Mark Chamberlain finished his 500-game Football League career with two seasons at Exeter City having previously appeared for Port Vale, Stoke City, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and Brighton as well as winning eight England caps. His son, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, also played for England.
Starting his career at Port Vale alongside his brother Neville (later to play for Stoke, Newport, Mansfield and Doncaster), Mark became a professional in May 1979 and made 96 league appearances (18 goals) for the Burslem club before signing for neighbours Stoke City in August 1982 for a fee of £135,000. Having already represented England at schools and youth level, Mark’s form for his new club saw him capped at under-21 and ultimately full international level winning eight caps between 1982 and 1984. Playing 111 league games for the Potters and scoring 17 goals, Mark moved on to Sheffield Wednesday in September 1985 for £300,000 where he was to make as many substitute appearances as he did starts ahead of a £200,000 transfer to Portsmouth in August 1988. Playing more times for Pompey than any other club - 167 league appearances netting 20 goals - he remained at Fratton Park until joining Brighton and Hove Albion in August 1994.
After a season in Sussex Mark, now aged thirty-three, arrived at St James’ Park in August 1995 to link up with manager Peter Fox and assistant boss Noel Blake former teammates from his Stoke days.
Often playing as an attacking full-back, as well as a wide player, Mark made his debut against Darlington on the opening day of the 1995/96 campaign season at St James’ Park and played rather more times in his first season than he did in his second. Released in May 1997 after around sixty league appearances for the Grecians, Mark called time on his professional career and returned to the Portsmouth area to become player-manager of Fareham Town before, somewhat later, working as assistant coach of the East Timor national football team ahead of coaching in Portsmouth’s academy.
Mark’s sons, both born in Portsmouth, became footballers: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Southampton, Arsenal, Liverpool and England) and Christian who, after starting at Portsmouth, played for a variety of non-league teams.