|Playing position |
|1977–1982 Port Vale|
Siblings Mark Chamberlain
Name Neville Chamberlain
Nephews Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
|Full name Neville Patrick Chamberlain|
Date of birth (1960-01-22) 22 January 1960 (age 55)
Place of birth Stoke-on-Trent, England
Neville Patrick Chamberlain (born 22 January 1960) is an English former footballer. A forward, he scored 73 goals in 296 league games in a ten-year professional career in the Football League. His brother, Mark, was also a footballer, and his nephews Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain play for Liverpool and Portsmouth respectively, with Alex also an England international.
He started his career at Port Vale, signing professional forms in January to become the club's first black pro. He followed his brother to Stoke City in September 1982 for a £40,000 fee. He was loaned out to Newport County and Plymouth Argyle, before moving to Newport permanently in 1984. The next year he switched to Mansfield Town, and helped the club to win promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1985–86. He spent the 1987–88 season with Doncaster Rovers, before entering the non-league scene with Stafford Rangers, Worksop Town, Shepshed Charterhouse, Matlock Town, Leek Town and Rocester. He later worked in the management teams at Alsager Town and Hanley Town, and also acted as his brother's agent.
Chamberlain graduated through the Port Vale youth team to make his senior debut on 31 December 1977, in a 3–0 win over Rotherham United at Vale Park. The next month he signed professional forms with the club, becoming Vale's first ever black pro. He scored his first goal against Swindon Town in a 1–0 home win on 11 March 1978, and finished the season with two goals in ten games. Vale were relegated out of the Third Division, and manager Bobby Smith left and was replaced by his assistant, Dennis Butler. The 1978–79 season saw the "Valiants" drop to 16th in the Fourth Division, though Chamberlain's six goals in 28 games did give fans a glimmer of optimism for the future. The teenager came to prominence under short-term boss Alan Bloor in 1979–80, and he hit 11 goals in 35 games to become the club's top scorer. He hit 13 goals in 42 appearances in 1980–81 to become the club's top-scorer for a second time, with brother Mark only three goals behind him in the scoring charts. However, he then suffered a decline in form, though still managed to hit nine goals in 37 games in 1981–82, as his brother established himself as Vale's top talent. Manager John McGrath sold his brother to rivals Stoke City, and five games into the 1982–83 promotion campaign "Potters" boss Richie Barker also took the elder Chamberlain to the Victoria Ground for a £40,000 fee. He had played 158 games (141 in the league) for the Vale and scored 41 goals (32 in the league).
He was restricted to four First Division appearances in 1982–83, though his brother continued to impress. He featured three times in 1983–84, and had loan spells with Newport County and Plymouth Argyle, before he joined Newport County permanently for the 1984–85 season. He scored a hat-trick in a 3–3 draw with Derby County at Pride Park on 22 December, and became the club's top scorer with 17 league and cup goals. However Colin Addison could not keep him at Somerton Park, and Chamberlain dropped down a division to sign with Fourth Division club Mansfield Town, who were then managed by Ian Greaves. He scored 23 goals in 76 league and cup games for the "Stags", and helped the club win promotion in 1985–86 and become established in the league above in 1986–87. He then departed Field Mill and switched to Doncaster Rovers, who finished bottom of the Third Division in 1987–88 under Dave Cusack and Dave Mackay. Chamberlain then left Belle Vue and dropped out of the Football League to play for Stafford Rangers, Worksop Town, Shepshed Charterhouse, Matlock Town, Leek Town and Rocester.
After retiring as a player he worked as an agent for his brother Mark, and also worked as assistant manager at Alsager Town and manager of Hanley Town. When the pair played together for Port Vale they used to swap shirts at half-time so as to confuse opposition players attempting to mark his brother.