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The Early Years

Born in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, on June 20, 1964, Alec Francis Roy Chamberlain was the youngest of five children - and the only boy!

He was always a sports fan, though it wasn't until he was a teenager that he first tried his hand as a goalkeeper. The rest, as they say, is history, though football almost lost Alec to cricket.

He was an exceptionally talented batsman, and after trials with Middlesex had the opportunity to become a member of the groundstaff...the first steps to playing country cricket.

But Alec's ability as a young goalkeeper was quickly spotted, and he was snapped up by his local team, Ramsey Town. He quickly made an impression, and started to earn rave much so that Ipswich Town came knocking, and invited him for trials with them.

Sir Bobby Robson was then the manager of Ipswich, and eventually offered Alec the opportunity to become a young professional - it was the first step on a career in football that has since taken him to Colchester, Everton, Luton, Sunderland and Watford, with loan spells at Tranmere, Chelsea and Liverpool.

It is now 24 years since Alec chose football ahead of cricket, and he can be proud of what he's achieved in that time. Among his many admirers is the former Arsenal goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach Bob Wilson.

"Alec has always been very well respected as person and as a professional, and he's been an outstanding goalkeeper, who held his own at the very highest level, with Luton in the old First Division, and then with Watford in the Premiership a few years ago."

Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.

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