (76/12)
    • 1951-56, Manchester City (148/35)
    • 1956-58, Sunderland (64/15)
    • 1958-62, Leeds United (76/11)

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