8 August 2006

Dave Clements


Preceded by
Succeeded by
1973 – 1975

A multi-honoured and multi-talented sportsman, Dave Clements was one of the stars of the Northern Ireland team of the 1960s and '70s, but fell agonisingly short of the fifty cap mark...

Name: David Clements
Born: 15 September 1945, Larne
Height: 5.10 ft
Weight: 11.09 st
Position: Midfield / Left-Back

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 48 Full Caps / 2 Goals (1965-1976); 3 Under-23 Caps / 1 Goal (1965-1968); 1 Amateur Cap / 1 Goal (1963); Youth Caps; 3 Schoolboy Caps (1961); Team America: 3 Appearances (1976).
Club Honours: (with Coventry) Football League Division Two Champion 1966/67.
Awards: NASL All-Star Team (Honourable Mention) 1976.

Club Career:
Clubs
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Europe
Others
Millbrook (Larne)
Youth
-
-
-
-
-
Portadown
61/62-62/63
1961
Youth
-
-
-
2(0)/1
-
Wolves
-
Jan-63
£5,000
0(0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Coventry C.
64/65-70/71
Jul-64
£6,000
228(2)/26
8(0)/1
15(0)/3
4(0)/0
-
Sheffield W.
71/72-73/74
Aug-71
-
78(0)/ 0
6(0)/0
3(0)/0
-
-
Everton
73/74-75/76
Sep-73
£80,000
81(4)/ 6
6(0)/2
8(0)/0
0(1)/0
1(0)/0
NY Cosmos
1976
1976
-
18(-)/ 2
(NASL)
-
-
-
Colorado C.
1978
1978
-
15(-)/ 1
(NASL)
-
-
-
TOTALS
£91,000
420(6)/35
20(0)/3
26(0)/3
6(1)/1
1(0)/0


Biography:
Dave Clements was marked out as a special talent from a very young age, indeed he had been capped by Northern Ireland at Schoolboy, Youth and Amateur level before leaving Larne Grammar School.

Signed by Portadown from junior team Millbrook in 1961, his early football career was combined with playing schools rugby. This participation in two sports did not unduly hamper his progress as he was snapped up by Wolves in January 1963, shortly after starring in a 2-0 Amateur International win over Wales.

Having failed to make an impact at Molyneux, Clements was allowed to move to Wolves' midland neighbours, Coventry City, in the summer of 1964. At Highfield Road his career really took off; he made a goalscoring bow against Northampton mid-way through the 1964/65 season, and finished with a tally of nine goals in just fifteen appearances, mainly from the inside-forward position.

That same season, still just 19 years-old, Clements won an Under-23 cap and the first of 48 Full caps for Northern Ireland. In an eleven year international career he would feature at inside-forward, on both wings, at half-back, and left-back. He would score just twice, perhaps most famously in a 1-0 win over Scotland in 1967 when George Best put in the most brilliant individual performance ever seen in the green shirt.

Under the guidance of Jimmy Hill, Coventry had developed into one of the most forward thinking clubs in the English Leagues, and Clements, now more usually playing at half-back, was a virtual ever-present as they clinched promotion to the top-flight for the first time in their history in 1967. He maintained his place as Coventry consolidated their position in the First Division, and qualified for Europe for the first time in their history in 1970. Still at his peak, it surprised many when then manager, Noel Cantwell, allowed Clements to leave Coventry for Sheffield Wednesday in 1971. The 21 caps he earned while at Highfield Road made Clements the club's most capped player, a record which stood until surpassed by Peter Ndlovu of Zimbabwe in the mid-nineties.

Clements spent two seasons at Wednesday, often slotting in a left-back, rather than his preferred midfield role, but he found it difficult to settle in Yorkshire. With the club consistently struggling in the wrong half of the Second Division table Clements sought a move away. Once again his destination was a shock, First Division Everton, then managed by Billy Bingham, who clinched Clements' signature early in the 1973/74 season. At the time the Toffees seemed to be building a side to challenge for the top honours, and with Clements as skipper they sat in pole position for much of the 1974/75 season before a late slump saw them finish fourth.

In March 1975, at the age of just 29, and still playing regular First Division football, Dave Clements succeeded Terry Neill as player-manager of Northern Ireland.

Mid-way through the 1975/76 season Clements joined the exodus to the North American Soccer League, signing a lucrative contract with the New York Cosmos. Playing alongside the likes of Pele, Clements' performances earned him a place in the end-of-season All-Star Honourable Mention Team, as well as a place in the Team America side that played in the Bicentenary Cup against Italy, Brazil and England.

See Managerial Career


Wolves Heroes Interview

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
17-03-1965 Netherlands h W 2-1 WCQ
31-03-1965 Wales...... h L 0-5 BC
22-06-1966 Mexico..... h W 4-1 FR
16-11-1966 Scotland... a L 1-2 ECQ
12-04-1967 Wales...... h D 0-0 ECQ
21-10-1967 Scotland... h W 1-0 ECQ 1 goal
22-11-1967 England.... a L 0-2 ECQ
23-10-1968 Turkey..... h W 4-1 WCQ
11-12-1968 Turkey..... a W 3-0 WCQ
06-05-1969 Scotland... a D 1-1 BC
10-05-1969 Wales...... h D 0-0 BC
10-09-1969 USSR....... h D 0-0 WCQ
22-10-1969 USSR....... a L 0-2 WCQ
18-04-1970 Scotland... h L 0-1 BC
21-04-1970 England.... a L 1-3 BC
25-04-1970 Wales...... a L 0-1 BC
11-11-1970 Spain...... a L 0-3 ECQ
21-04-1971 Cyprus..... h W 5-0 ECQ
15-05-1971 England.... h L 0-1 BC
18-05-1971 Scotland... a W 1-0 BC
22-05-1971 Wales...... h W 1-0 BC
22-09-1971 USSR....... a L 0-1 ECQ
13-10-1971 USSR....... h D 1-1 ECQ
16-02-1972 Spain...... h D 1-1 ECQ
20-05-1972 Scotland... a L 0-2 BC
23-05-1972 England.... a W 1-0 BC
27-05-1972 Wales...... a D 0-0 BC
18-10-1972 Bulgaria... a L 0-3 WCQ
14-02-1973 Cyprus..... a L 0-1 WCQ
28-03-1973 Portugal... h D 1-1 WCQ
08-05-1973 Cyprus..... h W 3-0 WCQ
12-05-1973 England.... h L 1-2 BC 1 goal
16-05-1973 Scotland... a W 2-1 BC
19-05-1973 Wales...... h W 1-0 BC
26-09-1973 Bulgaria... h D 0-0 WCQ
14-11-1973 Portugal... a D 1-1 WCQ
11-05-1974 Scotland... a W 1-0 BC
15-05-1974 England.... a L 0-1 BC
18-05-1974 Wales...... a L 0-1 BC
04-09-1974 Norway..... a L 1-2 ECQ
16-03-1975 Yugoslavia. h W 1-0 ECQ
17-05-1975 England.... h D 0-0 BC
20-05-1975 Scotland... a L 0-3 BC
23-05-1975 Wales...... h W 1-0 BC
03-09-1975 Sweden..... h L 1-2 ECQ
19-11-1975 Yugoslavia. a L 0-1 ECQ
11-05-1976 England.... a L 0-4 BC
14-05-1976 Wales...... a L 0-1 BC 


Summary: 48/0. Won 15, Drew 11, Lost 22.

Northern Ireland Under-23 Cap Details:
10-02-1965 Wales...... A D 2-2 BC 1 goal
22-02-1967 Wales...... H W 2-1 BC
20-03-1968 Wales...... A W 1-0 BC


Summary: 3/1. Won 2, Drew 1, Lost 0.


Northern Ireland Amateur Cap Details:
12-01-1963 Wales...... A W 2-0 BC 1 goal


Summary: 1/1. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 0.

Team America Appearance Details:
23-05-1976 Italy...... H L 0-4 USA Bicentennial Cup
28-05-1976 Brazil..... H L 0-2 USA Bicentennial Cup
31-05-1976 England.... H L 1-3 USA Bicentennial Cup

Summary: 3/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 3.

No comments:

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team? (select up to eleven players)

© NIFG 2006-2015