John Byford with Steve Kember - May 2009

John Byford (JRGS 1959-66, right) meets up with Steve Kember (JRGS 1959-63)

As John reports: "The Crystal Palace Football Club Player of the Year Dinner featured a Special Achievement Award for the 1978/79 squad who won the old Second Division (now the Championship) clinching the title in front of over 51,000 spectators, the largest ever crowd at Selhurst Park. Amongst that squad was Steve Kember, who had returned to the club he had supported as a boy after spells at top-flight clubs Chelsea and Leicester. Later he would go on to manage Palace on three separate occasions.
   "In all he appeared 291 times for Palace, scoring 38 goals, including the winning goal that took Palace to the (old) First Division in 1969; add the 247 appearances and 19 goals for Chelsea and Leicester and that's a career total of over 530 appearances. He also won several caps for the England Under-23 team.
   "We caught up with a few reminiscences of John Ruskin GS, including a word or two about Mr. Smith's longevity. Often to be seen at Selhurst Park watching Palace home matches as Palace remains his club. Steve is currently scouting for Premier League side Fulham, managed by Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65), another Ruskin old boy, and working part time for Whitgift School."

Return to previous page