Roker Roar

Where Are They Now: Brian Chambers

by Ashley Houghton catches up with 70s midfielder.

Brian Chambers made 70 appearances for Sunderland between 1970 and 1973 as Black Cats manager Alan Brown invested in local talent as he looked to build a side capable of returning to the top flight.

Dennis Tueart, Patrick Lowrey and Derek Forster moved from Newcastle United to Sunderland at a similar time to Chambers as an influx of players from Tyneside bolstered the squad at Roker Park.

And Chambers says his move from Newcastle was the cause of much controversy though his mother played a big part in his move to Wearside.

“I got a bit of stick at the time,” Chambers said. “That was part and parcel of the move, though, and I wasn’t going to stay at Newcastle as my brother was there as well.

“My mother wanted me to stay in school and do some O-Levels so the move to Sunderland at 15 helped that.

“I’ve no regrets about that as I made a good career from football.”

Despite not playing in Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning campaign, Chambers was part of the famous side of that era and played alongside greats such as Jimmy Montgomery, Dick Malone and Ian Porterfield.

And Chambers, who left Wearside towards the end of the 1972-73 campaign to join Arsenal, says playing with great players from the beginning of his Sunderland career benefitted him immensely.

“I suppose you could say it was a bit daunting, coming into a side with some great players but what was nice was that there was multiple lads from Newcastle I could bond with like Derek Forster, Patrick Lowrey and Dennis [Tueart] as well,” he explained.

“I joined as a 15-year-old so the likes of Charlie Hurley were still playing and Jim Baxter, who, on his day was a fine player, so it was great for me to learn from them.

“Certainly in those days it was more a case of doing what the manager told you to earn respect of your fellow players rather than playing your own game, but I was quite quick so I was able to impress.”

Chambers’ career continued across the Football League following his departure from Highbury with spells at Luton, Millwall and Bournemouth prior to multiple part-time clubs whilst he began a career in financial services.

And Chambers says the prolonged nature of his career was down to his pace and ability to stay injury-free during his time in the professional game.

“I was quite nimble so I managed to stay out of trouble,” Chambers added. “I was quite blessed that I never picked up many injuries and I continued to play through my 40’s at part-time level whilst I trained in financial services.”

Chambers, who scored the first of his seven Black Cats goals in a 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers in Janaury 1971, was player-manager at Poole Town for a brief spell before going into the world of finance, where he has now worked for 31 years.