Stephen Clemence

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Stephen Clemence
Stephen Clemence.jpg
Pictured in 2004 pre-season
Personal information
Full name Stephen Neal Clemence
Date of birth (1978-03-31) 31 March 1978 (age 36)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Hull City
(reserve team manager)
Youth career
1994–1997 Tottenham Hotspur
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2003 Tottenham Hotspur 91 (2)
2003–2007 Birmingham City 121 (8)
2007–2010 Leicester City 31 (2)
Total 243 (12)
National team
1998 England U21 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Stephen Neal Clemence (born 31 March 1978) is a retired[2] English football midfielder who last played for Leicester City where he was team captain.[3]

Clemence began his career with Tottenham Hotspur, where he spent six years as a professional, but never established himself as a regular first-team player. He was capped once for England at under-21 level. He moved on to Birmingham City in 2003, where he was chosen player of the 2006–07 season, at the end of which he signed for Leicester City. An injury prone player, Clemence was well known for his passion, drive, leadership and commitment on the pitch.[4] He suffered a series of long-term injuries in his career, the worst being a damaged heel while at Leicester,[5] which brought his career to an end after 18 months on the sidelines.[6] After retirement he joined the coaching staff at Sunderland before moving to Hull City as reserve team manager.

Club career[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

The first team Clemence played for was Tottenham Hotspur, for whom he made his debut against Manchester United on 10 August 1997, a match Tottenham lost 0–2. His season was cut much shorter by a four-day spell in February 1998, during which time Clemence picked up a red card against Barnsley. He involved himself to a greater degree the following season, displaying more of the form which won him a place in the England U21 side. He scored three times during his spell at Spurs, his first coming in the 1997–98 FA Cup against Fulham,[7] followed by two league goals against Derby County[8] and Sunderland.[9]

Clemence's injury woes started when he suffered a torn medial ligament in his left knee, following a collision with Blackburn Rovers midfielder Garry Flitcroft in a match at Ewood Park in August 2001. His injury required surgery and was thought he would be out for three months.[10] However, despite clocking a few hours of football in the reserves,[11] Clemence was injured for 13 months.[12] It was not until October 2002 that he resumed training.[13] When he recovered in November, Luton Town manager Joe Kinnear was interested in signing him on loan.[14]

Injury during the 2001–02 season meant he did not play until April. In the 12 months before and during the 2002–03 season, Clemence suffered a total of three major injuries.[15] In what turned out to be his last season at Tottenham, Clemence played only once in a 2–1 League Cup defeat to Burnley on 6 November 2002,[16] in which he picked up an injury knock to his calf.[17]

Birmingham City[edit]

Clemence takes a shot at goal for Birmingham City against Manchester United on 25 March 2006.

When the transfer window opened in January 2003, Birmingham City agreed a fee believed to be in the region of £1.3 million for Clemence.[18] He joined Birmingham City for a fee of £900,000 on 10 January,[19] signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.[20] He made his debut in a 4–0 defeat to Arsenal at St Andrew's on 12 January 2003.[21]

In July 2003, Birmingham City participated in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Kuala Lumpur,[22] losing out on the final but beating Malaysia 4–0 for third place, with Clemence scoring the third goal.[23] Injury struck again in the 2003–04 season, meaning that once again he had to sit several games out. He also found himself competing with David Dunn and Robbie Savage for a central midfield spot.[24] Nonetheless, he finished the season by making his 50th appearance for the club.

In the 2004–05 season, Clemence's first team chances were again in the balance when the club signed Muzzy Izzet, but stated he would fight for his place in the team.[25] In the 2005–06 season, the club opened talks with Clemence in May 2005,[26] and he signed a new three-year contract on 14 October.[27] Clemence suffered a calf problem in a 1–0 defeat to Aston Villa on 16 October 2005.[28] On 4 April 2006, Clemence suffered a torn hamstring in a 1–0 win over Bolton Wanderers on 4 April 2006, sidelining him for the remainder of the season while Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League.[29]

He contemplated leaving the club after being dropped twice in 2006–07,[30] but later became an integral part of the team,[31] helping the club win promotion back to the Premier League.[32] For his contributions, Clemence was named the club's player of the year and players' player of the year awards that season.[4] He played his last match for Birmingham in a 1–0 defeat to Preston North End on 6 May 2007, missing out on the Championship title.[33]

In July 2007, he was linked with a move to Charlton Athletic in a £500,000 bid.[34] Southampton were also believed to be monitoring him,[35] while Leicester City were planning on a double signing with teammate DJ Campbell.[36] These transfer rumours arose after then-manager Steve Bruce told Clemence he could not guarantee him first team football.[37]

Leicester City[edit]

Clemence (right) and Matthew Oakley playing for Leicester City on 23 February 2008.

On 9 July, Leicester City made an offer for Clemence, which Birmingham rejected,[38] demanding an increased bid for the player.[37] On 13 July 2007, Clemence signed a three-year contract with Leicester for an initial £750,000, in a deal which could be worth £1,000,000.[39] Birmingham teammate DJ Campbell joined him at the club seven days later.[40] Clemence was named the new team captain on 28 July,[41] and was picked by the BBC as Leicester's key player for the 2007–08 season.[42] Clemence later admitted in July 2009 that "when [then-manager] Martin Allen was here, we didn't have a settled team and we were not sure if our jobs were safe."[6]

He made his debut in a 1–0 defeat to Blackpool at the Walkers Stadium on 11 August 2007.[43] Clemence scored his first goal for Leicester in a 3–2 League Cup win over Nottingham Forest on 18 September,[44] and his second in a 1–1 draw against Charlton Athletic on 29 December.[45] He suffered a calf strain in January 2008,[46] followed by a thigh injury in early March, though he was sidelined for only a short while.[47] On 29 March however, Clemence suffered a torn calf muscle in a 1–0 win over Scunthorpe United,[48] just a week prior to the end of the season as Leicester were relegated from the Championship.[49] It would be his final competitive match of his career.

Clemence underwent an operation in April and was expected to recover in time for pre-season training. However, he suffered complications following surgery on his Achilles' heel.[50] As a result, Clemence played no part in the 2008–09 season, while vice-captain Matthew Oakley took over the armband and helped the club regain promotion from League One. He had a second operation in October 2008, in which the surgeon had to take the Achilles off the heel-bone, clean it and then sew it back on. He also shaved some of the bone off the heel.[6] As of July 2009, Clemence was yet to recover from his heel injury, an ordeal he considered "tough to deal with mentally because this is the longest time I've had out of the game."[5]

He marked his return to action in a 3–1 win over Derby County reserves on 8 September 2009, playing for 30 minutes as a substitute.[51] He played his first full game in a 1–0 win over Barwell reserves on 13 October 2009, scoring the match-winning penalty.[52] Manager Nigel Pearson, however, said on 26 November that Clemence would not be rushed back into the first team, adding he wanted him to be "absolutely spot on" before returning.[53] He returned to training intermittently with the squad in early December.[54] On Easter Monday 2010 however, Clemence announced his retirement from football after failing to fully recover from his heel injury.[2] He was released by Leicester on 17 May 2010.[55]

After playing[edit]

In the summer of 2010, Clemence joined Steve Bruce's coaching staff at Sunderland as a development coach with the reserve team. Bruce was the manager who signed him for Birmingham City.[56]

On 29 June 2012 it was announced that Clemence had taken up the post of reserve team manager at Hull City, again under Steve Bruce.[57]

International career[edit]

Clemence is a former England U21 player, earning just one cap in his career. He was eligible to play for Northern Ireland through his Northern Ireland-born grandmother.[58] Clemence however, rejected the chance to represent the country in May and July 2004,[59] a decision which then-manager Lawrie Sanchez said he would "respect."[60] Sanchez did ask Clemence to reconsider in October 2006,[61] but he never represented a national team at senior level.

Personal life[edit]

Clemence was born in Liverpool. He is the son of England international goalkeeper Ray Clemence, who was then a Liverpool player.[62] In 2003 he married model and actress Angela Saunders.[63] Their first son, Jack,[64] was born in February 2005.[65] His wife gave birth to their second child in May 2007.[66] When asked to name a favourite book as part of a 2005 scheme to promote reading, organised by the National Literacy Trust in conjunction with the Premier League, Clemence chose The Twits by Roald Dahl, which he had enjoyed as a child.[67]

Clemence is the brother-in-law of Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman, married to his sister Sarah, and of golfer Brian Davis, married to Julie.[68]

On 21 November 2004, Clemence and Birmingham City teammate Dwight Yorke had two Blackburn Rovers supporters arrested by police for racist abuse in a 3–3 draw at Ewood Park,[69] before pressing charges against them.[70]

Honours[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur

Birmingham City

Career statistics[edit]

Correct as of 18 April 2009

Season Club Division League Cup League Cup Europe Other[71] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1997–98 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 17 0 2 1 2 0 - - 21 1
1998–99 18 0 1 0 3 0 - - 22 0
1999–2000 20 1 1 0 - 3 0 - 24 1
2000–01 29 1 4 0 2 0 - - 35 1
2001–02 6 0 - - - - 6 0
2002–03 1 0 - - - - 1 0
1997–2003 Total 91 2 8 1 7 0 3 0 - 109 3
2002–03 Birmingham City Premier League 15 2 - - - - 15 2
2003–04 35 2 2 1 1 0 - - 38 3
2004–05 22 0 2 0 2 0 - - 26 0
2005–06 15 0 4 0 2 0 - - 21 0
2006–07 Championship 34 4 - 1 0 - - 35 4
2002–07 Total 121 8 8 1 6 0 - - 135 9
2007–08 Leicester City Championship 31 2 - 3 1 - - 34 3
2008–09 League One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10 Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007–2010 Total 31 2 - 3 1 - - 34 3
Career Total 243 12 16 2 16 1 3 0 - 278 15

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2007). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2007–08. Edinburgh: Mainstream. p. 83. ISBN 9781845962463. 
  2. ^ a b "Clemence Announces Retirement". www.LCFC.co.uk. 6 April 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Leicester name Clemence captain". BBC Sport. 28 July 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Stephen Clemence profile". LCFC.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Skipper's Long Road Back". LCFC.com. 18 July 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Injury-hit Stephen Clemence can see light at end of tunnel". Leicester Mercury. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Moore, Glenn (5 January 1998). "Tottenham advance at expense of more injuries". London: The Independent. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Tottenham 1 Derby 1". Sporting Life. 29 April 2000. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Spurs stun Black Cats with late rally". BBC. 14 April 2001. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  10. ^ "CLEMENCE UPSET AT KNEE BLOW". Sky Sports. 30 August 2001. Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "Goran looking for return home". Sky Sports. 28 February 2002. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Clemence back on track". Sky Sports. 9 April 2002. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  13. ^ "Clemence eager to return". Sky Sports. 13 October 2002. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "Kinnear wants Clemence". Sky Sports. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  15. ^ "Clemence boost for Spurs". BBC Sport. 14 October 2002. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
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  18. ^ "Clemence set for Blues". BBC Sport. 7 January 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Transfers – January 2003". BBC Sport. 31 January 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
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  23. ^ "Clockwatch: Malaysia 0–4 Birmingham". BBC Sport. 26 July 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  24. ^ "Clemence repays Bruce faith". BBC Sport. 26 August 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
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  26. ^ "Birmingham pair in contract talks". BBC Sport. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
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  50. ^ "City news: Injury setback delays Clemence return". Leicester Mercury. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  51. ^ "Leicester City Reserves 3 Derby County Reserves 1". LCFC.com. 8 September 2009. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  52. ^ "Stephen Clemence caps comeback with Leicester City winner". Leicester Mercury. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  53. ^ "Aleksandar Tunchev and Stephen Clemence must be 'spot on' before returning, says Nigel Pearson". Leicester Mercury. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  54. ^ "Leicester City hopeful of extending striker's loan deal". Leicester Mercury. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  55. ^ "City release 7". www.LCFC.co.uk. 17 May 2010. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  56. ^ "Backroom staff: Stephen Clemence". Sunderland A.F.C. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  57. ^ "New Staff Announcement". The Tigers Official Website (Hull City A.F.C.). 29 June 2012. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
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  60. ^ "Clemence rejects N.I. chance". Sky Sports. 1 August 2004. Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  61. ^ "Etuhu, Lita set for Irish call-up?". Sky Sports. 20 October 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  62. ^ Self, Janine (22 February 2003). "Clemence in Blue heaven". The Sun. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  63. ^ Moxley, Neil (18 October 2003). "Clemence gives Blues a reason to believe" (reprint). Daily Mail (Farlex). Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  64. ^ "Monday's gossip column". BBC Sport. 17 September 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  65. ^ "Clemence: Why I am there for dad". Evening Standard. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  66. ^ "Angela Saunders – Gossip Rocks". Gossip Rocks. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  67. ^ "Football stars to promote reading". BBC Sport. 2 April 2005. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  68. ^ Forsythe, Paul (12 December 2004). "Having a ball" (reprint). The Sunday Times (NewsBank). Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  69. ^ "Blackburn 3–3 Birmingham". BBC Sport. 21 November 2004. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  70. ^ "Two arrested in race row". Sky Sports. 23 November 2004. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  71. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Johnstone's Paint Trophy

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paddy McCarthy
Leicester City F.C. Captain
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Matt Oakley